Veterans-For-Change Weekly Report


Senators Propose TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act

A bill introduced to the U.S. Senate April 14 would, if passed into law, enable the dependent children of active duty service members and military retirees to remain covered by their parents’ TRICARE benefit until age 26.

The bill is required to bring the TRICARE benefit in line with the health insurance reform law passed in March, which will allow civilian dependents to remain under their parents’ health coverage to the age of 26.

The following press release was posted April 14 to the Web site of Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, who is a sponsor of the bill:

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, joined by Senators Mark Begich of Alaska, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri – all members of the Senate Armed Services Committee – and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, introduced a bill extending health insurance for military families. The bill enables the children of active duty service members and retirees to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26.

The TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act fulfills an important goal of health insurance reform legislation – allowing parents to cover their young adult children through age 26. While the health insurance reform law, which was signed in March, extended that coverage to civilian families, separate legislation was required for families insured through TRICARE – the Department of Defense health insurance program for military service members, retirees, and their families – because it is governed by a different section of the U.S. Code than civilian health care programs. The Senators’ bill is a companion to one introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Martin Heinrich of New Mexico.

Extending insurance to cover young Americans until age 26 is critical, especially as they make the transition into the tough job market. TRICARE currently covers children to age 21, or 23 if they are full-time college students. The TRICARE extension will give dependent young adults without employer-provided health insurance the opportunity to pay a reasonable premium and stay covered until they are 26.

“Members of our armed forces and their families make tremendous sacrifices for our nation, and they deserve benefits that will help keep them healthy and secure,” Senator Udall said. “Service members around the world worry about the health and financial security of their families back home. Extending existing health insurance coverage to children will help ensure we’re doing our part to provide some peace of mind to military families.”

“Being able to cover dependents on your health insurance plan up to age 26 is a key piece of the health insurance reform legislation and will allow thousands of Alaskans to keep their children on their policies saving families the extraordinary costs that can be incurred for medical treatment,” Senator Begich said. “Extending that same benefit to our military families is the right thing to do as we continually strive to make sure we show appreciation for their service to our country.”

“In a tough economy, young people may not be able to find a job with decent benefits through no fault of their own, and the children of military service members are no different,” Senator McCaskill said. “Our men and women in uniform and their families make incredible sacrifices in defense of our country – we’ve got to make sure we provide them with the best health care coverage we can.”

“This is the right thing to do for the men and women who have stood sentry protecting our freedoms,” Senator Mikulski said. “If health care reform means that the kids of hedge fund managers can stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26, kids in military families should be covered to age 26 too. I am honored to join Senator Udall and my Senate colleagues in introducing this bill to fix this health care reform bill error. We have our marching orders. We will fight to pass this bill.”

“With each individual who generously dedicates their life to military service, there is a significant impact on those closest to them. We know this especially well in New Mexico, where we have a long and proud tradition of military service,” said U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1), who introduced H.R. 4923, the TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act in the House last month. “Allowing parents to provide health coverage to their dependent adult children is just one of the many small things we can do to show our military families how much we appreciate them and honor their service to our country.”

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When a Community Cares

Harlingen, Texas, April 19, 2010:  The entire congregation watched as a young boy took us on a video tour of a room.  Quentin Hale was showing us the complete renovation of our church attic into a freshly painted, newly floored, carpeted and neatly arranged storage room. This was a volunteer effort.  It was Quentin’s Eagle Scout project that took almost 300 hours of personal service and labor performed for other people in his community.  It was also noteworthy that this project was unveiled on April 18th, the start of National Volunteer Week.

This year the appreciation card sent out by many organizations is headlined “Volunteers Build A Better World”.  What a solid truth.  You see it everywhere in times of stress and emergency.  If a hurricane or an earthquake strikes, if floods or fire devastate the land, if loss and suffering are prevalent, it is the people…the volunteers, who are first on the scene reaching out a helping hand.

