Half Of Ameican Veterans Not Aware of Benefits

The most striking aspect of this phenomena, is the number of men in their 80’s  for whom I help gain the benefits they earned and were promised upon enlistment. many of them do not distinguish between the disability process and basic VA Health care.  Many more are not aware of the non-service connected disability process. America works hard to keep its veterans healthy and out of hospitals.

Most Veterans Still Unaware of Benefits

Week of November 26, 2012

More than half of America’s veterans say they have little or no understanding of the benefits due them, despite efforts over recent years to match returning soldiers with the help and services they need. One major change came last week when a new law will mandate all departing servicemembers go through a series of detailed benefits sessions. For more information, read the full article on Military.com and visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Services webpage at www.va.gov/landing2_vetsrv.htm.

Small Business Saturday Goes Viral With Veterans

Well, at least it has gone viral with about 20 of my veteran pals!

I am not sure that anyone has quantified or set a benchmark for the definitive calculation for viral. Maybe after this little bit of flippancy, we will see what viral really means.

For sure, the small business community would endear themselves to the veteran community, as would American Express. With the massive number of us in the Boomer category, meaning the highest disposable income of all demographic groups, you know they are after us.

It was three years ago that Mayor Bloomberg and Kenneth Chenault the honcho at American Express launched this nifty idea of, ” Small Business Saturday.” I think it is working. I hear more and more folks adopting bragging rights about how they shop local. It is the latest tattoo. Even kind of chic, depending on your brand of local. Geezz, I always used to patronize local taverns!

There is clearly a celebratory aspect to this emerging movement. It has an uncanny similarity to the fondness for returning veterans. So lets just have a corporate merger here. All devised by little ole TucsonCitizen.com, with Daddy Gannett looking on.

On Small Business Saturday each business could donate $1 to the cause of Disabled Veterans. We could be all grown up like the MDA and Susan B Konen Fund. Just without the coercion and involuntary requests from all the convenience store employees. Ours would be a bit more magnanimous and sans corporate staff.

The  market researchers have indicated that this campaign to shop locally created approximately 103 million shoppers.  Can you dig it? 103 million Americans helping Disabled Veterans across America. Seems to me that American Express would get as much mileage out this marriage of causes as would one day of shopping.

Howabout just taking a combat veteran shopping on Saturday.? That makes two in the store. What do I know? I am just a street level marketer. Although, I did turn around 5 shopping centers in Tucson.

As a retired commercial property manager and landlord, I spent my adult life with local business men and women.  I think I have a feel for their community spirit.

The National Federation of Business has predicted that the consumers who are planning to shop from local merchants will be at 67%. In 2011 that percentage of all consumers was 44%.

I say, add the Veterans in  your community to the equation and we can push that to 75%.

So, lets go viral and set a new benchmark. In the process Americans will get to meet a few Veterans of War. It would look like an old Norman Rockwell painting.

Veteran Veritas  may have to copyright this scheme. I can see a new Hallmark card now!

Happy Thanksgiving American Veteran

When thinking of prayer, I am reminded of the advice of my  spiritual mentor, “keep your prayers simple,” she said. “Help me and Thank you.”   I have been helped by so many of my veteran pals I have lost count. Thank you. Thank you.

There are times I wish that Thanksgiving was like Chanukah, an 8 day festival of thankfulness. We could then allow the depth of the meaning of gratitude to be a true compass. On this day of  commemorating our appreciation of the gifts of family, total freedom of choice and our own talents, we could sally forth to make it part of our breakfast meal every day.

Possibly then E Pluribus Unum would return the lexicon of daily living.

Thank you American Veteran. Thank you!

Veterans Cost Of Living Increase To Start December 1,2012



After delay, Senate passes veterans’ COLA


By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Nov 13, 2012 15:49:40 EST

By voice vote and with no apologies for unnecessary hand-wringing, the Senate passed a bill that provides 4 million veterans and survivors a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase effective Dec. 1.

The measure now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

The bill providing the COLA, HR 4114, had been left at the side of the legislative road in September when Congress took a break for the elections because of a still unexplained objection to the measure, which simply provides the same increase in disability and survivor benefits that automatically would occur for Social Security recipients and military retirees.

When Congress failed to pass the COLA bill Sept. 22, there was pre-election squabbling over the risk that the bill might not pass in time for the increase to first appear in January paychecks, as is customary.

