Letter Of Appreciation From President of Korea to Korean War Veterans

For U.S.  VETERANS ONLY “http://mpva.sendmall.co.kr/apply/Application%20form.doc”

The above URL address is the place to request a letter of appreciation for yourself or any family member who served in the Korean War. It is a very respectful gesture and offer from the President of Korea to our Korean War Veterans.

A small footnote to history; on the memorial wall in one of the hallways at the VA in Tucson, there is a newspaper article about a young 19 year old soldier who could not get health care at the local VA, because  the conflict in Korea was not a declared war! Hard to imagine is it not?  But then us Vietnam Veterans were not allowed to join particular VFW’s either, as we were not veterans of a Foreign (Declared) War.  How far we have come.

Application Form for an Appreciation Letter
From the Republic of Korea President to Korean War Veterans
Section I – Veteran’s Personal Information
Last Name First Name Middle Name
— :——– —- – 6encler- -B-Male- -e-Female —— — -,- D-ate of Birth– —–.– ..-~
Street City State
Address • ___ 0. ____ .”.
Zip Code(9 digits) Country Email Address –_.”–
Phone Number Home: Cellular: (include area code)
Section II – Veteran’s Korean War Service Information
Military Service Number Branch of Service
Period of Service in the Korean Waremmlyyyy ) from through
r– Member of the US Korean – War Veterans _””‘Yes -0 No – –
Section III -Veteran’s Certification
I verify that I am a Korean War Veteran. (It is not necessary to belong to a Korean War Veterans
Association to receive the President’s Letter. A family member can sign for an incapacitated Veteran).
I authorize the Government of Korea and! or US Korean War Veterans Association to use this
information to provide me with the Letter of Appreciation from the President of the Republic of
Korea. The information will not be used for any other purpose.
” Veteran’s (or family member) signature & date
Name Signature Date

War And More War

The only reason for posting this piece that was written nearly a year ago is that those of us who actually take the time to track the progress of our wars, must wonder what exactly has been accomplished in the past year?  The mid-term elections candidates avoided all talk and even the slightest mention of war for the entire year of campaigning. Pretty slick eh? Support the troops, just don’t talk about what they do.  We are so damn worried about sanitizing the ravages of war, that we now just send the laundry out to cleaned.

There are days, I swear, that the commoner has become so de-sensitized to war that we are becoming like “Stepford Husbands.” All is fine, just fine!  Erstwhile the war or wars march on to a winners circle that keeps moving.

As the question was asked last year, what have you sacrificed for the war effort? How have you supported the troops?

////Once upon a time….. it was a dark and stormy night…….when we increased the troops and the bombing in Vietnam, right before Christmas too. And we wonder why vets are freaked out over the holidays?

Where do I begin? Five calls tonight asking my take on the Presidents speech.

“Do I have to?” I say.

“Well yes,” my 85 year old World War ll pal says.

“How can you be in the advocacy business and not comment on War?”

One reason, is that the last time I outed my editorial brain, some blogger trolls slammed me for not being an advocate for veterans. Huh? So, advocates are supposed to be mindless puppets?

So, from the advocacy corner, where I have resided since 1972, I would say that the absence of any and all discussion about the impact of war on our family, friends and employers is so conspicuous that one wonders if we have so sanitized the entire affair and desensitized the citizenry that it is as if war has become a third party experience akin to reality TV.

My elderly friend then asked why I thought the President did not “rally” the people behind the war effort. Whew… where is Rosie the Riveter when we need her? I guess that is what he meant.

Well, “this is not your Fathers war I tell him” ( a bit of an anachronism for him, as he could be my father!). Meaning, there is no declared war and I do not see any major sacrifices being made for the war cause. Key word being “sacrifices,” a world of difference from “support.” We support now with bumper stickers and head out to Monday Night Football.

