Category Archives: Veterans Benefits

Transcendental Meditation Retreat At Picture Rocks Retreat House

And to think, some of us old vets started meditating in the early 1970’s.  If Paul and Ringo can do can we. And who knows maybe you will end up on the Grammy’s!




The Transcendental Meditation program

Maharishi invincibility center • TUCSON, AZ   (520) 881-0110


We can hold a TM Retreat at the Desert Renewal Center

(Picture Rocks Retreat House) over the weekend of

February 28th- March 2nd

Would you like to attend?

(Or if you know someone or have a friend who’d like to attend. Call me!)

Enjoy profound knowledge and refreshing deep rest at a weekend TM Retreat at
Picture Rocks Retreat House, just north of Tucson, 5 minutes west of I-10, on Feburary 28th through March 2nd, 2014.

This is a lovely place in the desert—photos here:

The course fee is $385 for the weekend, from Friday afternoon to Sunday after lunch.
New meditators attending their first Retreat receive a $50 discount so their course fee is $335.

We recommend that everyone have a single room in order to get really good rest.

A TM Retreat is a great opportunity to gain extra benefit from your TM.  Over the weekend you will enjoy extra TM sessions, great knowledge, an opportunity to discuss your experiences, and extra rest.  You will learn a simple yoga asana series that can be enjoyed before your TM.

People who attend a TM Retreat report feeling highly refreshed and revitalized after the weekend, and gaining extra appreciation of the value and usefulness of TM in their lives.

SPECIAL FOR NEW MEDITATORS – if you have learned TM in the last year, and this is your first TM Retreat, you’ll receive a $25.00 per night discount.
This makes the price for the weekend $335

Let us know right away, so we can reserve your space.


Denise and Joseph Gerace
Social Media!/TMmeditation

Entire contents copyright © 2011 Maharishi Foundation USA, a non-profit educational organization.
All rights reserved. Transcendental Meditation® and TM® are protected trademarks and
are used in the U.S. under license or with permission.

Wounded Warriors Pilgramage To Lourdes.

2014 Pilgrimage

The 2014 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage for Wounded or Disabled Military Personnel for the 56th Annual International Military Pilgrimage will take place on May 13-19, 2014.

The pilgrimage, sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA and the Knights of Columbus, is the latest event in a long history of both organization’s involvement in Lourdes and in service to the military.

Wounded or disabled military personnel and their essential companion-caregivers will travel to the Marian shrine for a time of resting, praying, and healing. The five-day pilgrimage will consist of a number of spectacular and spiritual events, including: a war memorial ceremony, special Masses and events for the American pilgrims, Eucharistic procession and benediction, and a grand closing ceremony that draws tens of thousands to the sacred shrine.

“We will journey and pray with pilgrims from around the world,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese of Military Services. “It will be an occasion to raise our hearts and minds to the Prince of Peace and beg for an increase in understanding and a decrease in strife.”

Read the Pilgrimage Brochure: US version | EU version — for overseas military.

Wounded or disabled military personnel who are approved by the medical assessment team will be invited to join the pilgrimage free of charge. Wounded or disabled military personnel spouses or essential companion-caregivers are invited to attend. Volunteers are also needed.

To apply to be a pilgrim or volunteer for the 2014 pilgrimage, click here.

Archbishop Broglio’s Message to Priests

Iraq Democracy is Fini. Triggers Anyone?

Attached is the link to the USA Today Story about the vacating of Iraq.  I watched this live in the middle of the night in 2011 when the Army 4th Infantry was the last one out the door.  Coupled with vivid memories of the evacuation of Saigon, April 30th, 1975,I never in my life thought I would see something like this again, especially not such a rapid occupation and reversal of effort. This speaks tomes to the conduct of asymmetrical warfare and the concept of a “Just War.” No Marshall Plan for these guys. They owe us buckets of oil. Now.

I am  left with something akin to the urban legend about Papa Hemingway’s six word crafted  short story, “Baby Shoes, For Sale, Never Worn.”

“The War Is Over, All is ? “

Dr. John Keifer Friend To Veterans To Hold Health Fair

Doctor John has been a part of our family for three decades,as both healer and friend. He is one you want in your life boat when in distress. The man is a virtual Wikipedia of healing modalities, and he knows which ones work. Without John, my body would be crumbs.




Dr. John R. Keifer

Enjoy an afternoon of Food, Fun, Education, Demonstrations, Chair Massages, Reiki, Herbal Body Wraps, Detoxification, Cold Laser, PEMF, SMT and much more!

Not sure what all this is or how it can improve your health? You will experience and understand how these modalities can decrease stress, pain, toxins, excessive belly fat, and increase energy, health and in general promote an overall sence of well being.