That talk was fueled by a statement from the Veterans Affairs Department that if Congress didn’t act by Nov. 13, VA might not have time to adjust its payroll mechanism. VA later revised the processing time, saying veterans would be paid as long as Congress acted by early December and as long as it was an across-the-board increase.

Congress has resisted making the veterans’ COLA automatic because passing the measure each year gives lawmakers a way to tout their support for veterans in their re-election campaigns.

A freshman lawmaker, Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s disability assistance panel, has proposed legislation to make veterans’ compensation automatically increase at the same time as Social Security, without the need for congressional involvement. His proposal passed the veterans’ committee this year but has not passed the full House and seems unlikely to become law before the current session of Congress ends.

Happy 237th Birthday Marine Corps

The Few, The Proud, The Marines! Happy Birthday Jar-heads!

I declare that I will never tire of  saying this as long as I am breathing and able to eek out a one more… OOORAH!

There are only 176,000 of us on active duty, the smallest of all the Armed Forces.

The United States Marine Corps traces its institutional roots to the Continental Marines of the Revolutionary War, formed by Captain Samuel Nicholas by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on the 10th of November, 1775  at Tuns Tavern in Philadelphia, Pa.

One of the Marines more notable actions occurred during the First Barbary War, 1801-1805 against the Barbary Pirates. Some now say, the first terrorist attack. William Eaton and Lt. Presley O”Bannon led eight, imagine that, just eight Marines and approximately 500 mercenaries in an effort to seize Tripoli.  This  siege attempt  only reached Derna, yet the action has been memorialized in the lyrics of the Marine Corps hymn and the Mameluke Sword adorned by Marine officers.

The whole Tripoli aspect of military history being re-visited again is a bit uncanny.

The values and discipline we learned in the Marine Corps travel with me  like the calcium in my bones.

“Here’s health to you and to our Corps/ Which we are proud to serve/ In many a strife we’ve fought for life/ and never lost our nerve/ If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scenes/They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

Veterans Weekly Report

Print & Post: Week of November 05, 2012

Hurricane May Impact VA Operations
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy may impact Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operations, leading to closures, cancellations, or rescheduling along the East Coast. If you live in an area affected by storm damage and have pending VA appointments, be sure to (http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp?isflash=1) contact your VA facility to ask about their operational schedule. Some appointments may be rescheduled or canceled, and some facilities may be closed entirely until it’s safe to resume normal duties. You can find the contact information for your local VA facility on the (http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp?isflash=1) VA website. You can also follow your local VA facilities on (http://www.va.gov/opa/socialmedia.asp) Facebook and Twitter through links at VA’s (http://www.va.gov/opa/socialmedia.asp) Social Media Directory for updates on closures and appointment cancellations.For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.

South Dakota Veterans Sought for Study
University of South Dakota psychology professors Jeffrey Simons and Raluca Gaher will soon be conducting a study to examine the association between traumatic stress and health outcomes among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Simons and Gaher are seeking 250 veterans for the 18-month study who have served in operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom. The participants must be able to safely participate in the study and be able to travel to Sioux Falls and Vermillion, S.D. Participants do not have to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. With the help of smart phones, participants will answer questions daily in real time about their feelings, social relationships, behaviors, activity levels and PTSD symptoms. For more information, contact (https://www.usd.edu/arts-and-sciences/psychology/clinical-psychology/raluca-gaher.cfm) Professor Raluca Gaher or (https://www.usd.edu/arts-and-sciences/psychology/clinical-psychology/Jeffrey-Simons.cfm) Professor Jeffrey Simons at 605-677-5353.

For more links to military family support resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Spouse and Family Center.

General Dynamics Seeking Veteran Talent
Your Next Mission Starts Here: General Dynamics scours the country in search for the best veteran talent to help us deliver innovative technology solutions for our nation’s highest-priority defense and homeland security initiatives. (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employer/gdit/?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Learn how your skills can translate into a civilian career in mission-critical programs.

Vet Assisted Living in Florida
The Robert H. Jenkins Jr. Veterans’ Domiciliary Home, a 148-bed housing facility for honorably discharged veterans in Lake City, Fla., provides a special combination of housing, personalized supportive services and incidental medical care to eligible veterans, who must be able to feed and dress themselves, and be in need of assisted living care. Residents must have at least one year of residency in the state of Florida and be in need of assisted living facility care, not hospital or nursing home care. Private rooms run about $2,100 a month and semi-private rooms about $1,650. Rates are based on a sliding fee scale according to the veteran’s income. For information about the veterans domiciliary, call 386-758-0600.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.