In the past 8 years name me the sacrifices the American people have made for the war effort? Rationing…? well yes, sort of, if you count the number of people out of work as a result of the cost of the war. How many in the neighborhood are packing up Christmas gifts for the troops? Is anyone contacting the families of the deployed to see if they need help? Do you know who the veterans are in your neighborhood? Have you welcomed them home.. personally?

You will not hear a political stance here…so keep calm blog trolls, I am remaining focused on the impact and intense need for advocacy that is on the horizon with the continued rotation and increase in troops.

The obvious effect of multiple tours is going to permeate our entire culture for the next ten years and hopefully abate beyond that. The Outreach programs with both the VA and private non-profits are going to be maxed. The medical facilities are going to be utilized to their tolerable limits, as the increase in Traumatic Brain Injury, which is now at about 240% above the days of the invasion of Iraq. The enemy has figured something out here. Possibly, how to fight the most well financed Army in the world. Ho Chi Minh used booby traps and tunnels that were impervious to bombs, to offset the Goliath. Now it is IED’s. An Iraq vet at one of our retreats said, “head injuries are the enemies memo to take home.” He had two, and will be compromised for life. His comment about a head injuries being an “invasion of our country..sorta,’ is a bit macabre.

The expected increase in the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress, in both the NCO and Officer ranks, now that it is okay for them to admit it, will take a toll that is a complete unknown. The fabric of the home-front will be altered in ways America has never experienced, as America has never experienced multiple tours in a war zone. Even the seasoned and highly skilled Psychologists are pondering the symptomatic cluster they will be confronted with in men and women who have served up to 5 tours of duty.

One Psychologist I met at a workshop in California said, “I have no idea, what kind of hybrid humans we are creating with so much exposure to a war.” “We were not trained for this, no one is, really,” he said.

As a trained combat Marine, I know full well what it is like to deal with a thinking and highly devious enemy who is hell bent for leather to wear down our morale. I frankly never thought I would experience another waking hell like this in my lifetime. But here we are. And the Soldiers,Sailors, Airman and Marines need us more now then ever.

As the saying goes, “the soldier is always subsidiary to the politician.”

The mission never changes. We need to Clear-Hold- Build,(the locals that is). That mission needs a ton of allies this time around. Our abacus does not have that many beads.

I say Semper Fi. But this time, the old war torn Marine says, “Semper Fi” to my brothers and sisters comin’ home. I am indeed my brothers keeper. And, as St Paul admonished us, we should “pray unceasingly,” that the decisions announced tonight will work out for the good of the order.
The symmetrical escalation and second guessing polemics that will hit the radio waves tomorrow, is not called supporting the troops.

Disability Examination Worksheets

These 57 Disability Examination Worksheets are in use both by the doctors of VHA (Veterans Health Administration) who do the disability examinations and by the rating specialists, hearing officers, and Decision Review Officers of VBA (Veterans Benefits Administration) who do the disability evaluations.

These examination worksheets are in Adobe PDF format.

Go to web site above if those listed below don’t open for you, click on type of C&P Exam you have coming up.. review.  Also good guide for any civilian doctor.

