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VOL 2 NO. 21


Father, Daughter Return From Iraq

Before leaving Camp Atterbury, Ind., for deployment to Iraq in 2009, Army 1st Sgt. Bob Hempstead and his daughter, then Pfc. Crystal Hempstead pose for a photo during their pre-mobilization training at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. Crystal Hempstead since has been promoted to sergeant. The soldiers serve with the Indiana National Guard's 1313th Engineer Company. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Elizabeth Gorenc By Army Sgt. David Bruce ployment, she came to me and asked to go. Camp Atterbury Public Affairs We were short mechanics, so we took her." Sgt. Crystal Hempstead said it didn't It's difficult for any leader to send some- seem to her to be a big issue. one into harm's way, but it's especially "Because there was such a rank differhard when that someone is your daughter. ence, it wasn't like I was going to be workArmy 1st Sgt. Robert Hempstead, first ing directly with him," she explained. "I sergeant for the Indiana National Guard's think he handled it very well. It was frus1313th Engineer Company, knows what trating, because it was almost like he was that's like. The company, based in ColumSee page14 bus, Ind., recently returned from a tour in Iraq, and Hempstead's daughter, Crystal, is one of the unit's soldiers. "This sort of thing is unusual and caused some initial concern among the command group," Hempstead said. "She was part of 1413th Engineer Company as a mechanic. When she heard of the de-

Remembering Those Who Gave All


Independence Day - A Necessary Observance

By Mark Alexander The Patriot Post If our nation’s Founders could visit us on this, our 234nd Independence Day, what would they make of us? What would they declare of us? A hint can be discerned in a letter from John Adams to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, as the Declaration of Independence had just been approved. “It ought to be commemorated,” said the man who would become our second president, “as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the

Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Day’s Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.” Americans have maintained the “Pomp and Parade” for more than two centuries now, and the “Bonfires and Illuminations” are commonplace, but how often do we recognize Independence Day as “the Day of Deliverance?” How often do we honor it with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty”? How often do we contemplate the cost of our freedom, “the Toil and Blood and Treasure?” Our Founders believed that independSee page 8


ww w.theveteran m

Independence Day

Mail Call

much I appreciate every- raised to help buy back concern, prayers, kind Marine Seeking Letters thing that was done on my tools and other things that notes and shared well to Home for a Book. behalf. I won't dwell upon were stolen while I was in wishes. These notes and ofwhat happened to my home Iraq. I have received sup- fers of support have meant Our regualr readers may while I was deployed to port in the form of mone- the world to me. remember Jeffrey Farmer, Afghanistan but instead tary donations, a vehicle to Thank you again for your who while serving in Iraq, want you to know how drive, approximately 64 T- support. Please let others lost all of his belongings to your thoughtfulness got me shirts from people across know on my behalf of my a thief. Well, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re happy through a very tough situa- the United States and even gratefulness. to say that our readers and a couple from abroad. Sincerely, tion. many others came together It has been overwhelming Items were donated to be Jeffrey A. Farmer to make for a happy ending how many people stepped sold at auction to raise to his plight! up and did things for some- money as well. A retired Hello, one that they didn't even Lieutenant Colonel sent his Dear editor; I don't know how to say Hero Chase Thank you for the article know. Through the efforts spare scuba equipment to thank-you for your support of the American Legion, me to replace mine. These on my VN journey in this Zuber and kindness. The words Bill Lockhart, and the are just a few examples. recent publication. I want USMC â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thank Youâ&#x20AC;? do not adeTrenton Arts Council, and People have done so much to commend the contribuUnit: VMA-542 quately begin to tell how many others, money was at a time when our econ- tors and founders of VetIntelligence Analyst omy has been so strained. eran's Voice for the THE VETERANSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; VOICE is distributed free of charge to VetHometown: MoI also cannot begin to say integrity in this publicaeransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Homes, Vet Centers, and select military bases. If lalla,OR thank you enough to the tion. It is the first publicayour VFW, AL, or other service organization would like Currently: people who expressed their tion I have seen that I relate to recieve the paper, we will send 50-75 copies per issueJacksonville, NC to. I would like to see more for $14.00 a month. It is also mailed to elected governin my area for the public ment officials, and directly to the homes of individual and veteran's family use. I am compiling a book of subscribers. letters that service memKeep up the good work. THE VETERANSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; VOICE is an independent, grassroots pubbers from any branch wrote Sheron Green, VN lication with no government or service organization affiliation and is constructed from information received from a variety of sources. Some articles may lean towards political expressions and are published for the topics contained within. These articles DO NOT necessarily express the opinions of this publication. We thank all of                                  7KDQN <RX )RU <RXU 6HUYL FH these sources for their input. We welcome any newsworthy stories or photos for publishing consideration. Any correspondence, including opinions or comments (limited to 350 words and may be edited for brevity), can be e-mailed (preferred) to: or mail to: 1145 N. 100 W., Layton, UT 84041 or call toll-free: /HH%O YG (888)-826-3215. Visit us on the web at: 6KHO E\YL O O H , 1 Publisher: Patriotic Publications-editor: Clairice Still  Minkler, Associate Editor: Lucas Necessary, Distribution: Elijah Necessary. Writers: Susan Barrera, MSGT Bruce Salisbury, Major Van Harl USAF( Retired), Tom Segel, Frank Praytor, Thomas Stoddert, Greg Reeson, Jim Kouri, Jim Strickland, Military Advisor Dick Wells, *ASK JIM STRICKLAND- VETERANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ADVOCATE Marnie Mowles- Vet of the Month & Vetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s View with Tony Fialkowski. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED-Contact *ASK THOMAS STODDERT- FORMER VA RATING SPECIALIST publisher for reprint permission. *ASK THE DOC- DR. ELAINE TRIPI The opinions expressed by contributing writers are exVISIT US ONLINE FOR INFORMATION AND UPDATES pressly their own and may or may not represent the opinions of the editorial staff, its publisher or our advertisers.



to their loved ones in case they did not survive while they were deployed to a combat zone. I personally wrote one while I was deployed with 2D LAR, Alpha Co. during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004. I know that it is not an easy letter to write; however, I do believe that these letters properly demonstrate the sacrifice that service members are willing to make, as well as the commitment to God, country, and family that they have made. I would like the first portion of the book to be comprised of letters that were thankfully not sent, and the second half of the book to be letters that families relieved from their loved ones after they were killed in combat. I will need a lot of support from the families for this part because I would like to include a biography and picture of each of the individuals who died. It is my way of properly showing respect to the sacrifice they made. I would also like to scan in the original letter that was written so that people are in a sense hearing the true voice of the individual who wrote the letter. I know that this is a huge endeavor; however, I believe that it is a worthwhile project, and it is gaining support very quickly. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to make a contribution to this project, please write to: Dear editor; Really appreciate the current information on getting help from the VA and also the wide variety of topics covered in the paper. Rick Smith Gary, IN

