Military Veterans News Headlines for January 18th, 2017

Department of Defense Requesting Biodegradable Ammunition – Due to the large amount of ammunition that is used by the US military, the Department of Defense (DoD) is requesting an alternative that is environmentally friendly to cut down on waste. The ammo would be loaded with special seeds for plants that could break down the debris. The ammo alternatives include, but are not limited to: “low velocity 40mm grenades; 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm mortars; shoulder launched munitions; 120mm tank rounds; and 155mm artillery rounds.” The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratroy (CRREL) has bioengineered seeds with a delayed germination, which would provide additional time for the ammo to biodegrade. DoD hopes to source materials like water bottles, plastic containers, and composite plastics to create the rest of the ammo. Source: Fox News Investigation Underway at Marine Base After 13 Children Diagnosed with Cancer – After multiple children from the same housing area in Beaufort, South Carolina were diagnosed with cancer, parents worry the cause may be linked to their previous homes at Laurel Bay. A study began in June 2015 to determine if there is, “an exposure pathway for potential health hazards,” in and around the Laurel Bay housing area, according to a spokesman from the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. The results will become public once the investigation has concluded, which the parents request to be fast tracked. Two Marine wives believe the cancer could be stemming from oil tanks that were buried near the houses. The tanks were last used in the 1980’s before being emptied out, but it was revealed in the...

Military/Veteran News Headlines – November 23rd, 2016

Pentagon Allows Recruiters to Carry Concealed Handguns – According to a recent Defense Department directive effective Nov. 18, U.S. military personnel can request to carry concealed handguns for personal protection at government facilities. The policy also clarifies that commanders always had the ability to arm recruiters. Army Maj. Jamie Davis, a Defense Department spokesman, stated, “Some of the wording wasn’t very clear, so they’ve gone through and cleaned it up so it is very clear now that the commanders have that authority to use at their discretion.” There are certain guidelines, including when exactly troops can carry their weapons and where. According to Military Times, “The directive does not apply to troops in war zones or members of the National Guard who are not working in a federal status.” To access the full directive, please visit: www.dtic.mil Source: Military Times THANKSGIVING MEALS IN TEXOMA REGION The Deli Planet is hosting a free Thanksgiving meal and giveaway for 50 military members from the Texoma region. Military members can sign up for the free Thanksgiving meal on a first come first serve basis. “On top of serving a full Thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy The Deli Planet also made some special orders for service members in attendance.” The military members are also offered a chance to stay, relax, watch football and take home a special prize. The Deli Planet has partnered with 42 local and state businesses to gather prize donations so that all 50 military members receive gifts. There are gift cards, baskets, clothes, electronics and multiple other donation prizes that service members can take with...

Military/Veteran News – October 18th, 2016

MORE TROOPS SENT TO IRAQ The Department of Defense is sending 615 more U.S. troops to Iraq to aid government forces oust ISIS from the city of Mosul. To date there are 4,647 U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq. “In April, more than 200 troops, including additional special operations forces, were sent to Iraq to train and advise government forces readying for the Mosul assault. The Iraqis also got Apache attack helicopters and a HIMARS rocket system. Another $415 million was sent to the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.” Recently, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the U.S. would deploy an additional 560 troops to Iraq. Those troops would offer infrastructure and logistical support at Qayara airfield south of Mosul, Carter. Source: Military Times 19 STATES HOLDING OUT AGAINST MEDICAID EXPANSION More than 600,000 veterans will go without health insurance next year without the Medicaid expansion. More than 120,000 of these fall into the so-called “Medicaid gap” — income level not low enough to qualify for Medicaid, but too much money to qualify for federal subsidies to buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. Not all get or qualify for care by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Source: Military Times MILITARY HALLOWEEN COSTUME IDEAS 1. Rambo 2. Cadet 3. Captain America 4. Resident Evil- Alice 5. FBI agent 6. EMT 7. Top Gun 8. SWAT Halloween is a time for decorative costumes and candy. It is always helpful to have bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible. Glow sticks are a fun...

