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Senator Bernie Sanders is now the Chairman of the Senate VA Committee, and he can change the way veterans are treated. As many of you know I am a totally disabled veteran of military service, I served from the Vietnam Era, Oct 30, 1973- Sep 2, 1982 andthe Georgia National Guard from 1988 thru November 1990 when I was activated by federal orders for the first Gul War known as Desert Storm and was discharged in May 1991.

I became service connected in Dec 2003 for PTSD at 100% P&T  and cardiac conditions at 100% level in June 2009 back dated to Dec 2003 for the effective date of disability. Like most other disabled veterans I lost my family to divore after I lost my house and autos to repossession due to not being able to pay the bills while I dealt with the VA Regional office attempting to get compensation for my medical issues.

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When I enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War era, and re-enlisted again in 1976, then joined the National Guard in 1988 and was federalized when the First Gulf War began in November 1990 and was kept until the unit was deactivated in May 1991 at Fort Stewart, Ga.

I became totally disabled by service connected medical conditions in June 2002, and like  other workers I paid my federal and state income taxes  from 1973-2002 but then my body failed me and my earnings stopped. But my battles with my government were far from over, the fun and games at being  taken care of by my grateful nation became a full time battle for my wife and I. Nothing about it was "easy" the people at the VA Regional Offices I assure you are great stewards of the nations money,  if you can show you are  100% disabled they will try and get away with granting you 50% and hope that makes you happy and you will go away. It works with some veterans and they give up  and don't want to spend the next 2-3 years fighting  for more as they will be accused of being greedy.

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Gulf War
Bob Hope and Ann Jillian perform at the USO Christmas Tour during Operation Desert ShieldTo support troops participating in Operation Desert Shield, USO centers opened in Saudi Arabia. Entertainers performing for the troops included Jay Leno, Steve Martin, Delta Burke, Ann Jillian, Gerald McRaney, Marie Osmond, the Pointer Sisters, and Bob Hope on his final USO tour.[25]

Afghanistan and Iraq To support troops participating in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, USO centers opened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar. USO centers number more than 160 around the world. Recently the USO opened centers at Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Riley, Kan., Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colo.; and centers in Afghanistan. The USO provides a variety of programs and services, including orientation programs, family events, free Internet and e-mail access, free drinks and snacks, free phone calls home and recreation services. One of the newer programs, called "USO in a Box," delivers program materials ranging from DVD players and videos to musical instruments to remote forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

U.S. military personnel and their families visit USO centers more than eight million times each year.

From June 8 to 11, 2009, T.V. personality Stephen Colbert traveled to Iraq to film his show The Colbert Report for four days in a USO sponsored event.

Other entertainers who have traveled to the Middle East to perform include Al Franken (who made six USO tours in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan[26] before being elected a United States Senator from Minnesota), Craig Ferguson, Gary Sinise, Zac Brown,Jessica Simpson, Carrie Underwood, Drowning Pool, Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, Mayra Veronica, Carlos Mencia, O.A.R., Dave Attell, Trace Adkins, Kathleen Madigan, Louis C.K.,[27] Dane Cook, Lewis Black, Third Day, Colin Quinn, Kathy Griffin and Neil McCoy.[28]

The USO is also providing services for the annual "Tribute to the Troops" special of World Wrestling Entertainment. They have aired WWE RAW from Afghanistan and Iraq every Christmas in the United States in a pre-taped show from the combat zone.

On July 16, 2012 Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen announced that he will donate at least $1 million dollars to the USO. This will be among the largest single donations ever given to the troop morale-boosting organization.[29]

[edit] Honoring Bob HopeIn 1996, the U.S. Congress honored Bob Hope by declaring him the "first and only honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces."[30] According to Hope biographer William Faith, his reputation has become ingrained in the "American consciousness" because he had flown millions of miles to entertain G.I.s during both wartime and peace. His contribution to the USO began in 1941 and ended with Operation Desert Shield in 1991, spending 48 Christmases overseas with American service personnel.[25] He was always treated as "an asset to the U.S. Government with his willingness to entertain whenever they needed him."[30] After WWII was declared over, the USO had sent out an "impassioned bulletin" asking entertainers not to abandon the GIs now that the war was over. Hope was among the first to say yes. The Military Order of the Purple Heart notes that "his contributions to the USO are well known: they are legend."[31]