Independence Day

How Many Bunnies? icated to doing the job, and who took care to appear military at all times. I enjoyed seeing them perform their duties, and they always rendered the sharpest of salutes, when required. One stormy winter day, I had driven out from town, just to be sure that everything was alright, and towards evening, we realized Bruce Salisbury USAF(ret) that the snow was so deep, with his lovely wife, Dottie. the wind so vicious, that the roads could not be travIn the winter of 1956, I eled, so I called my wife to was stationed at Peterson let her know I’d not be Field, Colorado, close in to coming home that night, Colorado Springs, and as- and I settled in to sleep signed to Ent Air Force there at the Crew Quarters. Base, which was part of Air The young mechanics were Defense Command. pleased to have me for Pete Field was well out of company. town in those days and a On into the night, those pleasant little place to be kids found out that in the working and living. My deep snow, the hoards of family lived in Colorado rabbits that plagued the Springs, near to Prospect airstrip, couldn't hop very Lake, and we loved the well. The bunnies would town. jump up, and then disapMy duties were wrapped pear into the soft fluffy around being a Line Chief, snow. Soon enough the and one of the interesting kids started to gather these headaches was to be in rabbits, and stuff them into charge of the Transient burlap bags. I stood at the Alert Facility, which did window, and watched the the repair, refueling, main- crew driving up to an area, tenance and scheduling of jumping out, and diving on transient aircraft, and the frantic rabbits. Close to like. The Transient Alert midnight, I radioed for all "shack" was always well hands to come in to the manicured and polished, Alert Facility, because the because this Base was the wind was howling, and the Headquarters landing strip, temperature had taken a for Air Defense Command, dive. and it was common for The crew came in, tired generals, and politicians, to and happy. However, all wander into our building. those bunnies that had been The first order of busi- confined in those burlaps ness, in the morning, was bags in the open beds of the for the crew of mechanics, trucks while the trucks to get themselves, and the were zipping up and down quarters polished up in case the runways, well, they a dignitary wandered in. were catatonic critters that We had a great crew of were almost frozen stiff. young men, who were ded- The young men came in

lugging bags full of bunnies and since they had not had time to count their catch, they opened a big equipment box, just inside the front door of the facility, and began pouring the almost frozen bunnies into the box. The cold little “fur balls”, were just stiff, and I sat there sipping coffee, and watched them pour bag after bag of the cold, motionless little things into that box. The box was so full that they had to rearrange bunnies, here and there, before they could close the big overhead lid, and latch it. Now the guys got out of their Arctic Gear, gathered up coffee, and sat about speculating on how many rabbits were in that box. They all agreed that this had to be a "record", since they had never ever done this before. As these guys got warm, they became weary from all the exercise they'd had, and with snow everywhere, I made the decision to send them to bed and not concern myself with cleaning up the floors or mopping up puddles. We left the Charge of Quarters to guarding the place, and we dived into bed. At about 0500, I awoke to the sound of Snow Plows, and realized that we might have visitor. The Officer In Charge, was a nice young Captain, who always arrived at 0600, to look in on us, to share coffee, and to inspect the area. Waking up the guys, I set them to polishing the facility. In half

"Man was given a sense of humor to compensate for nature's law of gravity." Anonymous

an hour, the place looked great, and we were getting ready to send the guys off to breakfast, when the door opened, and in walked the Captain. With a smile, he stepped over toward the "box". He always peered into this equipment box, before he did anything else, just to see if everything was neatly stacked. I then remembered the rabbits, but I didn't have time to warn the poor man. He raised the lid, and suddenly the air was full of (now warm) bunnies. He slammed the lid, but all that did was squash a few rabbits, which caused them to squall like banshees, which prompted him to jerk the lid open, releasing another torrent of rabbits. The Captain threw the lid wide open and fled from the building. When all the rabbits were evicted, and the little yellow puddles mopped up, and all the rabbit poop gotten rid of, the kids once more started talking about the "great rabbit hunt". When I asked them how many rabbits they had captured, the realized they really didn't know, but one boy (from Tennessee), declared that he thought there was more bunnies came out of that box, than what they had put in there.

HVAF Summer Festival Poker Run

The HVAF Summer Festival is quickly approaching on Saturday, July 17th. The festival is planned to include a car and motorcycle show, poker run, live music, raffle and 50/50 drawings, silent auction, food, games and prizes. The festival is being hosted at HVAF, 964 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis from 10 a.m.—5 p.m. Please see below for more information about the Bikers for HVAF Poker Run and the car and motorcycle show. The Bikers for HVAF Poker Run registration begins at 8 a.m. at HarleyDavidson of Indianapolis from there the ride will stop at Noblesville Honda Kawasaki, Westfield Yamaha Suzuki, HVAF Warman housing and come to an end at the HVAF Summer Festival. Entry is $25 per bike and $10 for an additional rider. All poker run registrants will receive a wrist band for lunch provided by


HVAF and free entry into the optional motorcycle show. The top three poker hands will win a prize. The Car and Motorcycle show is currently accepting entry registrations. Registration is $20. Awards will begin at 4 p.m. and given to the Top 25 and People’s Choice. If you are interested in registering for the car show please click here to print and mail the registration form. Please come and join us as we raise awareness for homeless veterans and their families. All of the proceeds raised will benefit the homeless veterans served by HVAF of Indiana, Inc. For more information contact HVAF at 317-951-0688.

Checks & Balances Bookkeeping & Tax Service 220 Hamilton St. Crawfordsville, IN 47933


Independence Day

Got Questions?Get Answers....

by Jim Strickland The information provided herein may or may not apply to your particular circumstances. This information is provided for your general knowledge only. Please consult an attorney or other qualified representative before you make a descion.

Jim; My files are in Washington for a final decision to be made. I called the number provided to me to check on progress of the decision. I was told my files had been turned over to the VFW and when they got them back a decision would be made on my claim. I was in Vietnam in 68 - 69 on Swift boats. My claim is for diabetes type 2. Can you help me understand why the VA would turn my files over to the VFW? I started out down this confusing road before I heard about you. Thank You Reply; I don't understand why your case would be in

Washington. That implies that it's an appeals case at the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) and that you have had a previous denial. You say you're a Vietnam veteran with brown water service so there should be a reasonably quick decision on the presumptive DMII. That above is true unless there had been some question of the brown water service or your "boots on the ground" duty. If that came up, there may be no end to the loop of remands and appeals you'll have to endure. At some point in your claim you may have signed a Power of Attorney (POA) document allowing VFW to represent you. If your appeal arrived at the board

Disabled Veteran? Help is finally here!!!