Harlingen, Texas is mid sized city in Deep South Texas.  In a region that has always been considered undereducated and economically disadvantaged, it is also a community that cares.  At this hour the city is celebrating its centennial anniversary and doing so with multiple projects that have taken two years of volunteer effort by a small army of citizens.

The city’s annual Trash Bash was just completed.  Several hundred volunteers marched across roadways, parks and vacant property to pick up and remove unsightly waste materials.

Today the Salvation Army Board, made up of local volunteers, meets to handle the administrative matters of this organization that daily answers the call of those in distress.  Over at Loaves and Fishes volunteers are serving hot food to several hundred men, women and children who would go hungry were it not for this community organization.  Tonight dozens of homeless people will have a safe, warm bed at the same facility.  Those who need training can take advantage of the Loaves and Fishes Job Shop.

Not to be forgotten is the Vera Naumann Family Emergency Assistance organization that has reached out to pay the rent, utilities or provide food for a family that has just lost its income.  Add to that list the Family Crisis Center, always there to protect and care for those who have been subjected to domestic violence.  In an area populated by so many immigrants, there is also the Literacy Center, filled with classes teaching those who seek to learn to speak and read a new language.  The majority of those staffing these services are volunteers.

Though funded with tax dollars to care for those with mental illness, mental retardation and in need of outpatient medical treatment, Rio Grande State Center can only offer basic food, shelter and treatment.  It is private money, many volunteer organizations and individuals who provide a good quality of life for the residents and patients of the facility.

At Ronald McDonald House families, who could not afford the high cost of hotel living can stay close to their children receiving hospital care.  All of the House expense is covered by private dollars and the services of volunteer organizations.

Not to be forgotten are the multiple civic clubs and church organizations of the city.  The Rotary, The Lions, The Knights of Columbus, The Boys and Girls Club, The Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of America…and so many more are there, ready and able to build a better world.

This community is really no different than hundreds of others, found in small towns and even big cities across America.  In a country where almost 80% of the people can no longer place any trust in their government, isn’t it refreshing to know we have so many citizens who reach out to others with caring hands?

Semper Fidelis
Thomas D. Segel

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Asbestos Exposure

by Dave Barker

The Department of Veterans Affairs has stated there are currently 25 million Americans who have served in the armed forces of the United States. Possible millions of these American veterans were exposed to toxic asbestos during their military or naval service. Asbestos was used by every military branch. As asbestos was highly regarded for its heat resistance and fireproofing capabilities. Asbestos was so valued that the military and Navy mandated widespread usage before it was phased out during the 1970’s.

Most used the asbestos products for insulation purposes, as than 300 products containing asbestos were used by primarily by the Navy from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. Every ship and shipyard built by the Navy before the mid-70’s was fitted with numerous asbestos containing materials. To a lesser degree the Army and Air Force used asbestos.

What were the levels of risk for asbestos exposure on our Naval vessels? In a word, high! The asbestos products were extensively used in engine and boiler rooms and other areas below deck for fire safety purposes. Navy personnel who worked below deck were heavily exposed to asbestos, but all sailors are at risk, as this deadly compound was used in navigation rooms, sleeping quarters, and mess halls, as decks and pipe coverings all contained asbestos.

It must be understood, no portion of a Naval ship was asbestos free between the 1930’s and mid 1970’s, making Navy veterans and shipyard workers one of the most at risk groups for developing asbestos related diseases. I have had clients who were told by the VA rating specialists that other than engineering rates were not exposed, that is simply not true. In multiple cases I have shown where deck rates wore asbestos gloves when their duty was hot shellman on the gun mounts, or asbestos suits on damage control duties.

Of all occupations exposed to asbestos, veterans account for 30% of all mesothelioma cancer patients. Thus more than 30% of Americans suffering with mesothelioma (a cancer of the internal lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart) were exposed to asbestos during their military or naval service.