As a result of his non-stop entertainment to both the civilian population and the military, he received numerous other honors over the years: a C-17 Air Force plane was named The Spirit of Bob Hope; a naval vessel was named the USNS Bob Hope; and streets, schools, hospitals, and a golf tournament were also named in his honor. A Senate resolution declared him "a part of American folklore." The Guinness Book of Records called him the most honored entertainer ever. And during his 1993 televised birthday celebration, when he turned 90, General Colin Powell saluted Hope "for his tireless USO trouping", which was followed by onstage tributes from all branches of the armed forces. General William Westmoreland spoke about his loyalty to the GI throughout the gritty Vietnam years. And bandleader Les Brown, who was with him during many of his tours, mentioned that his band "had seen more of Hope's ass in the last forty years than any of Hope's immediate family."[30]

War correspondent Quentin Reynolds wrote in 1943, "He and his troupe would do 300 miles in a jeep, and give four shows... One of the generals said Hope was a first rate military target since he was worth a division; that that's about 15,000 men. Presumably the Nazis appreciated Hope's value, since they thrice bombed towns while the comic was there."[10]

During the Vietnam War years he gave a number of high-rating television specials and sensed that the media had given him a broad endorsement for continuing on his GI mercy missions. Soon after his Christmas show in Saigon in 1967, he learned that the Vietcong had planned a terrorist attack at his hotel against him and his entire troupe, missing him by ten minutes. He was later "mystified," writes Faith, "and ... increasingly intolerant of the pockets of dissent. Draft-card burnings on college campuses angered him..." "Can you imagine," Hope wrote in a magazine article, "... that people in America are burning their draft cards to show their opposition and that some of them are actually rooting for your defeat?"[30] In the spring of 1973, Hope began writing his fifth book, The Last Christmas Show, which was dedicated to "the men and women of the armed forces and to those who also served by worrying and waiting." He signed over his royalties to the USO.

His final Christmas show was during Operation Desert Shield in 1990. The show was not easy, notes Faith. "There were so many restrictions. Hope's jokes were monitored by the State Department to avoid offending the Saudis... and the media was restricted from covering the shows... Because in Saudi Arabia national custom prescribes that women must be veiled in public, Ann Jillian, Marie Osmond, and the Pointer Sisters were left off Hope's Christmas Eve show."[30]

In 2009, Stephen Colbert performing his last episode of weeklong taping in Iraq for his The Colbert Report show, carried a golf club on stage and dedicated it to Bob Hope's service for the USO.

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I am like most Americans, I pay my bills on time, my car payment, utilities and the mortgage. Despite the fact that since we bought our home the value has dropped from 180,000  to 162,000  so we now owe as much as the value, and no equity. Compared to some areas we have been lucky, I understand many homes in Southern Calif have dropped about 50% of their value, Florida the entire state has lost huge amounts of real estate value, and I understand  the word "time shares" is a really nasty word there now.

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It appears that Congressman Hunter has attempted to use his position as a Congressman to get the Marine Corp to  stop administrative actions to remove SGT Gary Stein from the rolls based on his actions that are embarassing to the Marine Corp, and after having opportunities to take down the offending web postings he  defiantly reposted them claiming his 1st Amendment rights.

Anyone who has served in the military knows that there are very strict limits on what you can say, write, or do in relation to politics, NOTHING in uniform or that can link you to the military, it is covered under Article 134 of the UCMJ. See below for the entire article:

Poll

Should he be thrown out?

92%38 votes
4%2 votes
2%1 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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Our Governor decided that it  is against the law to protest after 6 pm on the State House Property.  She had the S.C. Bureau of Protective Services troopers took 19 Occupy Columbia protesters in front of the State House into custody in a driving rainstorm around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

 The State is updating the story as it has happened.

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Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 05:30 PM PDT

Why I am one of the 99%

by testvet6778

I have attempted to try and live my life according to the American dream, I graduated high school, I enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War. Since my entire family had served in the Army since 1776 it was just part of growing up, we were going in the Army bone way or another.

I took college classes while in the Army and after my  ETS (end time service) I used my GI Bill benefits while working full time at an aircraft factory on the night shift to attend classes during the day as they paid my tuition, books and provided about 500 a month to help with my bills, as I was married with 2 small daughters.It all helped. But in April 1984 I was sent a letter from the Postal Service that my name was on top of the  hire list and I needed to report for a physical and interview, my test scores of 99.5 plus my 5 points for veterans preference put me in the first group of new hires. I  became one of the 700,000 employees that had a good middle class job with great benefits for myself and my family.