Fighting for Veteran Disability & Social Security Disability benefits is our job. 1-877-527-5529 Call the lawyers at Kazmierczak & Kazmierczak Get the help you seek today!

without appropriate representations assigned or working on your case, the BVA may have sent it off to your designated representative to have them "perfect" your file. If you have more data or if anything happens, I'd like to hear more about it. Jim; I have a 100% permanent rating I have had it for 12 years on base privileges and all that. I lost my colon and other issues all service connected. I was told if I had this rating for 10 years I was protected by law and VA could not reduce it. I use VA for all of my ostomy supplies and meds. I also live in Panama and travel back to the States to see VA. My question; Is it now twenty years before I am safe with my rating and do I need to go back to the States for my check up? Also I was covered for all of my medical needs in the states both service connected and none service connected. Is that still true overseas? Reply; There's always confusion around the 20 year rule. It's at 20 years VA can't change the rating...not 10. It's been 20 for as long as I know. Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Re-

lief PART 3â&#x20AC;&#x201D;ADJUDICATION Protection § 3.951 Preservation of disability ratings. (a) A readjustment to the Schedule for Rating Disabilities shall not be grounds for reduction of a disability rating in effect on the date of the readjustment unless medical evidence establishes that the disability to be evaluated has actually improved. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1155) (b) A disability which has been continuously rated at or above any evaluation of disability for 20 or more years for compensation purposes under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be reduced to less than such evaluation except upon a showing that such rating was based on fraud. Likewise, a rating of permanent total disability for pension purposes which has been in force for 20 or more years will not be reduced except upon a showing that the rating was based on fraud. The 20year period will be computed from the effective date of the evaluation to the effective date of reduction of evaluation. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 110)


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[34 FR 11970, July 16, 1969, as amended at 57 FR 10426, Mar. 26, 1992] Even then VA can change the rating if they can prove fraud. Medical care is generally restricted to service connected conditions except in e m e r g e n c i e s . rbeneficiaries/fmp/fmp.asp However, there is a 10 year protection, and it centers on protection from severing service connection. This is equally as important as the 20 year protection. Fraud and character of discharge issues can be cause for severance of s/c ... but if a veteran is s/c for 10 years or more, and no fraud or character of discharge is at issue, the disability must be rated as it is warranted under the schedule of rating. Thus, even if they discover that the condition should not have been granted s/c, they cannot reduce it to zero unless the evidence indicates that it warrants a zero. If there are secondary conditions or nsc condition subject to aggravation by the protected disability, they must be granted regardless of the erroneous prior grant. "Never drive through a small Southern town at 100mph with the local sheriff's drunken 16year-old daughter on your lap." by, Anonymous member of a chain gang. "Before marriage, a man yearns for the woman he loves. After marriage, the 'Y' becomes silent." Anonymous.

Independence Day

Saudi Syndrome from a VA Perspective

By Thom Stoddert

When the troops started returning after Desert Storm there were a host of complaints made to government agencies for various for symptoms of illness. There was much talk of Saudi Vets actually dying from unknown conditions marked by symptoms that doctors could not provide a diagnosis for. The VA did recognize there was a problem, but was unsure how to handle it at first. Traditionally if a soldier developed an illness or injury that was linked to their service, the diagnosed condition was evaluated and given the status of Service Connection. Compensation was paid to the veteran based on the evidence the medical documents provided. The problem for the VA was evaluating something that couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be diagnosed.

Researchers looked at every thing from sand mites, to spirochetes native to the Middle East, to depleted Uranium. An answer for the veterans who served at the various locations in the Persian Gulf region has not been found. In a local newspaper, there was an article describing how various research organizations have not come up with any explanation, except that the evidence may indicate there is no â&#x20AC;&#x153;Saudi Syndrome.â&#x20AC;? The same news article reported that other health studies now indicate that Saudi vets experience multi-system illnesses at a rate twice that of none deployed veterans. I personally agree to some extent. I have come across too many men and woman who complain of pain or burning during intercourse since they or their spouse were deployed in the Gulf. I researched this further and discovered this complaint is far more common than ever expected. The Dept. of Veteran Affairs has come up with certain guidelines for what is called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Saudi Syndrome.â&#x20AC;? If a Desert Storm veteran presents with a symptom or grouping of symptoms for which a diagnosis cannot be given,

then the symptoms will be service connected based on their debilitating effect. A common scenario is of a veteran complaining of pain and swelling in his knees. The pain is a subjective complaint; it cannot be repeated or observed in a clinical setting. Nevertheless, the swollen knees are objective symptoms that any clinician can observe and describe. The usual tests are run and a diagnosis cannot be made. Yet the knees are still swollen and painful. The VA should grant service connection for the symptom(s) and evaluates as if there was an actual diagnosis given. This is true even if the symptoms appear after a reasonable period of time after the veteran has left the theater of operations. So how does a veteran file a claim for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Saudi Syndromeâ&#x20AC;?? Just like any other claim except the veteran points out what the issue/complaint is and that there has been no diagnosis made for it, nor is it a part of a larger diagnosed medical condition. The VA will do two things; attempt to obtain the veteranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s service medical records and gather up the civilian medical records identified by the veteran. The VA is responsible by law to obtain any military

"Large Enough to Serve You, Small Enough to Know You."

319 S Berkley, Kokomo, IN 765-854-3067

medical records. The veteran is responsible to identify any appropriate civilian medical treatment records to the VA. Once there is sufficient medical documentation the VA Regional Office will most likely schedule a medical exam for the purpose of confirming and measuring the amount of disability the undiagnosed condition presents. A Rating Decision will be made to determine if service connection is granted or denied. If the decision is favorable, a monetary award will be determined. If the claim is denied service connection; then information will be provided for why it was denied and how to over come the denial. What are some of the pitfalls claiming service connection for a medical issue believed to be resultant of service in Desert Storm? There are some, so a vet will need to be extra careful and start planning and building the evidence before they actually file a claim. First, a lack of proof that the veteran was actually in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations (KTO) will kill the claim before it even gets to the Rating Board. The vets DD-214 should be the best

source to fulfill this requirement. The VA is aware many vets who received the campaign ribbons had never set foot on or sailed in the KTO. Therefore, have secondary information ready, such as pictures, copies of orders, and/or a history of the unit assigned to. The medical evidence must not be exclusive to other evidence or insufficient. The medical documents must show there is an undiagnosed condition and that it was not there before deployment to the KTO. For complaints, especially issues such as pain, there will be a need for the medical records to show continuity of complaints. There should be documentation of a problem beginning during or shortly after leaving the KTO and it continuing to this day. The thought here is â&#x20AC;&#x153;quantityâ&#x20AC;?, as in many visits to the doctor over the years.


Several things the vet should think about that would help the claimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. Consider talking to a doctor about what is bothering him or her and see if it really meets the diagnosed requirement. Before actually filing a claim, the vet should plan and assemble the claimed issue(s) with the appropriate evidence. A service officer (States often have knowlegable VSOs) can help in understanding the legal jargon of the VA. With or without a service officerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s help, the veteran must read, and re-read any correspondence from the VA for complete understanding. These simple steps are laborious, but they will ensure a much higher likelihood of a successful claim. Also keep this in mind; service connected medical issues can serve as the basis of benefits for a vetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family.