Veterans who served between up to the 1970’s have a great risk of developing asbestosis, cancer and other related disease. Navy personnel and workers employed in shipyards through the 1970’s hold a great possiblity of developing a disease caused by asbestos exposure.

Veterans with an asbestos related illness should contact a veteran’s service officer and file their claims. It is important you select a VSO who will think outside of the VA box, especially on these type conditions.

The veteran must provide proof that their disease is asbestos related and that exposure occurred during military service. The burden of proof is always on the veteran, in this case, due to mind sets, the proof is difficult even though it is totally obvious.

The Department of Veteran Affairs recognizes asbestos as well as mesothelioma as a service connected disability.

Even when diagnosed with mesothelioma which all cases are caused by asbestos exposure, the VA does not consider is a presumptive, nor always approve the claim for disability compensation. The veteran must provide evidence the mesothelioma ‘is as likely as not’ to have been caused by exposure to asbestos while in service.

Diagnosis of asbestos related diseases is difficult as many symptoms are identical with other disorders. Symptoms range from respiratory problems as well as chest pain, thus asbestos related conditions are frequently misdiagnosed. This causes the condition to spread. Similar pleural mesothelioma a common form of asbestos cancers, has symptoms such as a chronic cough, night sweats, and fever, which are frequently misdiagnosed as pneumonia or the flu. As a result the cancer becomes active and spreads.

Mesothelioma treatment is available at the VAMC. VA physicians and clinicians are specialty trained. The local VA may have to send the veterans to another facility, but they will make sure the condition is monitored and treated properly.

You may find valuable information on my website:

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Caregivers legislation S.1963 passes House of Representatives 419-0


House Passes Landmark Bill to Care for Women Veterans and Provide Support for Veteran Caregivers 

Washington, D.C. – House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) announced that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve S. 1963, the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, with a vote of 419-0.  The bill creates a caregiver support program, improves health care services for America’s women veterans, and expands the mental health services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), among other things.   

S. 1963, as amended – The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act
Provides Caregiver Support

S. 1963 provides immediate support for veteran caregivers by creating a program to offer caregiver training, access to mental health counseling, and 24-hour respite care in the veteran’s home.  This allows caregivers temporary relief without having to leave the veteran at a medical facility.  Veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) are eligible to select a caregiver to receive a financial stipend along with travel and lodging expenses associated with the veteran’s care. 
Welcomes Home Women Veterans

S. 1963 expands and improves VA services for the 1.8 million women veterans currently receiving VA health care – AND goes one step further by anticipating the expected increase of women warriors over the next five years. This bill seeks to build a VA health care system respectful of the unique medical needs of women veterans.  For the first time, VA will be authorized to provide health care for newborn infants of women veterans. 
Prevents Veteran Homelessness

S. 1963 essentially expands the number of places where homeless veterans may receive supportive services.  For veterans struggling without a roof over their heads, this small change in the law will make a big difference in their lives. 
Rural Health Care

S. 1963 includes key provisions to improve the health care provided to our rural veterans by authorizing stronger partnerships with community providers and the Department of Health and Human Services.  These collaborations will allow VA to offer health care options to service members living far from the nearest VA medical facility.  S. 1963 also requires the VA to establish a grant program for veteran service organizations to provide transportation options to veterans living in highly rural areas.
Increases Mental Health Care Access

S. 1963 addresses the troubling reality of post-traumatic stress and troubling incidents of suicide among the veteran population.  This bill requires a much-needed and long-awaited study on veterans’ suicide and requires the VA to provide counseling referrals for members of the Armed Forces who are not otherwise eligible for readjustment counseling. 