Saturday, Feb 1, 2014, 11am to 3pm

Tucson Osteopathic Medical Foundation

3182 N. Swan Road (East side of Camp Lowell and Swan intersection)

Admission is $10 with a portion of the proceeds going to the Tucson Food Bank. Let’s all fight Hunger!!

RSVP by 1/25/14 a must!! Seating limited.

Purchase tickets in advance by calling 520-577-1717

Dr. John R. Keifer D.C.

Chiropractic Physician

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Classes Continue Free To Veterans.


Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Upcoming Classes – Free to Veterans
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an experiential, manualized and evidence-based 8-week program that teaches a learnable set of skills in mindful awareness practices. Thanks to donations to the Mindful Veterans Project,
the classes are offered to veterans and their partners for free.
The next session begins this week.
We are offering 3 classes this session – Wednesday in Tucson,
Thursday in Green Valley, and Friday in Tucson. The Wednesday and Thursday
classes are open to the community and free to veterans and their partners.
The Friday class at the Tucson Vet Center is free and only open to women veterans.
Wednesday MBSR Tucson

Ada McCormick Building

1401 E. First St. (at Highland Ave.)  


Required Prerequisite for MBSR

Jan. 8  *  5:00 – 6:00 pm


Jan. 8 – Feb. 26   *   6:00 – 8:30 pm

Sat.  *  Feb. 15  *  9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Thursday MBSR

Green Valley


Anza Athletic Club

1490 N. Quail Range Loop, Building #4


Required Prerequisite for MBSR

Jan. 9  *  4:00 – 6:00 pm


Jan. 16 – Mar. 6   *   4:00 – 6:30 pm

Sat.  *  Feb. 22  *  9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Friday MBSR – Tucson

for Women Veterans

Tucson Vet Center  *  3055 N. 1st Ave.


Required Prerequisite for MBSR

Jan. 3  *  6:00 – 8:00 pm


Jan. 10 – Feb. 28  *  6:00 – 8:30 pm

Sat.  *  Feb. 15  *  9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Taking an MBSR course requires a commitment to a change in lifestyle. The class meets for two to three hours every week and participants are asked to engage in up to an hour per day of home practice. Many people who are interested in learning mindful awareness skills do not wish to commit to making the time for the full MBSR program, others may presently lack sufficient stability to make the necessary commitment.
We now offer a drop-in meditation class at the Tucson Vet Center (3055 N. 1st Ave.) on Monday evenings, 6 – 7:30 pm. This class may be perfect for people looking for basic instruction in mindfulness meditation and/or MBSR graduates who want to keep their practice alive.
Thank you for your interest and your referrals.
Dr. Teri Davis

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Purple Mountain Institute | 120 South Houghton Road | Suite 138 • PMB 174 | Tucson | AZ | 85748

Be Careful of Pension Poaching

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pension exists
to help financially disadvantaged wartime Veterans and
their survivors.
Individuals and organizations are available to help you
file a VA pension claim free of charge. A searchable list of
VA-accredited representatives including Veterans Service
Organizations, agents, and attorneys is available at the VA
Office of General Counsel website:
To get more information about VA pension,
or call 1-800-827-1000.

Pay Raise For Disabled Veterans

So as to not confuse this with the current legislation that addresses Military Retirees who are still in the workforce, I have just posted this as it was received. The former is the legislation of Rep.Paul Ryan.

VA COLA for 2014 Checks Update 04  ►    Monthly Payment Amounts


Veterans, their families and survivors receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase in their monthly payments beginning Jan. 1, 2014.  “We’re pleased there will be another cost-of-living increase for Veterans, their families and their survivors,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The increase expresses in a tangible way our Nation’s gratitude for the sacrifices made by our service-disabled and wartime Veterans.” For the first time, payments will not be rounded down to the nearest dollar. Until this year, that was required by law. Veterans and survivors will see additional cents included in their monthly compensation benefit payment.   For Veterans without dependents, the new compensation rates will range from $130.94 monthly for a disability rated at 10 percent to $2,858.24 monthly for 100 percent. The full rates are available on the Internet at