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Independence Day

The ceremony for the Soldiers of the 138th Finance Company Soldiers of the 138th was honored at departure ceremony held at Stout Field in IndiStory by Sgt. Moriah nancial Management Com- anapolis, on May 19, 2010. The Soldiers received enAddington, 38th Sustain- pany were joined by couraging words from ment Brigade friends and families for a Brig. Gen. Omer C. Toodeparture ceremony to INDIANAPOLIS - 30 wish them farewell in their ley, commanding general members of the Headquar- upcoming deployment to of Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Center for Comters Detachment, 138th Fi- Kuwait. plex Operations, and their commander Lt. Col. John Seprodi. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am pleased with the quality of Soldiers; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had excellent training and Âł7KDQN <RX )RU  2XU  )U H H GRP´ are ready to complete the mission in fine fashion,â&#x20AC;? said Seprodi, a native of Plainfield, Ind. The Indiana Guardsmen are headed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, to be the command and control of three finance detachments from the Active Army and Army Reserve. They will perform financial services throughout the Kuwait area

of operations and Qatar. The unit will also have the opportunity to work with

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are proud of him, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what he wants,â&#x20AC;? said Ashley, a native of West-

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The Headquarters Detachment, 138th Financial Management Company held its departure ceremony May 19th, 2010, at Stout Field, Indianapolis. The company is headed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, to command and control three finance detachments from the active army and army reserve. Photo by Sgt. Lorne Neff

local nationals in various roles. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will work with the National Bank of Kuwait and the financial industry,â&#x20AC;? said Seprodi. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking forward to the experience and serving the country,â&#x20AC;? said Pfc. Sean McFadden, a supply specialist, while visiting his wife, Ashley, and daughter, Victoria, after the ceremony.

Author Autographed copies available only $14.95 includes shipping. E. Everett McFall, PO Box 11557 Merrillville, IN 46411

field, Ind. The Soldiers in the 138th spent the last year training on basic Soldier skills and finance operations in preparation for the deployment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ready, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s do it! The unit is well trained and ready,â&#x20AC;? 1st Lt. Zachary Richards, the Deputy Disbursing Officer, of Churubusco, Ind. After the ceremony the unit will travel to Fort McCoy, Wis., for the final stage of mobilization training before heading to Kuwait this summer. World War I and World


Delayed High School Diploma for Vets


War II, Korea and Vietnam Veterans who served between the following dates may apply to the Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs for issuance of a high school diploma. WW I: April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918 WWII: December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946 Korea: June 27, 1950 and Jan 31, 1955 Vietnam: Aug 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975 In addition, the veteran must have: â&#x20AC;˘attended public or nonpublic high school in Indiana prior to military service, and â&#x20AC;˘been a student in good standing, and â&#x20AC;˘not graduated or received a diploma because of leaving high school for military service, and 9 â&#x20AC;˘been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States Veterans, or their surviving spouses or eligible family members, may submit application to the Department of Veteran Affairs. Ref: IC 20-20-7-3 Sec. 3 Educate men without religion and you make of them but clever devils. -Arthur Wellesley


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Independence Day

Civilian In Training cruiting offices, who should have been out fishing. This recall stuff is not what my wife wants to consider. She wants to be a civilian for good, after 29 years, 9 months and 27 days of active duty service in the Air Force. She originally joined the active duty Air Force beBy Major Van Harl USAF cause she only had to sign Ret. up for three years and the Colonel Dawn M. Harl The Colonel has gone reserves wanted her for six USAF NC and done it. She has done years. 29 plus years later what we refer to in the mil- she is still in uniform. She in a purely civilian commuitary as â&#x20AC;&#x153;dropping her pa- followed me around on ac- nity where there is no obvipers.â&#x20AC;? She has formally tive duty for a year and a ous military presence, notified the US Air Force half when she figured that retired soldiers are kind of that she is going to retire military stuff was not so an oddity. The civilians ask hard and she knew she you questions but they from active duty. In the civilian world, could do it. I retired from donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get it when if comes when you retire from a active duty and have been to the military. So I have company you are done. following her around ever enrolled the Colonel in remedial civilian training. You buy the motor-home, since. She had a four day weekIt looks like we are movnever to darken the doors of your former employer ing to Wisconsin where a end over Memorial Day again. In the military you lot of folks do not even and we worked hard on her never really retire. Your know there really is a mili- military-to-civilian indocmonthly payment from the tary, other than what they trination. First off, no uniDepartment of Defense is see on TV. We will, how- form wearing, and no considered a retainer, just ever, spend our winters in talking about the Air Forcein case they need your serv- Oklahoma. When you live - shop-talk was not alices down the road. After 7, December 1941 a large group of very old service members who thought they were done wearing a uniform were called back to active duty &O HDU  &KRL FH 86$ RI  2ZHQVERU R    until the end of the war.  &O HDU  &KRL FH 86$ RI  (YDQVYL O O H    There were some rather old 7RO O  )U HH      NCOs working military re-

lowed. There was no watching the Military Channel on TV. We did watch the Memorial Day concert on the steps of the US Capital, but that was a Veteran thing, not a military thing. The Colonel wore civilian cloths, not to include any of the many tshirts she has with Air Force logos on them. This was not anti-military training; that will never be our desire. This was â&#x20AC;&#x153;getting ready to be a civilianâ&#x20AC;? training. It is OK not to come to attention in your living room when the Air Force song is played on TV. We talked about when I would remove the 50 caliber machine gun rack off the top of her Hummer vehicle, but we set no firm date for that. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to push the stress button too soon. The brackets on the front bumper of her truck used to hold the flags will stay on for a little while

longer. You never know when you could be in a veteran / military parade. We are going to start emptying some of the sandbags we have filled and stacked up, ready to go just in case. Both of the family dogs will convert to being pets and we will drop the K9 working dog title for Maggie and Libby, our four legged babies. The family dinning room will no longer be referred to as the chow hall. We had civilian friends at our home during the weekend, people who had never been in the military. We talked about civilian things.


The civilian in training must be working a little because, come Tuesday morning, a duty day for the Colonel, I had to push her out into the garage and gently force her into her vehicle. She did not want to go back to the Big Air Force. There is no doubt she is ready to retire and take off the uniform she has worn for almost 30 years. Now as long as Korea does not turn into a shooting war and stop-loss does not force her to stay on active duty, I believe we are headed to retirement and the land of civilians. We are holding our breath.

AF Seeking Stop Loss Airmen

The Air Force continues to seek Airmen who were involuntarily held on active duty "stop-loss" between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, to determine if they may be eligible for the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay compensation of $500 for each month they were affected as a result of stop loss. Eligible individuals have until Oct. 21, 2010, to file their claim. To file a claim, call the Total Force Service Center at (800) 525-0102.