Other Veteran Health Care Provisions

  • Creates a National Quality Management Officer to act as the principal officer responsible for the Veterans Health Administration’s quality assurance program
  • Provides for a pilot program studying the use of community organizations and local and State government entities in providing care and benefits to veterans.
  • Requires the VA to contract with the Institute of Medicine to study the health impact of Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense.
  • Creates a pilot program, which would provide specified dental services to veterans, survivors, and dependents of veterans through a dental insurer.
  • Prohibits the VA from collecting copayments from veterans who are catastrophically disabled.
  • Provides higher priority status for certain veterans who are Medal of Honor recipients.
  • Requires the VA to provide hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for certain Vietnam-era veterans exposed to herbicide and Gulf-War era veterans who have insufficient medical evidence to establish a service-connected disability.
  • Establishes a position for the Director of Physician Assistant Services in the central VA office reporting to the Chief of the Office of Patient Services.
  • Creates a Committee on Care of veterans with traumatic brain injury.

“It is simply our duty as a Nation, when we put our men and women in harm’s way, to care for them when they return,” said Chairman Filner.  “S. 1963 demonstrates America’s commitment to the dedicated service members who have served in uniform and puts front and center the health care needs of veterans and their families.  It is our pledge to them, that we have not forgotten the sacrifices they have made in defense of this country.  We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude – and this bill represents an understanding that the sacrifices of our veterans are shared among us all as Americans.” 
The bill will next be considered in the U.S. Senate.

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DFAS to Begin Recouping Separation Pay

DFAS Press Release

Recouping military retirees’ Voluntary Separation Incentive, Special Separation Benefit and other separation payments by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will resume in August.

These separation payments and others, such as severance pay, were offered to active-duty service members to reduce manpower in certain career fields, primarily during the 1990s.  Because federal law prohibits service members from receiving both separation and retirement payments for the same period of service, provisions of these programs included repayment should an individual join the Ready Reserve or return to active duty and earn status as a military retiree.

On June 1, 2009, in response to retirees’ concerns, DFAS officials temporarily stopped deducting these repayments from retirement pay while the DoD conducted a formal review of the recoupment program.  Before the review, the federal statutes governing these programs did not allow the DoD or DFAS to alter repayment rates or provide alternative repayment plans regardless of the financial hardships a retiree may be experiencing.

The DoD review is complete, and Congress has amended Sections 1174(h) and 1175(e) of Title 10, United States Code, to help limit the financial strain on military retirees as they repay their outstanding balances.  The new statutes allow DFAS more flexibility to accommodate for financial hardship and modify payment plans. 

Affected retirees will receive notification letters at least 90 days before recoupments resume.  If they feel the rate of recoupment will create a financial hardship, they may request a more lenient repayment plan by providing financial information on the Financial Statement of Debtor form included with the notification letter.

This monthly recoupment may also affect former spouses who receive Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act payments from such retirees.  Former spouses affected by this action will also will receive a notification letter before the resumption of recoupments.

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Foster Homes for Veterans

The VA Medical Foster Home (MFH) program finds a caregiver in the community who is willing to provide a veteran with 24-hour supervision and personal assistance.  This would be a long-term commitment, where the veteran may live for the remainder of their life. Veterans who enter MFH all meet nursing home criteria.  The veteran pays the caregiver $1200 to $2500 per month to provide this care. This includes room and board, 24-hour supervision, assistance with medications, and any personal care.  For more information, visit VA’s Medical Foster Home webpage.

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Title code 38 Section 5301

Protection of Veterans Disability Benefits Under Attack AGAIN!

Last week we ran this All Hands On Deck request, and we did darn good!  The judge hearing the case postponed until early May, we presume to read all the faxes, and telephone messages!   You all did an outstanding job!

Now, we need every reader of the Veterans-For-Change newsletter to help us fight the garnishment of a Veterans Disability Benefits in Iowa again and help keep the pressure on this Judge to let him know WE STAND TOGETHER! All calls and faxes need to be done on Monday thru Friday this week, so if the fax or telephone line is busy, please keep trying!.

We need you to Fax the letter below or call and state your name, city and state and clearly tell the court clerk you support Jerry Bohr and all Veterans Nationwide.