Acromegaly (changed 05/25/10)
Aid and Attendance or Housebound Examination (changed 05/25/10)
Arrhythmias (changed 05/25/10)
Arteries, Veins, and Miscellaneous (changed 05/25/10)
Audio (changed 02/17/10)
Bones (Fractures and Bone Disease) (changed 05/25/10)
Brain and Spinal Cord (changed 05/25/10)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (changed 05/25/10)
Cold Injury Protocol Examination
Cranial Nerves Changed May 1, 2007
Cushing’s Syndrome (changed 09/27/10)
Dental and Oral (changed 09/27/10)
Diabetes Mellitus (changed 09/27/10)
Digestive Conditions, Miscellaneous (changed 06/03/10)
Ear Disease (changed 06/03/10)
Eating Disorders (Mental Disorders) (changed 06/03/10)
Endocrine Diseases, Miscellaneous
Epilepsy and Narcolepsy (changed 06/03/10)
Esophagus and Hiatal Hernia <(changed 05/01/07)
Eye Examination (changed 01/05/09)
Feet (changed 05/01/07)
Fibromyalgia (changed 05/01/07)
General Medical Examination (changed 02/25/10)
Genitourinary Examination (changed 04/17/08)
Gulf War Guidelines
Gynecological Conditions and Disorders of the Breast
Hand, Thumb, and Fingers (changed 04/30/07)
Hemic Disorders
HIV-Related Illness (changed 05/01/07)
Infectious, Immune, and Nutritional Disabilities
Initial Evaluation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (changed 04/02/07)
Intestines (Large and Small) (changed 05/01/07)
Joints (Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hip, Knee, and Ankle) (changed 04/20/09)
Liver, Gall Bladder, and Pancreas (changed 05/01/07)
Lymphatic Disorders (changed 05/02/07)
Mental Disorders (Except Initial PTSD and Eating Disorders) (changed 05/01/07)
Mouth, Lips, and Tongue
Neurological Disorders, Miscellaneous
Nose, Sinus, Larynx, and Pharynx (changed 05/01/07)
Peripheral Nerves
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: See Initial, Review and Mental
Prisoner of War Protocol Examination (changed 05/25/10)
Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Mycobacterial Diseases
Rectum and Anus (changed 05/02/07)
Residuals of Amputations
Respiratory (Obstructive, Restrictive, and Interstitial)
Respiratory Diseases, Miscellaneous
Review Examination for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (changed 04/02/07)
Scars (changed 02/19/09)
Sense of Smell and Taste
Skin Diseases (Other than Scars)
Social and Industrial Survey (Added 07-22-04)
Spine (Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar) (changed 04/20/09)
Stomach, Duodenum, and Peritoneal Adhesions (changed 05/01/07)
Thyroid and Parathyroid Diseases (changed 05/01/07)
Traumatic Brain Injury (updated 05/25/10)

God Bless
Jose M. Garcia PNC
National Deputy Service Officer
Catholic War Veterans,USA
Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.
In God We Trust

Politics Punditry And Potents Of Doom Need Poets

If I were the king of the forest,  I would send all the media home for 60 days right after the mid-term elections. We need some quiet in the house please.

As T.S Eliot once said, “how much reality can humankind handle?”  Do we really need to score these folks every minute of the day?

The whole concept of proportionality has gone down the drain. Politics is only the art of the possible it is not the end game. There are not just two sides either. The global economy and the paradigm shifts in our workforce are way to complicated to be pigeonholed into a false dichotomy of Red and Blue.  We have lost our moorings of civility and a lexicon for consensus building. If any of these current day political ranters were in the Armed Forces they would be getting office hours and Article 15’s for their impudent ways.  In fact, many are an embarrassment to our troops who are literally defending their right to be so intractably addicted to daily adolescent school yard diatribes. Lets try to make the soldiers proud of us.

Lets just all button up for 60 days. Give these nubile electeds a chance to find the mess hall and maybe some breathing room to accomplish something of value for all of us who are not so troubled as some imagine.

I declare that the “Untroubled,” are the true silent majority. And many have simply had their fill of the tripartite narcissism that is rampant in all media forms; print, telecast and broadcast.

Can you imagine Vince Lombardi in the halls of Congress?  The team comes first not the players and the strategists. Lets just stop listening to them and read some poetry and play some music.  It is we who fuel the feeding frenzy for pugnacity and polarity.

Lets have some quiet in the house please.

By Emily Dickinson

This World is not conclusion/ A Species stands beyond/ Invisible, as Music/ But positive as Sound/ It beckons, it baffles/ Philosophy–don’t know/ And through a riddle at the last/ Sagacity must go/ To guess it puzzles scholars? To gain it, Men have borne/ Contempt of Generations/ And Crucifixion shown/ Faith slips–laughs, and rallies/ Blushes if any see/ Plucks at a twig of  Evidence/ And asks a Vane, the way/ Much Gesture from the Pulpit/ Strong Hallelujahs roll/ Narcotics cannot still the Tooth/ That nibbles at the soul.