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Independence Day

Independence Day train of abuses and usurpa-

From page 1 ence was more than a choice; they viewed our break from royal rule as necessary. Consider the first statement of the Declaration: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” The signatories were emphatic that separation from the crown was not only an objective, but an obligation: “But when a long

tions, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.” In conclusion, the Founders wrote, “We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation...” Their cause, of course, was not anti-government. Rather they objected to the misgovernment of the king, saying, “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary

for the public good.” Furthermore, the Americans had been patient, petitioning their British rulers for redress for over a decade. Armed hostilities had commenced on April 19, 1775, at the battles of Lexington and Concord, and the colonists faced the full power of the British Empire in their quest for American independence. One year before taking that step for nationhood, on July 5, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition, beseeching the British king for a peaceful resolution of the American colonies’ grievances. A day later, that same Congress resolved the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms.” King George III refused to read the peace petition and

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assembled his armies. On July 2, 1776, Richard Henry Lee’s proposal for a formal declaration of separation passed, and the document was ordered printed on July 4. The war-weary among us today might ask, was independence really necessary? To pose the question at the outset of the Revolutionary War was to answer it. Representatives of the colonial Americans realized that, in voicing this query, they already possessed proof that they, not the King of England, were legitimate instruments of self-government for their countrymen. How could circumstances be otherwise when the king offered no remedy for his subjects’ complaints, no guarantee their rights would be respected, and no means for them to govern themselves in their new lands? The founders knew, however, that power could not be its own justification. They recognized that only an appeal to overarching laws, binding the king as much as his subjects, was legitimate. And abuse of authority demonstrated disqualification of any governor, whether a monarch or a purported representative. We would do well to apply this insight to the po-

litical debates of today. Indeed, two competing philosophies of government at odds during the American Revolution have reappeared, with the antirepublican form seen in those politicians who would seek to gain favor by manipulating language and misrepresenting their positions. Royalists, on the other hand, believed that the king was divinely ordained to rule over the people and was therefore above the law. This view is manifest currently in government officials—especially our elected officers—who believe they may properly command the citizenry to whatever they please, to whichever they purport to be for the good of the people. As Thomas Jefferson observed, “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” Yet the prevailing philosophy of government proposes exactly this—that directions from Washington as to how we must conduct ourselves, in matters large and small, will lead inexorably to scarcity and will inevitably erode our freedom. Our system of government today is not so different from the monarchy we


escaped, except that a swarm of bureaucrats have taken up the throne. A necessity thus presents itself to us as well: We must reconnect with the timeless principles that inspired our Founding Fathers; those same principles that long ago gave birth to a good, great and Godblessed nation. “[W]hat do we mean by the American Revolution?” reflected John Adams. “Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” Let us celebrate this Independence Day in a manner that Adams himself might recognize—with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty,” and with a rededication to the principles of our necessary American Revolution. And as always, in the words of George Washington, “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.

In Loving Memory Marine Sgt. Brock A. Babb

40, of Evansville, Ind.3rd Battalion, 24th Marines,4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, killed Oct. 15, 2006 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq. “You’ll Never Be Forgotten”

Independence Day

Benefits Update

No VA Hearing on Shinskiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Agent Orange Decision to add Parkinsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, heart disease & B-cell leukemia to presumptive list. Senator Webb proposed, and senators accepted May 27, an amendment to the fiscal 2010 war supplemental funding bill (HR 4899) to limit spending on claims filed for these new presumptive Agent Orange diseases for 60 days. That will allow Congress time to study the VA decision and examine more closely the link found between these diseases and herbicide exposure. Shinseki's decision and how the hefty cost -- $42.2 billion over 10 years -could impact other VA services. That final rule likely won't be published until fall, at the earliest, but when claims can be paid they will be retroactive the date first filed To stop the regulation from taking effect, both the House and Senate would have to pass a blocking resolution. Veterans' service organizations say that is not likely to happen. VA Announces New Hotline The Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) has an-

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nounced a new telephone hotline to provide emergency support and resources to homeless veterans. The hotline of the new National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1877-4AID VET will provide homeless veterans with timely assistance and coordinated access to VA and community services. Stolen Memorial Reward Increases The Veterans of Foreign Wars is reporting that the reward fund for the crossshaped Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial that was stolen recently has increased from $25,000 to $125,000, thanks to the generosity of a decorated combat veteran who wishes to remain anonymous. Anyone with information relating to the crime should call the National Park Service Tip Line at 1760-252-6120. VA Makes Filing Claims Easier and Faster for Veterans VA has shortened application forms to reduce paperwork for Veterans. The new forms, which are being made available on VA's Web site include: * A shortened VA Form 21-526 for Veterans applying for the first-time to VA for disability compensation or pension benefits. This form has been cut to 10

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pages. It is immediately available to Veterans via Web download, and will be available through VA's online claim-filing process later this summer. * VA Form 21-526b for Veterans seeking increased benefits for conditions already determined by VA to be service-connected. This new form more clearly describes the information needed to support claims for increased benefits. VA has also introduced two new forms for Veterans participating in the Department's new fully developed claim (FDC) program, which is one of the fastest means to receive a claims decision. If VA receives all of the available evidence when the claim is submitted, the remaining steps in the claims-decision process can be expedited without compromising quality. To participate in the FDC program, Veterans should complete and submit an

FDC Certification and VA Form 21-526EZ, "Fully Developed Claim (Compensation)," for a compensation claim, or a VA Form 21-527EZ, "Fully Developed Claim (Pension)," for a pension claim. Disability compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to a Veteran for disabilities that are a result of -- or made worse by -- injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training. Pension is a benefit paid to wartime Veterans with limited income, and who are permanently and totally disabled or age 65 or older. For additional information visit, or call VA's toll free benefits number at 1-800-827-1000. Committee Advances Legislation to Support VA Health Practitioners, Offer Chiropractic Care at VA Facilities H.R. 1017, as amended â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Chiropractic Care to All

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tinuing professional education for all health care professionals employed by the VA. H.R. 3885 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Veterans Dog Training Therapy This bill requires VA to conduct a 5-year pilot program for relieving veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; post-deployment mental health and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms through training service dogs for veterans with disabilities. The bills will next be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Veterans Acts (Filner) This bill will require the VA to expand veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; access to chiropractic care and services at their local VA facilities. This care is intended to help veterans get necessary treatments, especially those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and continue to report musculoskeletal ailments. H.R. 5145 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Assuring Quality Care for Veterans Act (McNerney) H.R. 5145 would increase the reimbursement for con-

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Independence Day

Ralph Kleyla, Certified Liarsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Club Member

My story begins as most of the others appearing in the Veterans of Underage Military Service book, however, mine did not end the same. I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1951 at age 16. I had tried 3 or 4 times to change my birth

certificate but screwed it up each time and the little local clinic where I lived said they knew what I was doing and would not give me any more, so one night I crawled through a vent I had removed from the back door and stole 4 blank copies. A girl I knew at school agreed to fill mine out if I gave her a blank. She got one, and the others went to two buddies. After she filled mine out, I watched a lawyer/notary's office until he went out to lunch then slipped into his office and put his notary stamp on my forged birth

certificate. My next strategic plan was to register for the draft. With the false birth certificate and draft card, I joined the Indiana National Guard, went to summer camp for two weeks, and loved it, so I then went into the Marines. I was age 16. However, Boot Camp for me was not bad. In fact, I enjoyed it. Anyone who has gone through Marine Boot Camp will probably say I'm lying or crazy or both. We were platoon 428 and in January of 1952 we graduated from boot camp, we were an honor platoon and I was the honor graduate. After graduation we went to camp Pendleton for 16 weeks of advanced training then shipped out of Treas-

â&#x20AC;&#x153;America's Youngest Warriorsâ&#x20AC;? contains 200 stories in its 660 pages. Visit the VUMS website,, for more info. ure Island, San Francisco for Korea. I ended up in the 1st.Mar.Div.1st Tank Battalion. That's where they caught up with me! My mother found out I was in Korea and called everyone from President Truman to