Location of courthouse:            

Winneshiek County Courthouse                                                                      Courthouse hours:  8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

201 W. Main Street  

Decorah, IA  52101

If you do not have a fax, please call and tell the clerk that you support Jerry Bohr also let them know what state you are calling from. (Concern is the protection of our Nations Veterans Disability Compensation) Under Title code 38 Section 5301 since 1828 that this was established.

Contact Information:                 

Elizabeth Nuss, Clerk of Court 

Call this number: 563-382-2469

Use this Fax number: 1-563-382-0603

Don’t stop, just keep Faxing, we are firing for effect!

Thank you

Gene D. Simes President VFVC/National Chairman OFFE

Veterans For Veteran Connection Inc.

Operation Firing For Effect

With all due respect:  Winneshiek County Courthouse Clerk, on behalf of Veteran Jerry Bohr.

Our founding fathers understood the essence of a strong, deep rooted moral obligation for its Nation’s defenders, so their sacrifices would not have been in vain. Let us be clear in our message that we stand as one, to support the fundamental rights earned by our past defenders who gave their lives and shed their blood to make this Nation as free as it is, today.  Their vision is carried on by every person who has worn an American military uniform.

Only a few answered the call to stand up against our adversaries.  Congressional leaders made it clear that the effort of these defenders’ would be rewarded by giving a small token of a Nation’s gratitude.  What little they gave was given to them wholly and protected against any reassignments under any legal process, whatever.  This is such a small endeavor for such a huge sacrifice.  The American people benefited by the blood spilled all over the world by our veterans for the sake of one single virtue, democracy.  Disabled veterans only ask that the judicial process honor the wishes of the American people, who are represented by its Congressional leaders.

Title 38 U.S.C. §5301 is a progressive idealism which has its grassroots beginning with the birth of our Nation.  The initial intent of Congress is clear, however misunderstood by those who dishonor the value of the veterans’ service.  It was their bravery that allows us to indulge in the sweetness of freedom in our life. These earned benefits are the sole property of the disabled veteran, exclusively as concurred by our Congressional leaders.

The future of our American freedom is being threatened, as our young do not share the same values as before.  They see the plight of veterans struggling with medical care, homelessness, and the miscarriage of justice in laws, which steal the basic principles of a veteran’s disability compensation.  The deep rooted moral obligations of the Nation have been eroded.  It no longer represents a concept that was intended to promote a stable national defense through its promotions of pensions and retention for its defenders.  Retrospectively, this is not a new concept, but one that goes back hundreds of years in the history of our country.

Our intention is not for the courts to violate or give leniency to veterans, but to apply the federal laws when it comes to allowing the veterans to keep their dignity by not taking away their only source of support and using it was an attachable income.  These laws were enacted by our Congressional leaders who felt that they were reasonable and fair, but did not consider the needs of any divorced spouse.  Contrary to the belief of some, a veteran’s disability compensation, through logical and common sense fall under the, “ONE Person Rule”, basically, one person and one payment, whether single or married.  In the Compensation and Pension Process (C&P) there is no marital distinction in the outcomes of the rating.  A veteran receives benefits for injuries during military service and the Department of Veterans Affairs does not consider the needs of anyone else, unless it is a widow or an orphan.  There is a provision under Title 38: Chapter 11 – Section §1115: Additional Benefits to Dependents, needless to say the amount is mediocre.  Nevertheless, if a veteran divorces any additional payment to the spouse is terminated.  Congress did not see fit to make any payments to divorced spouses, only veterans, widows or orphans.

Allowing payments to former spouses would only disable the veteran again, leaving the veterans economically disadvantaged. In addition, the former spouse would be receiving payment based upon an injury and sacrifice of a disabled veteran.  Punishing the veterans by taking away any part of their VA disability would be exposing them to cruel and unusual treatment.