Tell the Truth but tell it slant/ Success in Circuit lies/ Too bright for our infirm Delight/ The Truth’s superb surprise/ As Lightning to the children eased/ With explanation kind/ The Truth must dazzle gradually/ Or every man be blind.

Former University of Arizona And NBA Player Homeless

There but for the grace of God, go I.  In these times of intractable economic travail, there are fellow Americans with talents, and resumes that are stunning, who have found themselves without resources.  Engineers, Lawyers et al. I can currently name  three individuals, veterans, who were all in the six figure income bracket, and are now just barely hanging on.  Once you hit that economic slide it can be irreversibly slippery, were it not for folks that dedicate their lives to helping the homeless.

I recall a time when I sat on the Board of the Salvation Army along with one very well healed board member from England, where the Salvation Army began.  He explained to me how the origins and history of the SA touched his heartstrings. They knew that the mainline churches of the day were primarily ministering to “shiny Christians,” while leaving the poor to fend for themselves. Not so in line with the corporate works of mercy that Jesus spoke of, so they formed their own earthly mission  to the poor. They are now rated the number one charity in the nation, having led the way to such fine programs like Piquette Square in Detroit and restoring dignity to ones life.

My grandfather Frederick Reginald Brewer was one the early missionaries who came over from England with William Booth. He was one of the early editors of the War Cry, the Salvation Army magazine.

Let us not ever forget the saving power of  Grace and the potency of the love of  our brothers and sisters. There is really nothing else that matters.

Tucson has one of the nation’s most successful programs for homeless veterans, Esperanza and Escalante.  I encourage you to include them in your holiday giving.

Homeless: Ex-NBA Player & Vet’s Comeback

By Sheree R Curry Nov 12th 2010 @ 11:30AM

Coniel Norman, who is a former NBA player and a military veteran, was homeless right before he moved into Piquette Square, a new, $23-million 150-unit apartment project in Detroit built to house and care for homeless veterans.

Norman was a star on the University of Arizona basketball team in 1972 and was later drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia ’76ers, where he played two seasons before heading to the Continental Basketball Association and then the San Diego Clippers. After being released by the Clippers in 1979, he enlisted in the military.

“My brother served in the Army and was in Vietnam,” Norman says. “I was looking for a career after basketball and I wanted to see what military life was like.”

However, nearly 30 years after being discharged he was homeless in Los Angeles. The facilities at Piquette Square were designed for veterans like him.

“We have a job training program called Detroit Green Works Solutions,” says Steve Palackdharry, the communications manager at Southwest Solutions, which runs Piquette Square. “He went through that [12-week program] and was able to get a job after that doing landscaping. He is well on his way to building his life.

“Not only does it provide high quality housing,” Palackdharry said of the program, “but it helps [veterans] with many unique needs they have, including workforce development,Norman’s military career included being stationed in Germany, where he served four years. Afterward, he played professional basketball in Europe for seven seasons, but his basketball career came to an abrupt halt when he was injured in a serious car accident on the Autobahn.

He then moved to Los Angeles and worked as a counselor in a mental health agency for more than 15 years. However, in 2008, substance abuse caused him to be nearly homeless for a year.

After successfully completing a drug rehabilitation program he made contact with his sister Renee in Detroit, with whom he had not spoken in 26 years.

“I had to make sure it was really him when we spoke on the phone,” Renee says. “So I asked him about his memories of my daughter Cassie. From what he said and the way he said it, I knew it was Coniel.”

Norman moved in with Renee in Detroit for a few months and then moved into Piquette Square soon after the project opened in early June.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got into Piquette Square,” Norman told an audience of 500 people at the July 15 grand opening of Piquette Square for Veterans. “Sometimes I still have a hard time believing that I’m here. But I thank God for it. The apartments are beautiful.”