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the Commandant of the Marine Corps and only God knows who else! One thing I do know there was a lot of angry brass chewing on my rear end! They sent me back to Treasure Island for discharge and a summary court marshal for possession of a false I.D. Card; I was given 30 days restriction to base and a $25.00 fine. I still have a copy of the summary court as I have never heard of anyone else being court marshalled before. They let me out after serving 21 days and paying the fine. I received an honorable discharge. Back home in Indiana I lied about my age again and went to work at Delco Radio in Kokomo Ind. In the shipping dept. I worked about 4 months and got busted again when I was 17; the law says you have to be 18 to work in a factory. Now with no job and unable to find one, I attempted to reenlist in the Marines but was told due to the summary court it would take up to 6 weeks to clear the paper work. The army recruiter across the hall heard me tell the marine recruiter I wanted to get in at once and he told me if I joined the army I could go for my physical and ship out to Fort Knox, KY, the next day. He also said I would not have to do army basic training, just two weeks of army familiariza-


tion and then ship out to Korea as I had requested. Wrong. When I got to Fort Knox, I found out the recruiter had lied to me and I had to do 16 weeks of army basic training. What a shock! After basic I was sent to Korea and joined the 25th div.25th Recon Co. We were in Korea from 1953 until late 1954 when the 25th was returned home to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I was in Hawaii until Dec. 1955 and was discharged as a Staff Sgt. I reenlisted for 3 more years then got out for good. In Feb, 1959, my wife Mildred â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mickeyâ&#x20AC;? and I owned a successful Night Club and Restaurant in Indianapolis from 1965 until 1973. We sold that and migrated to Louisiana. I went to work off shore in the Gulf of Mexico on production oil rigs for Kerr McGee Corporation and after 23 years in the Gulf, I retired. For 3 years Mickey and I toured the US by car and went on several cruises. Mickey said after our last car trip, that's it, no more traveling. To keep myself out of Mickey's hair I started a small medical equipment repair business and I'm still working. We have two sons and two grand sons; we have our health, so all is good. God bless all and God bless America. Yes, we would do it all over again!

Kelly Miller â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thank you for your serviceâ&#x20AC;?

4837 University Dr. Evansville, IN


Independence Day


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Independence Day

Wussies To The Left Of Me Wimps To The Right

Marine Corps legend, Chesty Puller, when informed in the middle of a fierce ground battle that his troops were completely surrounded, said words to the effect of, "Good, now we can shoot at the S.O.B.s in any direction". "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!" These are the words and deeds of brave men who stood for what they believed in even if it took their last drop of blood. America has always won against far superior forces, simply because our people have always had the tenacity and the courage to spit

in the face of an enemy's overwhelming strength and never give an inch even when their backs were to the wall. American history is full of accounts of bravery and valor that reaches far beyond the pale of any simple call to duty to a place of rarified air only visited by the bravest of the brave and the boldest of the bold. How would you like to go to war with Eric Holder guarding your left flank and Janet Napolitano guarding your right? How would you like to get in a bar fight with Harry Reid watching your back? The schools in this country are teaching revisionist history to our children, belittling or even omitting American heroes and reducing morals to a gray area with no absolutes and even denying the omnipotence of the God who made the very earth they stand on, the ACLU standing by with bated breath, eager to sue at the mere mention of His name. Part of the Supreme Court

thinks the Constitution is only a list of suggestions, and from the looks of things that attitude will only worsen with the recent appointees. Our President lies with impunity and criticizes an immigration bill he admits he hadn't even read, while taking every opportunity to smear the country that was silly enough to elect him President. Our Attorney General is more concerned with extending the rights of a fullfledged American citizen to a murdering scumbag Islamic terrorist than he is in seeing justice carried out. He also hasn't read the immigration bill that he is criticizing and threatening to bring legal action against it. Our Director of Homeland Security is seriously not up to the job and only the grace of God saved the lives of untold numbers of Americans in New York recently when an Islamic terrorist who had flown to Pakistan something like thirteen times without making the no fly list left a bomb on a busy Manhattan street and scampered to the

airport where he almost escaped aboard an Arab airline. She is also criticizing the immigration bill that she hasn't read. That's three of the most powerful people in the U.S.A. lying about and distorting legislation they admitted they haven't even read. It's insane. Our Democrat-controlled Congress and Senate, realizing that they will probably not have a majority in both houses after November are feverishly cramming one catastrophic spending program after another down the throats of an Obama weary America. There seems to be a pervasive attitude of "If ya can't beat 'em join 'em" as state after state gets ready to legalize certain drugs and there are those who say that we just can't do anything about our southern border. I have one word for that, "baloney". We can do something about anything if we would only go about it the right way. We just simply don't have enough real men in power who are willing to stand for something be-

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sides their next election and the political party they belong to. They think no more about betraying America than they do of swatting a fly, a pitiful bunch of limpwristed cowards who blow in the wind like a limp rag, lacking the guts or the integrity to pay the cost of doing the right thing for America. Anybody with a mere semblance of a brain has to know that what Barack Hussein Obama and the Democrats are doing can only have a bad ending, in fact, in my estimation, bad is a much too mild a word to describe what's going to happen when Obama's crippled chickens start coming home to roost. And yet there is not one strong voice on Capitol Hill who is willing to risk the wrath of the media to say, "Hey wait a minute, this President is ruining the economy of our country for generations to come if not forever!!!" Not one has the gonads to stand up and shout, "No you cannot grant citizenship to twelve million people who came into this country illegally just so the Democrats can stay in office for the next hundred years!!! Whatever happened to the men who had the guts to stand for what is right, no matter how unpopular, no matter what the personal


cost? What ever happened to the American citizen who would stand up and say, "Hell no, don't even think about taking my guns away and I demand school vouchers for my children so they can learn what I think they should learn instead of that socialist crap the teacher's unions are supporting. I'm tired of paying taxes and having my money given to support the socialistic laziness of a nation like Greece. I want to hear my President and his administration call an Islamic terrorist an Islamic terrorist and I want the ones we've caught tried in a military tribunal." It seems that America's pioneer spirit has all but evaporated in the steamy morass of political correctness and compromise that is taking more backbone out of each succeeding generation. I'm so sick of the empty suits and milksop scoundrels on both sides of the aisle in Washington and the state capitols. America is looking for a few good men and women; spineless sellouts need not apply. Wussies to the left of me, wimps to the right. It's sickening. What do you think? Pray for our troops, and for our country. God Bless America Charlie Daniels

Independence Day

Scams, Scams & Benefits-Part 2

By Thom Stoddert

Scams against veterans, for veterans, and about veterans are everywhere, more than I ever thought possible! Some people have learned to stand on the line between unethical and illegal and still claim to be heroes. In one incident a â&#x20AC;&#x153;veteranâ&#x20AC;? (who would not meet the federal standards of being a veteran) was dumb enough to walk into a crowd of veterans one evening at an event with three cases of soda pop and some snacks in arm. He then told the people closest to him how he had been out collecting donations for them (mostly Viet Nam vets) from area stores. When Daryl Huntâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (of Auburn, Washington) eyes adjusted to the light he realized he was well known by those present as the poor Navy Seal blown up in Panama, confined to a wheel chair for life. Well, â&#x20AC;&#x153;wheel chair Darylâ&#x20AC;? bugged out real quick on his own two feet. Unfortunately Daryl also plays games with the VAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ortho-