      The COLA increase also applies to disability and death pension recipients, survivors receiving dependency and indemnity compensation, disabled Veterans receiving automobile and clothing allowances, and other benefits. Under federal law, cost-of-living adjustments for VA’s compensation and pension must match those for Social Security benefits. The last adjustment was in January 2013 when the Social Security benefits rate increased 1.7 percent.  In fiscal year 2013, VA provided over $59 billion in compensation benefits to nearly 4 million Veterans and survivors, and over $5 billion in pension benefits to more than 515,000 Veterans and survivors.  For Veterans and separating Servicemembers who plan to file an electronic disability claim, VA urges them to use the joint DoD/VA online portal, eBenefits. Registered eBenefits users with a premium account can file a claim online, track the status, and access a variety of other benefits, including pension, education, health care, home loan eligibility, and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.  For more information about VA benefits, visit, or call 1-800-827-1000.  [Source:  VA News Release 4 Dec 2013 +]

New Diagnostic Criteria For PTSD


PTSD new diagnostic info: Classification and subtypes
The risk of exposure to trauma has been a part of the human condition since we evolved as a species. Attacks by saber tooth tigers or twenty-first century terrorists have probably produced similar psychological sequelae in the survivors of such violence. Shakespeare’s Henry IV appears to meet many, if not all, of the diagnostic criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as have other heroes and heroines throughout the world’s literature. 

Because of studies of Vietnam Vets suffering, finally in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) added PTSD to the third edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) nosologic classification scheme (2). Although controversial when first introduced, the PTSD diagnosis has filled an important gap in psychiatric theory and practice. From an historical perspective, the significant change ushered in by the PTSD concept was the stipulation that the etiological agent was outside the individual (i.e., a traumatic event) rather than an inherent individual weakness (i.e., a traumatic neurosis). The key to understanding the scientific basis and clinical expression of PTSD is the concept of “trauma.”

Now, in the new DSM book, there is a PTSD Preschool Subtype which applies to children six years old and younger; it has fewer symptoms (especially in the “D” cluster because it is difficult for young children to report on their inner thoughts and feelings) and also has lower symptom thresholds to meet full PTSD criteria.

Importance of traumatic events
In its initial DSM-III formulation, a traumatic event was conceptualized as a catastrophic stressor that was outside the range of usual human experience. The framers of the original PTSD diagnosis had in mind events such as war, torture, rape, the Nazi Holocaust, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, natural disasters (such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcano eruptions), and human-made disasters (such as factory explosions, airplane crashes, and automobile accidents). They considered traumatic events to be clearly different from the very painful stressors that constitute the normal vicissitudes of life such as divorce, failure, rejection, serious illness, financial reverses, and the like. (By this logic, adverse psychological responses to such “ordinary stressors” would, in DSM-III terms, be characterized as Adjustment Disorders rather than PTSD.) This dichotomization between traumatic and other stressors was based on the assumption that, although most individuals have the ability to cope with ordinary stress, their adaptive capacities are likely to be overwhelmed when confronted by a traumatic stressor.

PTSD is unique among psychiatric diagnoses because of the great importance placed upon the etiological agent, the traumatic stressor. In fact, one cannot make a PTSD diagnosis unless the patient has actually met the “stressor criterion,” which means that he or she has been exposed to an event that is considered traumatic. Clinical experience with the PTSD diagnosis has shown, however, that there are individual differences regarding the capacity to cope with catastrophic stress. Therefore, while most people exposed to traumatic events do not develop PTSD, others go on to develop the full-blown syndrome. Such observations have prompted the recognition that trauma, like pain, is not an external phenomenon that can be completely objectified. Like pain, the traumatic experience is filtered through cognitive and emotional processes before it can be appraised as an extreme threat. Because of individual differences in this appraisal process, different people appear to have different trauma thresholds, some more protected from and some more vulnerable to developing clinical symptoms after exposure to extremely stressful situations. Although there is currently a renewed interest in subjective aspects of traumatic exposure, it must be emphasized that events such as rape, torture, genocide, and severe war zone stress are experienced as traumatic events by nearly everyone.

Revisions to PTSD diagnostic criteria
The DSM-III diagnostic criteria for PTSD were revised in DSM-III-R (1987), DSM-IV (1994), and DSM-IV-TR (2000) (2-5). A very similar syndrome is classified in ICD-10 (The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines) (6). One important finding, which was not apparent when PTSD was first proposed as a diagnosis in 1980, is that it is relatively common. Recent data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication indicates lifetime PTSD prevalence rates are 3.6% and 9.7% respectively among American men and women (7). Rates of PTSD are much higher in post-conflict settings such as Algeria (37%), Cambodia (28%), Ethiopia (16%), and Gaza (18%) .

DSM-IV Diagnostic criteria for PTSD included a history of exposure to a traumatic event and symptoms from each of three symptom clusters: intrusive recollections, avoidant/numbing symptoms, and hyper-arousal symptoms. A fifth criterion concerned duration of symptoms; and, a sixth criterion stipulated that PTSD symptoms must cause significant distress or functional impairment.