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I am a totally disabled veteran who served this nation in two wars, from the Vietnam Era  October 1973  thru Desert Storm and my discharge in May 1991. I was lucky and spent the Vietnam war era on the DMZ in Korea and I spent my time in the Middle East in Oman at Khasab Air Force Base which is as far notrth in Oman as you can get, at dusk we would watch the smuggler boats go into Iran to sell their goods.

I started using the VA healthcare system back in 1997 when I went to them with a series of TIA's, which then led to a triple bypass in Feb 1997. I spent the next 2 years in and out of surgery for heart caths and  stints to be placed, these seemed to be about every 4 months for the next 2 years. Then I spent a few years with no problems, until June 2002. Then the chit hit the fan again, Congestive heart failure showed up and led to my medical retirement as of June 2002, I was only 46.

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Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:30 PM PDT

Medical fix it time

by testvet6778

I have been in and out of ICUs  since April with Congestive Heart Failure, they sent me to MUSC and Dr Peura  she evaluated me for either as LVAD device (same type of machine that Dick  Cheney has) ot for a heart and lung transplant, which the team after all the tests and lab work came back and stated that my only option is medicate only, that there are no surgical options available for me.

They allowed the only thing that can be done is to install a Bi-ventricular pacemaker made by Saint Jude Medical.

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The WAPO article on this issue  deals primarily with  Washington DC, however this is an issue that is affecting every state and most cities across this nation. What used to be seldom done is now becoming a common place occurrence in this economic wasteland.

“We haven’t seen anything like this since the Depression,” said Frances Goldscheider, a Brown University sociologist who has studied families and living arrangements. “Overwhelmingly, it’s the recession’s effect on people’s ability to maintain a house. You have the foreclosures on one hand, and no jobs on the other. That’s a pretty double whammy.”

The number of adult children living with their parents — one slice of the phenomenon — soared in the Washington suburbs and in the District compared with a decade ago. The biggest increase was in Virginia, which experienced a 45 percent leap. In Maryland, the jump was 40 percent; in the District, 29 percent.

I have my own experience with this new way of life.

Poll

How many people here have family members from their extended family living with them?

35%7 votes
35%7 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
30%6 votes

| 20 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 01:50 PM PDT

PTSD August Letter from the NCPTSD

by testvet6778

I would think by now  most if not ALL people who have been here 6 months or longer would know that I am a 100% P&T disabled by PTSD and have been since Dec 2003. I am rated at the 100% schedular rating, not the 70% TDIU  that many veterans with PTSD have awarded to them.  In other words I have had some serious issues since I walked in the door of the VA back in June 2002, like most veterans I knew nothing about PTSD  or a VA compensation claim.

I assumed that the VA  would do the right thing, I was soon to learn  "right"  does not mean anything to them, can you prove YOUR military service caused your current medical problems  I started my claim in Dec 2002  since I didn't do it right I lost compensation from Dec 2003  thru Dec 2003  when I finally fired the Service Officer I had from the American Legion, and my wife and I submitted a letter with the medical issues I had that could be linked to my Army service from 1973-1982 active duty, and a few things caused when I was activated for the First Gulf War  from November 1990 - May 1991 with a National Guard unit, I also went back with the National Guard unit in August and September 1991 to Oman where we halped construction at Khasab Air Force Base on the Persian Gulf.

Hell, I don't have "issues"  I have a full subscription, my cardiac problems are also service connected  and next week the VA is finally going to put in a biventricular pace maker and see if that can keep my heart beating a few more months or years, I want all I can get. I am not ready for that long dirt nap.

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Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 07:39 PM PDT

Proud of my son & Poll

by testvet6778

A year ago I tried my best to talk my son out of enlisting in the Army and to follow in his fathers footsteps after high school. I wanted my son to go to college instead of enlisting in the Army during a war.  I enlisted during Vietnam and he enlisted during the  current wars  Iraq and Afghanistan.  He said he will take college classes during his off duty hours  and do his military service at the same time.

I thought about doing that but it never really worked out that way, too much field duty made  classes impossible all except correspondence courses, in the 70s the internet was a dream. I did go to college but it was not until I  left the Army in 1982 and was working at Rohr Industries painting aircraft parts at night and RCC in the morning, on the GI Bill.

Poll

Am I a selfish bastard?

16%4 votes
75%18 votes
4%1 votes
4%1 votes

| 24 votes | Vote | Results

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