Support decisions by the courts are having a devastating effect on our disabled veterans’ population and their eroding quality of life.  Nevertheless, the American people through the legislative process have helped pass laws in states that re-enforces the initial intent of Congress to protect veterans’ disability compensation against the use as an attachable income.  While the spirit of the federal law, Title 38: U.S.C. §5301 remains vibrant, state courts are condemning veterans a second time, consequently disabling them again in a more harsh matter.  Homelessness, suicide and economic hardships are the end results of the lethal pursuit by support collection agencies.  The most disturbing issue is that the states’ judicial systems are ignoring and refusing to comply with Title 38:  U.S.C. §5301.   The laws of Congress are set forth to provide equity in the benefits of veterans, widows or orphans.

We pray that the Court considers the hardships of our disabled veterans and honor the deep rooted moral obligations to protect those benefits earned in the battlefield or in the line of duty in the defense of our Nation.






_________-______________ (Phone Number)

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Recently it has come to the attention of Veterans-For-Change that many Veterans who live in the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA nursing home in Richmond, Virginia are being treated very poorly.

We desperately need the readers of our newsletter to come to the aid of ALL our Veterans who live in this facility by sending faxes and calling to say you demand and expect all our Veterans to received top notch care, be treated with dignity and respect, and that if their staff can’t handle the job, then replace them immediately.

All week this week we need to flood their fax machine and phone lines!

When calling simply tell them your name and state, and that you expect all inadequacies be corrected immediately and our Veterans received the best care there is!

Hunter Holmes McGuire

VA Medical Center

1201 Broad Rock Blvd.

Richmond, VA 23249

Phone: (804)-675-5500

Fax:         (804)-675-5585

Or you can copy and past the below into a fax and send to the Facility Director:

Dear Mr. Charles Sepich,

It has come to my attention that our Veterans who reside in your facility are not receiving the proper care and medical attention they not only deserve, but have more than earned by having served this great country of ours.

It’s shameful at best that so many complaints have come from your facility residents family members!

We expect you to greatly improve in the following areas immediately:

  1. Increased, and better trained staffing
  2. All meals to be delivered to each resident on time to prevent any weight loss
  3. All residents medications delivered and administered on time
  4. Better trained staff on the importance of immediate attention to resident needs
  5. Better response time to families, advanced preparation to off-site passes and medications
  6. Bed or wheelchair bound residents to be checked on at least once per hour, and if found to be sitting in or laying in their own urine and feces to be cleaned immediately
  7. Each resident be given proper body hygiene
  8. Each resident be given proper dental hygiene
  9. And an over-all increased quality of care and attention all our Veterans deserve

Since your facility is a VA Facility, I and Veterans nationwide not only expect, but demand the best possible care anywhere in the world be given those who served our Country!

I will be watching the reports that come out on the treatment of our heroes!




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Dark cloud looms over Ohio Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans are Denied access to Visit their Memorial!

The Ohio Veterans Memorial Park (OVMP) Board and the Clinton Cemetery Board have decided not to allow Veterans on motorcycles in a group of more then 250 access to the Ohio Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Using a set of Park Rules they came up with on April 16, 2010 and fencing in the Memorial so access to the 12 &1/2 acres is impossible.

 On May 17, 2009 to dedicate and promote the Park, 1700 motorcycles, 300 cars, 5 military trucks, 4 platoon size tents, a flatbed trailer, 2 cannons, over 7000 people occupied the 12 & 1/2 acres and still had enough room for a Huey Helicopter to land during the Dedication.

This is a blatant attempt to stop the 2nd annual Run To The Ohio Wall from taking place after endorsing and supporting the 1st Annual Run. I guess they don’t need our Veterans and their Families to promote THEIR Park anymore unless we are willing to pay them.

 From the beginning of the 2nd Annual Run they have demanded all the proceeds from the Run go to the OVMP Board. Our committee of Veterans decided day one, if the Run makes any monies they will go to Veterans Charities, i.e. The Fisher House, Wounded Warrior Project, TBI Foundation and PTSD Foundation.