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pedic Clinic in Seattle. Daryl is the reason the VA has a hot line to report fraud. Over a year ago I went to a Wal-Mart store one day. In front of each door was a â&#x20AC;&#x153;veteranâ&#x20AC;? collect ing money for homeless veterans. Wal-Mart works very hard with its public relations and supports many veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; issues, much to their credit. When I started asking the man in front of the door about his organization, he became vague and agitated and could not produce any documentation except the business card of someone who lived 60 miles away. For some reason that summer WalMart did not sponsor the yearly â&#x20AC;&#x153;Military Family Day.â&#x20AC;? May be they had been burned, and decided to take a low profile. In Washington(and most states), if you are collecting money for a charity, you must be registered with the Secretary of State. A simple call to them will tell you if the charity is registered and if there have been problems. The Attorney Generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office can also tell you if there have been complaints. In the instance of lawyers addressing VA issues in nursing homes, there have been lots of complaints made to many different agencies, state and federal. Just because a group is a registered charity with a 501 (c) 3 tax- IRS status does not make them legitimate. A friend of mine

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keeps getting calls for donations from a particular group; one caller even IDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ed himself as a former Marine Corp chaplain. When my buddy questioned them by email; they told how they are so generous with the donations collected for veterans that they even paid the airfare for relatives of their president to visit him in the hospital. The writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s email address is and he writes this is one their phone numbers 888296-8044 (it has been verified). Dws2624, did not really provide any real details, like their location, or full name of the organization. If they are legit, they will welcome a call. Always check out the groups operating costs. I found a group, Foundation for American Veterans, on Wikipedia which noted that for every dollar taken in they kept 96 cents for their own operating costs. They gave just enough away to stay out of trouble with the IRS. Check out their website for yourself. I would never give them any money. For weeks now I have been looking, talking, and interviewing lawyers, state agencies, long term as-

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sisted living facilities, and the VA. I also went to an educational VA benefits seminar that sounded more like a pitch for purchasing vacation land than an informational resource. The information that was not put out was volumes more abundant than which was discussed. That made me suspicious, and very nauseated. I have written about pension and aid/attendance and we have given a presentation on the subject to a military widowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s group. We accepted nothing more than a piece of cake and coffee. For most REAL veteran advocates that was a bit too much to receive for just helping. The lawyer I spoke with in the assisted living facility was asked during and after his presentation how he is compensated for what he does in the elder living facilities. He repeatedly explained that he is like a bank selling Certificate of Deposits (CDs). The bank promises a percentage of return on the money invested but the bank also makes money. During the next phase of the presentation he explained to the group, mostly retirees, that when a

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financial relationship is established through the â&#x20AC;&#x153;repositioningâ&#x20AC;? of assets, the veteran or widow will be a hundred percent assured they will receive VA benefits in the form of pension and/or aid and attendance. In other words, a relationship is established through the purchase of financial products, such as annuities, and the VA advocacy begins. Between phase one and two, there seems to be an illogical disconnect as the listeners were left to make many assumptions to bridge each issue during the presentation. I will attempt to clarify this in next monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s article. However, an old and trusted veteran friend with a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in business has helped me on these articles has said; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never, ever, purchase financial products from someone who stands to benefit continually from a sale, instead use fee based agents/brokers.â&#x20AC;? They get paid once and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it; there is no prejudice on what will get recommended or sold. The buyer is best served.â&#x20AC;? The focus of my articles


has always been to help and protect veterans, whether it is dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs or things that can be dangerous to a veteran. This is the motivation for this type of article. I wish to thank writer Jim Strickland for his help, knowledge and commitment to veterans and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Voiceâ&#x20AC;? for its service. See you next issue; I only scratched the surface with this article.

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Indiana VABenefits

Independence Day

Military Family Leave The spouse, parent, grandparents or siblings, including biological, adopted-, foster- or step-family of Hoosier veterans ordered to active duty deployments in the Armed Forces or the National Guard and who are employed by an employer who employs over 50 people, are eligible for an unpaid leave of absence of up to 10 days. The leave can be taken in the 30-day period after the service member receives their orders, while they are home on leave during the deployment, or in the 30-day period at the end of their deployment. Ref: IC 22-2-13.

Military Family Relief Fund The families of Hoosier active duty service members as well as National Guard and Reserves on Title 10 orders may apply for emergency grants for food, housing, utilities, medical services, transportation and other essential family support expenses which were caused by the mobilization of the service member for up to 1 year after the end of their orders. Contact local County Veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Service Officer or IDVA at 1-800400-4520. (IC 10-17-12) Women Veterans Coordinator The Indiana Department

of Veterans Affairs has on staff a Women Veterans Coordinator to assist female veterans with claims and applications and to assist with matters which may be female-unique. Call (317) 232-3921 or email Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Memorial Certificate A special certificate, signed by the governor, is available to surviving family members upon the death of an honorably discharged veteran to commemorate their service. This includes National Guard or Reservists who satisfactorily completed at least one period of enlistment. Application available at Indiana funeral homes, county VSO offices or call 1-800-

400-4520. County Burial Allowance Each County Auditor is authorized to pay up to an amount not to exceed $1,000 for the burial of a veteran or the veteranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spouse, which may include up to $100 for the setting of a federal headstone. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge, and an application must be filed with the county auditor in the county of residence. Ref: IC 10-17-10 and IC 23-14-73. Resident Disabled Veteran Hunting & Fishing License Any Indiana resident who is rated as serviceconnected disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may purchase a license to hunt and fish in


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the State of Indiana for a reduced fee. In order to receive this benefit the veteran must complete the Application for Reduced Fee Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans available from County Veteran Service Officers, or the Department of Natural Resource offices, or the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. The form verifies that the veteran is service-connected disabled and authorizes the reduced fee and is verified by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Ref: IC 1422-12-1.5.

Father, Daughter Return From Iraq

From page 1 harder on me than everybody else. There was definitely no favoritism anywhere." Crystal said that although people often told her she was fortunate to deploy with family, she doesn't necessarily agree. "We're in a combat zone," she said. "Do you really want your parents to go to a


combat zone? Just as much as it tore him up for me to be there, it was upsetting to me that he was there. Honestly, I didn't like seeing him there." Handling the desire to be protective of his daughter wasn't easy for Hempstead, he said, but his experience as a senior noncommissioned officer gave him the perspective to manage the situation. "I had to flip the switch with her, but I did that with all of [the company's soldiers]," he said. "To say that I wasn't concerned about her would be a lie, but to say I wasn't concerned about all of them would also be a lie." Hempstead said he is proud of his daughter's ambition and looks forward to her future as a soldier and as a young woman. "She's an E-5 now, and she's 22 years old," he said. "She has a very good opportunity to work at the Patriot Academy. She's finishing her degree. She doesn't need me as much as she thinks she does."

