"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."
President George Washington
Is this the solution to contaminated water on military bases?
As a Pentagon task force works to come up with a plan to address cancer-linked chemicals in ground water on its bases, a group of civilian researchers is exploring a high-tech solution. The Enhanced Contact Plasma Reactor made its debut in September at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, according to a Tuesday release from the Air Force, in a field demonstration of its ability to break down per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance. “We are trying to destroy or degrade PFAS impacted groundwater using electrical discharge plasma,” principal investigator Selma Mededovic, of Clarkson University, said in the release.
The idea is that argon gas from the reactor concentrates perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOS and PFOA, generating plasma at the surface. The plasma then breaks down the PFAS molecules.
"This is the only technology that actually destroys PFAS molecules that has been demonstrated at this scale, it doesn’t just remove them from water,” co-principal investigator Tom Holsen said in the release. “All of the other demonstrations that we’re aware of remove it from the water through filtration so there is still a PFAS-containing waste. Our method actually destroys PFAS.”
“Other Than Honorable?” Veterans with “Bad Paper” seek long overdue benefits:
One Bad Conduct Discharge Veterans Day this year, in a nation now reflexively thankful for military service of all kinds, nearly 500,000 former service members are not included in our official expressions of gratitude.
These forgotten men and women had the misfortune to leave active duty with what’s called “bad paper.” That means they were discharged under conditions “other than honorable,” a determination made without the benefit of consistent standards applying to personnel decisions by all military branches or even individual commanders.
In civilian life, when a coal miner or construction worker gets fired from a hazardous job—for cursing out a supervisor, fighting with a co-worker, or engaging in other misbehavior—their loss of employment doesn’t render them ineligible to receive state or federal workers compensation for a documented job-related injury or illness (like black lung or asbestosis).
When you’re drummed out for misconduct in uniform, the punishment is loss of similar benefits—including Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare, disability pay, and access to GI bill programs that make higher education and housing more affordable for those who have served.
Yet, in each branch of the U.S. military, when you’re drummed out for misconduct in uniform, the punishment is loss of similar benefits—including Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare, disability pay, and access to GI bill programs that make higher education and housing more affordable for those who have served.
Among those adversely affected by this disqualification are many men and women who need specialized treatment for traumatic brain injuries or PTSD which they acquired during repeated combat deployments or through military sexual assault. Soldiers who might have performed well before experiencing such physical and mental wounds often misbehave as a result of them—getting into fights, going AWOL, or abusing prescription drugs and alcohol. The result can be an “other than honorable” discharge that denies them later VA care.
Legislation - H.R. 4890::
This bill is also know as the Veteran Deportation Prevention and Reform Act. It will prevent the government from deporting almost any noncitizen veterans. Two exemptions are allowed: if the veteran has been convicted for a violent crime or a crime that threatens U.S. national security.
The bill would also require the Department of Homeland Security to create a program allowing more noncitizen veterans to be granted permanent residence, and create a path to citizenship for children and spouses of noncitizen veterans.
Marine donates his uniform so hit-and-run victim can be buried in it:
Veterans Samuel Jackson of Norristown and Richard Dunn of Conshohocken never met, but one Marine Corps uniform will connect them forever. This past Tuesday, Dunn donated his uniform so that Jackson, whose life was taken by a hit-and-run driver, could be buried in it with honor.
Wilderness expeditions help combat veterans adjust to civilian life:
Naturalist John Muir said that '"nature may heal and give strength to body and sould alike"and that is the guiding force behind the Wilderness Therapy program offered by the group, Warrior Expeditions. They organize three to six month long outdoor expeditions to help combat veterans heal the scars of war and adjust ot civilian life.
Many veterans can be busy trying to find a job, by a home, and work on personal relationships within days of returning home from a war zone. Spending a few months decompressing in the wilderness with other veterans before jumping headfirst into civilian life can be great for these veterans caaording to Scott Gobin, the group's founder.