Please voice your opinion!  Cut and paste this into an email or fax and send to: – fax# 330-882-5220 – Linda Murphy, Pres/ Cemetery Board – fax #330-773-2820 – Ken Noon, Trustee, OVVMP

Why would anyone deny these Ohio Veterans a couple of hours to pay homage to their fallen brothers?  The solution is very simple.  The Cemetery Board should grant exemption to the Run to visit the Ohio Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park for a few hours one day a year, every year.  No rules, no insurance regulations.  Do it in honor of the service and sacrifice of these Veterans and their families.


Who was this memorial built to honor, your Board or our Veterans?  It is unconscionable to think you would not be grateful for the Veterans wishing to come to the memorial.  Drop the bogus rules and retaliation and open up that Park to everyone at any time as it should be.   Your actions are unforgivable!

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How Deep Has Washington Reached Into Your Pockets?

Harlingen, Texas, April 16, 2010:  As is the case with most retired military personnel, I have taken care of my future and made sure my family is financially protected. I continued to work after my military career and I have saved for that rainy day.  I am certainly not in any category that could be considered wealthy.  With that being said, that rainy day I saved for seems to be here.

Still, I was interested in how all of these government-spending actions would personally impact my pocketbook.  I went to the Fox News website and looked up the “Its All Your Money” national debt calculation program  Boy did I get a shock.

First of all, I discovered that I was in that elite group that managed to pay more than 46% of the taxes that Washington miscreants mange to squander every year.  I hadn’t thought much about it at that point, but yesterday being Tax Day brought me a taste of reality.  It was no longer the “billions” and “trillions” that meant little to me.  We were now starting to talk real money…the kind that fits in your wallet.

I started looking up the individual programs and projects and viewing what my personal share of the debt totaled.

You know that kooky climate change, cap and tax or whatever they are now calling this Obama Treasury Raid.  Well, if they ram this through like they have done with other pieces of legislation, my personal tax load will be more than $10,500.

The so-called Stimulus bill has already given me a tax debt of more than $10,600 and the Barney Frank Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac fiasco put me $4,800 deeper in tax debt.  The TARP bill was small potatoes.  It has only set me back about $1,350 dollars, about the same as Obama’s jobs bill that didn’t produce jobs, but cost me another $1,300.

Unemployment compensation has already hit me up for $750 in taxes…and more is on the way.  Though the dollar figure isn’t too high, it angers me that I must pay out anything when the mess was created by government incompetence.

There has been a lot of media chatter about “earmarks”, which are just a small item on this long list of misspent public money.  My personal share of this year’s vote buying giveaways is only $11.  However, I don’t want to spend a bloody dime on any of that Washington gang.

The interesting thing about all the programs mentioned here is when voted on by the American people the vast majority, in percentages ranging from 70% to 96%, disapproves of the spending…including on those tiny little “earmarks”.

Oh yeah, one other thing.  I am in that financial category that President Obama repeatedly promised would never see a tax increase and would even find my taxes lowered.  Well, I don’t know how deep Washington has reached into your pockets, but in my case, it has hit the bottom.

Semper Fidelis

Thomas D. Segel

Veterans - They are worth it.


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Jim Davis is the son of USMC MGySgt. Lesley Davis (Ret.) who passed away on April 24, 2006, from ALS caused by Agent Orange. His dad’s mission before he passed on was to ensure all veterans, spouses, children, and widows all received the benefits, medical care and attention, and proper facilities from the VA. Because of the promise made to his dad to carry on the mission, in May 2006 Davis began as a one-man show sending out 535 letters every single week to all members of Congress requesting and politely demanding the fulfill their promises made over the past decades to care for life those who wore the uniform and their families. Veterans-For-Change was born in August 2006 with a very small membership of 25 people composed of veterans, spouses, widows, family members, and friends and to date continues to grow.