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Independence Day

Bert Shepard

Date and Place of Birth: June 28, 1920 Dana, Indiana Died: June 16, 2008 California Baseball Experience: Major League Position: Pitcher Rank: Lieutenant Military Unit: 55th Fighter Group USAAF Area Served: European Theater of Operations It was through shear selfbelief and determination that Bert Shepard played baseball after the war. He is the only person to appear in a major league game with an artificial leg. Robert E "Bert" Shepard was born in Dana, Indiana on June 28, 1920. In 1941, the lefthander was pitching


Bert Shepard of Indiana- The only person to appear in a major league game with an artificial leg.

with the Bisbee Bees in the Ariz o n a - Te x a s League where he had a 3-5 won-loss record but was also a useful utility player appearing at first base and in the outfield. By May 1942, Shepard was in military service with the Army Air Force. He served at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana and Daniel Field, Georgia, in 1942, earning his pilot's wings the following year. He crossed the Atlantic to England on the Aquatania to join the 55th Fighter Group at Wormingford in early 1944. "From then on it was a lot of flying," he recalls. He did, however, have some time for baseball. "In early May, we leveled off a field, laid out a diamond and started practise. Our first game was scheduled for Sunday, May 21." Shepard had already flown 33 missions in his Lockheed P-38J Lightning, and on May 21, opening day for the 55th Fighter Group baseball season, he volunteered for his 34th mission. While attacking an airfield near Ludwigslust, east of Hamburg, Germany, his plane was hit by enemy flak, with shells tearing through his right leg and foot. Shepard was

knocked unconscious and at 380mph the fighter plane crashed into the ground. Shortly after the crash landing, First Lieutenant Ladislaus Loidl, a physician in the German Luftwaffe, arrived at the smoking wreckage in time to save the injured pilot from a group of irate farmers on whose land the plane had crashed. Loidl, with the aid of two armed soldiers, drove the farmers away and checked to see if the pilot was still alive. "He was unconscious, his right leg being smashed, and he bled from a deep wound on his head," recalled Loidl in 1993. "I recognized that the man could be saved only with an urgent operation. My emergency hospital was not equipped for that. So I drove the wounded man to the local hospital that was headed by a colonel. When he refused to admit the ‘terror flyer’ as he called him, I telephoned the general on duty at the Reich's Air Min-

istry in Berlin and reported the case. Whereupon the general called the colonel

and settled the matter. Lieutenant Shepard was admitted and operated on. A few days later I inquired about his condition and was told that he was doing fine.” Shepard's damaged right leg had to be amputated 11 inches below the knee. After a long period of recovery he was transferred to the Stalag IX-C prison camp at Meining tral Germany, and with the assistance of Doug Errey, a

Canadian medic and fellow prisoner, who crafted a makeshift artificial leg, Shepard was soon playing catch. In February 1945, Shepard returned to the United States on a prisoner exchange, as determined as ever to continue with his baseball career. Whilst at the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, Shepard met with Under Secretary of War, Robert Patterson. When Patterson asked about his plans for the future, Shepard explained that he wanted to play baseball. Sceptical but impressed with the young flier's attitude, Patterson contacted Senators' owner, Clark Griffith, and asked him to take a look at the young pitcher. Shepard arrived at the Senators' camp on March 14. On March 29, he was signed as a pitching coach and pitched four innings

against the Dodgers in a War Relief Fund game on July 10. On August 5, 1945, he made his only major league appearance. With the Senators down 14-2 to the Red Sox, Shepard came in in the fourth inning and struck out the first batter he faced, George "Catfish" Metkovich. He pitched the remainder of the game and allowed just three hits, one walk and one run. Shepard played in the minor leagues until 1954 and then took employment as a safety engineer with IBM and Hughes Aircraft. In May 1993, Shepard had an emotional reunion with Doctor Loidl, the man who had rescued him from the plane wreckage after he was shot down. Bert Shepard passed away on June 16, 2008 at a California nursing home. He was 87.

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Independence Day

LST Upcoming Events

August 21st, 2010 Sea Detail â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Port of Call Pittsburgh, PA First Stop August 26th, 2010 Arrive in Wheeling, WV Tours August 27th - 30th Leave Wheeling, WV August 31st at 0800 September 1st, 2010 Arrive in Pittsburgh Secure ship for Visitors / Amphib Reunion Open for Tours September 2nd-6th

September 7th, 2010 Three short River Cruises - 0800hrs 1000hrs & 1200hrs (Amphib Week) If Approved Leave Pittsburg after final cruise to head for Marietta, Ohio Side Note: Amphib Week Reunion will take place during stay in Pittsburg September 1st-6th. Headquarters at Sheraton at Station Square. US LST Association Covention also held at same time. Headquarters at Marriott Center City.


Marine Corps League News Detachment 1090 of the Marine Corps League serves the counties of Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick, IN and Henderson, KY. Marines from the area join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps. Active duty marines and those who have been honorably discharged from active or reserve duty and Navy corpsman who served with the FMF are invited to join the detachment as regular members. Others with interests in the Marine Corps may join as associate members Detachment members are involved in numerous events that benefit the com-

munity and perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps. One of the most recognizable activities of the detachment is its sponsorship of the Toys for Tots campaign. Over the past several years, detachment members have collected toys and donations for underprivileged children. Annually, over 2500 children benefit from this effort. Members also donate time to maintain LST 325. A group of dedicated volunteers regularly meet to scrape and paint, and have cleaned up many of the guns on the ship. The group has also participated as a Marine Detachment on

LST cruises, providing welcoming salutes to all who come aboard. The Detachment color guard regularly participates in parades and ceremonies around the tri-state. The rifle honor squad is frequently called upon to â&#x20AC;&#x153;fire three volleys to honor the deadâ&#x20AC;? at veterans memorial ceremonies. The Detachmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Project Honor has made donations of Marine Corps flags to area funeral homes so they may be displayed at funerals, and the Project Honor team conducts memorial services for deceased Marines. The detachment has an annual golf tourney which will be Aug. 7 at Eagle Valley. Orders for the annual rib sale will be taken during the month of Aug. with ribs ready on Sept. 4, just in time for Labor Day.

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Proceeds from these and other fundraisers are funneled back into the community through the detachments activities. A highlight for the detachment is the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball, which celebrates the Nov. 10, 1775 founding of the Marine Corps. The ceremony includes the cutting of the cake and presentation of the oldest and youngest Marines. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guest speaker will be Hal Wolford. The Ball will be held at the Holiday Inn on Nov . 13th. The detachment currently holds regular meetings at 7 pm on the 4th Wed. of each month at the VFW 1114 on Wasbash Ave of Flags. More information about the detachment can be found at Prospective members may call any of the officers for membership information, or fill out the on-line form. Next issue we will inform everyone about the Fun and Honor Society of the Devil Dogs and the MCL Auxiliary Southern Belles. If you need more info on any of our Marine activities please contact Barbara at 812-568-4274 or go to our web site. Semper Fi

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The Veterans Voice of Indiana  

Grassroots newspaper for Indiana military veterans. We cover topics on VA benefits, legislative updates, war stories, health news, etc.

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