Hiring Our Heroes Job Fairs
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is holding job fairs for veterans throughout the month of November in 400 communities through its Hiring Our Heroes Program. Earlier this month, the US Chamber of Commerce held its 300th (http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes href=) Hiring Our Heroes job fair, leading to 10,400 jobs for veterans and spouses. A listing of the locations and dates of the Hiring Our Heroes job fairs being held across the country is available on the Hiring Our Heroes webpage at (http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events) www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events. Each event should have a link to more information on the time and location, as well as registration information.

For job fair listings across the nation and civilian job guides and tips, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs) Military.com Veteran Jobs Center.

2012 Veterans Day Discounts and Freebies
Each year businesses honor Veterans and Servicemembers by offering Veterans Day discounts on goods, services, and dining. Military.com has put together a list of 2012 veteran and military discounts, Buy One Get One (BOGO) offerings, and even some of the offerings include honest-to-goodness free meals. (http://www.military.com/veterans-day/veterans-day-military-discounts.html) Learn more about the 2012 Veterans Day Discounts and Freebies.

$400k Coverage: As Low as $26 a Month
Is VGLI too much for your family? Find low cost alternatives designed with your military family in mind. (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid=ret&ESRC=vr1105.nl) Get $400k protection starting at less than $1 a day.

Veterans Crisis Line
() The Veterans Crisis Line has saved thousands of lives with dedicated counselors taking calls from Veterans in mental health crises. Take a look at what goes on behind the scenes by viewing the video on (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm4WZs8Fa9s&feature=youtu.be) YouTube and visiting the (http://veteranscrisisline.net/) Veterans Crisis Line website. If you are a veteran in immediate crisis, or know a veteran who is, call the Veterans Crisis Line toll-free 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255, press 1.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.

VA and Women Veterans
The number of female Veterans using VA health care has doubled in the last decade, making women a significantly larger portion of the veterans VA serves every day. Many VA employees are women Veterans as well. As you celebrate all Veterans for their service to our country this Veterans Day, remember to recognize the women veterans around you for their contributions. The VA Women’s Health Services office and the National Women Veterans Communications Workgroup have created a poster, digital/Web art, social media messages, and a Facebook image to “share,” which celebrate the contributions of women veterans. Visit the Women’s Health SharePoint to download these resources for your use on this Veterans Day and beyond.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.

Determining VA Eligibility
Determining your VA eligibility status is easier than you think. For more information, read the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/8304/a-few-resources-to-determine-va-eligibility/) VAntage Point Blog.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.

From Building Buicks to Bombers
Three hundred and forty-three thousand automobiles left the General Motor’s super-assembly plant in Linden, N.J., between 1937 and 1941. Throughout these years of peace, Buicks, Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles flowed in an endless procession from this factory into dealers’ showrooms from Maine to Virginia — then production stopped. (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/military-transition/from-building-buicks-to-bombers.html?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Read Full Article.

Veterans Day Resources
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has resources for Veterans Day on its (http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/) Veterans Day–November 11 webpage. The (http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/) 2012 Veterans Day Teacher Resource Guide is available there in both a PDF file and a Word version. The website also contains suggested activities for Veterans Day and relevant information for students ? such as the history of Veterans Day, the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day, and information about scholarships. The 2012 Veterans Day poster is also available on the website to download in various formats. Information is also available on the website on the Veterans Day National Ceremony, which is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery.

For more on Veterans Day history and tributes, visit the (http://www.military.com/veterans-day) Military.com Veterans Day page.

3 VA Loan Tips
Tip: Get Pre-Approved. Before you start the hunt for a house, the best thing you can do is to get pre-approved for your VA loan amount. Hint: Check Your Credit. Did you know that over 70 percent of all credit reports in the United States contain errors? Hint: Consider the Advantages of Having a VA Guaranteed Loan. A VA mortgage loan can be guaranteed with no money down, in some cases up to $417,000. There is also no private mortgage insurance requirement. (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/home-purchase/veterans-administration-home-loan-tips.html?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Read the full story on Military.com.

(https://secure.military.com/leads/VALoanNew/Step1.jsp?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Next Step: Search for lenders ready to help you buy or refinance with a VA loan.

Get Help at Your Local VA Vet Center
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vet Centers offer Veterans and their families an alternative to bustling VA hospitals. The 300 centers located across the country, offer counseling, substance abuse and employment assessment, and resources. For more information, visit VA’s Vet Center webpage at (http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/) www.vetcenter.va.gov/.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.