New Marine Corps PFT rules will start soon:
Marine will soon get the option to swap 'crunches' on their physical fitness tests with a 'plank'. Officer candidates reporting to training in January wilol be the first to see the change as the Marine Corps updated their graduation requirements fo candidates reporting to Officer Candidate School in 2020. Candidates will have to hold a plant for at least one minute to the get the minimum score required on that portion and graduate from OCS. The requirement is the same for men and women. The exercise must be held for four minutes to receive the full 100 points.
VA claims assistance:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is transforming the way Veterans learn about and apply for benefits earned, through a new video tutorial completed in October highlighting the digital Disability Compensation Benefits Claims tool released earlier this year. Built with Veterans, for Veterans, — an iterative development process that incorporates user testing and human-centered design principles — the tool is now available allowing Veterans with previously filed claims to have more control over submissions and represents an innovative leap forward in VA services “The Disability Compensation Benefits Claim tool lessens the administrative and paperwork burden for Veterans, and shortens the processing timeline for benefits claims,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This innovative tool, along with the companion tutorial video series, represents VA’s commitment to providing Veterans quality service through digital transformation.”
VA cancer care: VA to launch major Study into military toxic exposure:
The Department of Veterans Affairs will launch a major study into military exposure to toxic environments to get a better understanding of whether there is a connection to cancers and other diseases afflicting service members, the agency’s chief research officer said 13 NOV. Rachel Ramoni, the chief research and development officer for the VA, said despite generations of men and women returning home from serving in wars overseas to face cancer diagnoses at home, the agency has not yet devoted resources to discover the root causes. “I’ve been speaking a lot with [Vietnam veterans] in particular, and they, I think, for good reason, have been irritated with us as an organization because we have not done a lot of work, especially clinical work on military exposures,” she said. Ramoni was speaking at a conference on veterans prostate cancer rates sponsored by ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer. The group has reported that veterans are twice as likely to have prostate cancer as the general population, with more than 489,000 veterans currently getting treated for prostate cancer within the VA health care system. Ramoni said that as a result of conversations with hundreds of veterans to help shape the study, the agency will also be looking at the impact on veterans’ kids, and whether toxic exposure while serving is connected to birth defects in their children.
VA medical records update: iPhone access now available::
Veterans with iPhones can now view their Department of Veterans Affairs medical records through their phone’s Health app. VA and Apple began rolling out the capability during the summer but issued formal announcements this week, just ahead of Veterans Day. “We have delivered veterans an innovative new way to easily and securely access their health information,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said 6 NOV in a release. “Veterans deserve access to their health data at any time and in one place, and with health records on the Health app, VA has pushed the veterans experience forward.”
Veterans will see an aggregated view of their VA health care information such as lab results, medical history, procedures and medications. Information from private medical providers also is available if that provider participates in the Apple Health program. More than 400 companies are on board, including Johns Hopkins, University of California San Diego, Quest Diagnostics and Allscripts. Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said helping veterans further understand their health is a way to show the company’s gratitude for their service. “By working with the VA to offer Health Records on iPhone, we hope to help those who served have greater peace of mind that their health care is in good hands,” Williams said in a release.
Veterans in the VA health system have had access to their medical records through the eBenefits and the MyHealtheVet websites. The VA’s “Blue Button” records sharing system also gives community care providers access to VA records. According to Apple, all information is encrypted and protected by the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch or Face ID. The data is downloaded via an encrypted connection directly from the VA to the app and does not “traverse Apple’s network during this download,” according to the company’s website.. Once on the app, the information is encrypted by the iPhone’s HealthKit database. Every iPhone has the Health app, one of the standard applications provided under the iPhone’s operating system. It can be used to track activity, nutrition, sleep, vital signs and other information pertaining to fitness and health. Veterans wishing to access their records must open the app, and under “Access Your Records,” tap “Get Started.” They can then select the Department of Veterans Affairs under the search page. For the time being, veterans who use Android devices cannot access their VA medical records via their phones. VA has not said whether it plans to partner with Google to make the option available. [Source: MilitaryTimes | Patricia Kime | November 7, 2019 ++]