News Headlines for Thursday, August 25th

US Justice Department Phasing Out Private Prisons – Citing safety concerns, the United States will be allowing contracts with 13 private prisons to expire over the next 5 years. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates stated, “They do not save substantially on costs and […] they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.” An Inspector General report showed higher rates of violent incidents and rule infractions compared to government-run facilities. The stocks of private prisons dropped dramatically following the announcement. The Corrections Corporation of America stock dropped by 50% by Thursday, August 18th. A spokesman for the corporation warned of a potential trickle-down effect to state-run correctional facilities, where the majority of US prisoners are held. According to the Sentencing Project, there were 94,365 prisoners being held in private facilities overseen by states in 2010. Source: BBC News Devastating Earthquake Hits Italy – A 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The epicenter of the earthquake was Amatrice, but tremors could be felt up to 100 miles away in Rome. Mayor Sergio Pirozzi stated, “the town is no more,” following the disaster. As of Thursday morning, the massive earthquake has claimed at least 240 lives and displaced thousands of people. The Italian government is asking for blood donations and the Red Cross requests people to turn off their WiFi passwords to make communication easier for rescue workers. Please follow this link for ways to help the victims of the earthquake: IBTimes.com Source: CNN Combat Helmets Made by Prisoners Defective – According to a Justice Department Inspector General report, thousands of combat...

Department of Veterans Affairs Encouraged to Approve Toxic Exposure Claims

During a hearing on Capitol Hill this past Tuesday, senators stated the the US Department of Veterans Affairs must learn how to favor veterans when deciding to approve claims for illnesses and diseases related to environmental exposures and contaminations. Service members have been exposed to contaminants in locations ranging from the South China Sea to Irap, and the Arabian Desert to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, but the VA proceeds to participate in “passive-aggressive rebuttal of scientific findings” in order to deny veterans health care and compensation, according to Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. While speaking to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Burr requested its members to increase their oversight of the VA’s handling of toxic exposure claims, adding that while he is encouraged by VA Secretary Bob McDonald’s recent efforts to improve the department’s understanding of exposure-related illnesses, he believes more should be done. “To this day I remain appalled at the way the United States government has treated these families,” Burr said in regards to the 1 million plus residents of Camp Lejeune who consumed contaminated drinking water at the location from the mid-1950s through 1987. “Our government rewarded them for their service by negligently poisoning them.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., have sponsored a bill, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which would grant benefits to hundreds of thousands of sailors who served on aircraft carriers, destroyers, and other large Navy ships while in the waters of Vietnam and have illnesses related to the exposure of Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant. Currently, medical care and compensation is provided for veterans who served in...

Tomah VA Hospital Found Responsible for Veteran’s Death

An investigation held by the Department of Veterans Affairs has revealed that the death of a former Marine was caused by staff failing to properly prescribe medications and providing the improper medical response when the patient was found unresponsive. The veteran, Jason Simcakoski, passed away on August 30th, 2014 in the VA hospital mental health unit from “mixed drug toxicity.” Jason took 13 prescription medications, several of which cause respiratory depression, within a 24-hour period. Drugs such as Quetiapine and Tramadol are known to be sedatives. One of the newer medications, Suboxone, could also have contributed to the issue. As stated in the report, the prescribing doctors informed investigators that Simcakoski was able to leave the hospital for short intervals and accused that he, “obtained additional quantities of his prescription medications on his own and ingested them,” but investigators proved otherwise. Nearly all of the drugs found in the veteran’s system are able to cause sedation and the patient’s medical records confirmed that the medications were indeed prescribed by the VA providers. According the report, Simcakoski and his family were not advised of the risks of the new medications. It was also discovered that the Tomah VA hospital staff was incompetent in addressing the unresponsive veteran. They first failed to establish if he still had a heartbeat, failed to initiate immediate resuscitation, did not use a portable defibrillator, and did not have medication ready for an accidental overdose. “Furthermore, we learned unit staff stopped CPR when facility firefighters arrived [expecting they] would take over CPR efforts … however, firefighters at the facility are not designated as first-line staff to...