At that ceremony was Mayor David Bing, who played in the NBA against Norman almost 40 years ago. “All of us who live here are grateful for the generosity of all the people who made this building possible and who donated things to make us feel at home,” Norman added. “It is my honor to thank you all from all the veterans at Piquette.”

Anyone interested in providing assistance to Norman can e-mail his niece at cassienorman@hotmail.com.

One Explanation of Oorah Marine Corps Shout

This explanation is compliments of the United States Marine Corps League. I will later give the Native American legend version.

Oorah is a spirited cry common to United States Marines since the mid-20th century. It is comparable to the “Huaa” (heard, understood, and accepted – pronounced Hooah) cry used in the Army, but is probably more commonly used among Marines than “Huaa” would be in the Army. It is most commonly used to respond in the affirmative to a question, to acknowledge an order, or as an expression of enthusiasm.

The 1st Amphibious Reconnaissance Company, FMFPAC can be credited with the introduction of “Oorah!” into the Corps in 1953, shortly after the Korean War. Recon Marines served aboard the submarine USS Perch, ASSP-313, which was a WWII diesel submarine retrofitted to carry Navy UDT and Recon Marines. As is commonly depicted in war movies, whenever the boat was to dive, the PA system would announce “DIVE! DIVE!”, followed by the sound of a horn: “AARUGHA!”.

In 1953 or 1954, while on a conditioning run, one of the 1st Amphibious Recon Marines imitated the “Dive” horn sound “AARUGHA!” as part of the cadence, and it naturally became a part of the Recon cadence while on runs, and thereafter infiltrated Recon Marine lexicon. Over time, “AARUGHA!” morphed into the shorter, simpler “Oorah!” Today, the official Marine Corps Training Reference Manual on the history of Marine Recon is titled “AARUGHA!”

Former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps John Massaro, while serving as the company Gunnery Sergeant of 1st Force Amphibious Recon in the late 1950s, accquired “Oorah!” and took it with him when he went to serve as an instructor at the Drill Instructor school at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. He there passed it on to the Drill Instructor students and they, in turn, passed it on to their recruits.

Owing to its relatively recent origins, it is less common for Marines who served in Vietnam or earlier to be familiar with “Oorah!”, but most post-Vietnam Marines will have learned it throughout their careers.

Several apocryphal origins of “Oorah!” exist. One has it that the term is Turkish for “Kill”. How a Turkish word entered the Marine Corps is not typically explained. In fact, the Turkish word for “kill” is “öldürmek”. However, the Russian battlecry of “Urrah!” can supposedly be traced to the Turkish word for “Kill.”

A shortened version of “Oorah!” can come out as a short, sharp, monosyllabic gutteral “Er!”

Retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, Drill Instructor and Hollywood actor R. Lee Ermey is known for using “Oorah!” frequently on the History Channel program Mail Call, which he hosts.

“Oorah” and “Hooah” may also be variations of the earlier “Hurrah”, which was a common shout used by English-speaking soldiers in the past.

Letter From Hannah To Veterans On Veterans Day

The following is a letter that was handed to myself and my buddy Bob, who was my Sgt. in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, at a spectacular Appreciation Dinner I attended this evening while visiting the High Desert in California. This  16th Annual event was at Serrano High School near Apple Valley, California and was attended by some 800 veterans from surrounding communities.  The children from the High School and Quail Valley Middle School were the volunteer hosts for the evening. These kids made us feel like we were dining at a Five Star restaurant.  The respect and courtesy that filled up the gymnasium was enough to cause these two ole combat Marines to tear up.

When the kids circulated among the veterans to get our autographs I just about lost it.  I was transported back in time, wondering what it would have been like for tens of thousands of us to have been welcomed and appreciated like this.

The following is the letter from Hannah, a student at Quail Valley Middle School  in Phelan, California.  Imagine for a moment that she wrote this in 1968.