The latest revision, the DSM-5 (2013), has made a number of notable evidence-based revisions to PTSD diagnostic criteria, with both important conceptual and clinical implications (9). First, because it has become apparent that PTSD is not just a fear-based anxiety disorder (as explicated in both DSM-III and DSM-IV), PTSD in DSM-5 has expanded to include anhedonic/dysphoric presentations, which are most prominent. Such presentations are marked by negative cognitions and mood states as well as disruptive (e.g. angry, impulsive, reckless and self-destructive) behavioral symptoms. Furthermore, as a result of research-based changes to the diagnosis, PTSD is no longer categorized as an Anxiety Disorder. PTSD is now classified in a new category, Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders, in which the onset of every disorder has been preceded by exposure to a traumatic or otherwise adverse environmental event.


PTSD is no longer considered an Anxiety Disorder but has been reclassified as a Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorder because it has a number of clinical presentations, as discussed previously. In addition, two new subtypes have been included in the DSM-5. The Dissociative Subtype includes individuals who meet full PTSD criteria but also exhibit either depersonalization or derealization (e.g. alterations in the experience of one’s self and the world, respectively).The Preschool Subtype applies to children six years old and younger; it has fewer symptoms (especially in the “D” cluster because it is difficult for young children to report on their inner thoughts and feelings) and also has lower symptom thresholds to meet full PTSD criteria.




PTSD  and Vietnam, combat trauma, the American Psychiatric Association

“Since 1980, there has been a great deal of attention devoted to the development of instruments for assessing PTSD. Keane and associates working with Vietnam war-zone Veterans, first developed both psychometric and psychophysiological assessment techniques that have proven to be both valid and reliable. Other investigators have modified such assessment instruments and used them with natural disaster survivors, rape/incest survivors, and other traumatized individuals” (Friedman, 2013, n.p.).

Research partner, Jeremy Bourret.  This treatise was sent to me in an email with author unknown.

Veterans Across America Black Out Walmart Black Thursday

There really is no need  for narrative or a rationale for veterans to boycott the trumping, and tromping of corporate greed. 

Is this why we put ourselves in harms way? To be able to tell our grandchildren that the largest employer in the United States is Walmart?  Do you really want to tell them?  Do you really want to tell them that the bargain toys you buy for them are checked out by clerks on Food Stamps?  We are such guppies, the next step will be to take food to the poor people who work at Walmart and get a discount on a Tonka Truck.

So lets get this straight, our veterans served our nation to come home to the celebration of a big Walmart tent party that promotes more of the already rampant consumerism that has become our new moniker, and only exists on the back of the exploitation of global labor.  America the beautiful……buyers.

Our water supplies are being bought up by international investment groups, like the Carlyle Group.  Forty-eight percent the resale homes in Los Angeles area were purchased by foreign investors for the new rental profiteering market, with the same investors entering secondary markets like Tucson. I am not certain this is what Adam Smith intended when he penned, “The Wealth of Nations.”

Walmart takes pride in their hiring of veterans.  A Staff Sergeant with maybe 5 years in grade, makes near $ oo with benefits. So that soldier is going to come home from the war and be tickled about a $12 @hr job.? Not only can that soldier not afford a one bedroom apartment on that pittance, but good luck with having a family. Walmart would have to hire the whole family to bring any integrity to the table.

Is this what we fought for?  Maybe  their computerized cash registers will all go down at the same time tomorrow, right in the middle of the Macy’s Day Parade.

God and the Pope could deliver the message in a breaking news interruption.  God would say, “Don’t make me come down there!”  “Walmart is not where you get my gifts.”

Warning: VA ID Cards Are Easily Scanned

Lest we not forget, there has never been a follow up story on the missing VA laptop from five years ago. I say, it went to a Pharmeceutical company in Canada.

Warning: VA ID Cards Are Easily Scanned

Anyone with a smart phone and a bar code app can scan any Department of Veterans Affairs identification card issued since 2004 and the cardholder’s Social Security number immediately pops up on the screen. The Department of Veterans Affairs published warnings about the veterans information cards (VIC’s) on their web site in 2011 and again in July, 2013. The alert states, “Some barcode readers, including those available as applications on cell phones, can scan the bar code on the front of the card, and reveal the veteran’s social security number.” VA has begun to work on a new type of card, which will not contain a Social Security number. Meanwhile, veterans should treat their current ID cards as just a careful as they do their Social Security card to prevent identity theif.



Larry R. Brown, Commandant
Marine Corps League
White Tanks Mountain Det. #1246
P.O. Box 8252
Surprise, AZ 85374-0120
H. 623.546.3335, C. 602.821.0054