Dear Hero.

I so appreciate you for fighting for us. I know that freedom is not free. I thank you for going away from your family and fighting for us.  It must have been hard when you had to go away and leave your your home and family. Since you did we are able to sleep peacefully at night and not worry about all the terrible things going on in the world. I am so thankful that you made it back to your family and that I am able to meet you today. You’re a true hero for sacrificing part of your like to keep America free. We owe you so much more every day for this is what our country is all about. I am proud to live in a country with so many brave people.

Sincerely, Hannah

God bless you Hannah. We sleep better too with that brand of respect.

Happy Birthday Marine Corps!

For 41 of the 235 years of the Marine Corps, I have adopted and earned the pride to say that I am damn happy to be a United States Marine. Semper Fidelis Marines! And happy birthday. Be safe today and spread the pride.

Having served with the 7th Marines in Vietnam, there is not a day that has passed since I joined the Corps in 1967 that I have not been proud to claim the title of United States Marine. Every ounce of  discipline and leadership skills I learned are credited to the Marines and its history of training a “few good men.” Oh, I suppose I should include a few Nuns from Catholic school too!  In good times and bad of which there were many after Vietnam, I could always rely on the “fidelis, (faith), of my fellow Marines to keep my spirits aligned, and boots shined!

I am amazed to this day, how the smallest of all the Armed Forces holds so much respect around the world.  From Embassies to the Presidents helicopters you see those perennial Corporals, the backbone of the Marine Corps standing tall. Watch them salute, watch them march, watch the silent drill team, and you will witness the pinnacle of human precision.   Ooorah!

If ever you are touring the Washington DC area, do not miss the chance to visit the new Marine Corps Museum at Quantico, where the leaves are polished! This museum has become one of Virginia’s top tourist destinations with more than 2 million visitors since its opening in 2004. They recently added three new galleries showcasing the history of Marines from the Revolution to defending national interests at sea by taking on the Barbary pirates, the first terrorists, to the new WWl gallery with trmendous photos of our involvement with Expeditionary Forces in France.

The museum has launched a Virtual Experience website that features tons of history and collectibles.   It can be seen at “www.VirtualUSMCMuseum.com”

Mike Brewer. 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. Squad Leader, Forward Observer. Republic of Vietnam, Quang Nam Province. 1968-69

Veterans Day Parade 2010

So few Tucsonans  know that Tucson has one of  the longest running Veterans Day Parades in the nation. For 91 years,  the Morgan McDermott Post 7 of the American Legion has been at the helm of this deeply meaningful civic event. Since the opening of the VA Hospital after WWl, the American Legion downtown has played an integral role in painting and scripting the history of Tucson.

When you think about the comings and goings downtown Tucson, be reminded that the American Legion has outlasted  all retail and  services operations downtown. And they did so without subsidies, improvement districts, taxes, economic development directors and ungodly salaries. The tenure of  Post 7 of the American Legion has its life blood in the undying volunteerism of its members.

91 years they have shepherded this parade! That is stability folks, and that attribute and tribute is a by product of the Veterans that served in harms way so that downtowns could even exist! No freedom, no downtown.

I can hear Geico’s add now, with Gunny Ermey ordering  you all to attend, with your family and children, the 91st Annual Veterans Day Parade downtown Tucson.  Parade route can be found at, “MorganMcDermottPost7,” website and the Arizona Daily Star.

The Grand Marshall of the parade will be the American Legion State Commander, Dick Perry.  Parade Contest winners are announced and awarded their trophies at the Open House after the parade at the Legion Post, located at 330 West Franklin.  622-8703.

This event is always a real treat for family and friends.  The VVA Chapter 106 won a first place for creativity in 2000, and I will never forget the pride of all of us that worked on that float.   So get your fannies over to the parade and the post….”you namby pambies” Gunny Ermey told me to tell you!

When you visit the Post ask them how long Helen worked there and how long Louie has been a volunteer! It will blow you away.