Veterans Day: Discounts and Freebies
Each year businesses honor veterans and servicemembers, as well as their families, with Veterans Day discounts on goods, services, and dining. Military.com has listed out the (http://www.military.com/veterans-day/veterans-day-military-discounts.html?ESRC=mrvr.nl) 2012 veteran and military discounts, including Buy One Get One (BOGO) offerings, and this year’s offerings even include some honest-to-goodness free meals.

View all military (http://www.military.com/discounts/?ESRC=mrvr.nl) deals and discounts.

Get top deals and information on how to save big by signing up for (http://www.military.com/LeadForms/NewsLetterSignup?ESRC=mrvr.nl) the Military Deals and Discounts Newsletter.


American Legion Post 7 Sponsors Veterans Day Parade For 90 Years

Morgan McDermott Post 7- American Legion

330 W. Franklin Street

Tucson, AZ 85701-8208

Email- tucsonalvetparade@gmail.com



For Immediate Release 31 October, 2012

Contact: Felix Salaz, Parade Chairman (520)409-5974




For Decades the American Legion Post 7 has been dedicated to serving the Veteran Community of Tucson.


Tucson, Arizona American Legion Post 7 will hold a Veterans Day Parade this Veterans Day, Monday November 12th from 10am to 1pm. Sponsored by various American Legion Posts, Legion Riders, TPD, Access Tucson, AZ Rangers Cars4Vets Inc and others. Staffed completely by community volunteers, the Tucson non-profits aim to raise awareness of their proud service and dedication that enable their organization to continue carrying out and fulfilling the mission and goals of their causes.


Admission is free and so is the parking. Tucsonans can ogle over the 50+ vehicles on display, along with live performances from local marching bands. Wave and cheer to your favorite hero as they ride by on a display of talent. At the end of the parade, enjoy a meet and greet along with food and refreshments at the American Legion Post 7, 330 W. Franklin Str., between St. Mary’s and Congress off of I-10. Registration has begun and will end at 5pm 11 November, 2012.

For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation to the Veterans Day Parade and its’ supporting organizations, visit our website at www.po5295.wix.com/morganmcdermottpost7 .




Felix Salaz, Parade Chairman

Policy Not Personality Vital To Veterans Future

“The politics of obfuscation have outpaced the politics of interrogation.” Eugene Williams

It is for this astute observation about the sociology of current political trends that I intentionally waited until the eve of this Presidential election to weigh in on the issues and policies that impact America’s veterans. Sorting and seeking the raw truth takes longer these days.

The nascent cottage industry of, “fact checkers,” have now replaced the purity and objectivity of old school journalism.  When the obfuscated truth and fictions of advocacy journalism impact the lives of our nations veterans one wonders if the soldiers oath to uphold the Constitution and protect us against enemies foreign and domestic is the only remaining bastion of integrity.

Demographics show that veterans are twice as likely to vote as the rest of the citizenry. It would follow that both candidate Romney and President Obama would make appeals to their votes.

With the most silent, yet longest running war in modern history in progress in Afghanistan, you would think their appeals to veterans would embody some beef.  In this wearisome election cycle, or social engineering project disguised as a campaign, we have seen appeals devolve into appearances, with stilted groups of veterans standing erect with flat affects behind their candidate, logos and all, mute, while the pablum of neutrality flows. No talk of war. No request for sacrifice or support. And certainly no talk of the actuarial projections of the astronomical costs of the benefits for the permanent disabilities for the survivors of war. The irony being that our medical technology and emergency medicine is so advanced, (much of the innovation coming from the U.S. Army), that our soldiers and Marines are surviving at nearly 4-5 times the ratio of previous wars. The living disability factor and its impact on the National budget is curiously a muted topic. I wonder why?  Is it because the total cost on both ends of war, could break the bank?  Remember this is what Afghanistan did to Russia.

The disability process and the future of the Veterans Administration is a core issue with American veterans.  Romney and McCain before him hinted at privatizing the VA. This will not float with the veteran population.

In past elections veterans have favored the Republicans. Yet the polls had no specificity of job description. The margin switches places when you only poll combat veterans who remain in a statistical minority. The ratio of support troops to combat troops hovers around 10:1. Historically combatants have leaned left.

Clinton and Gore were popular with many Vietnam Veterans for reasons of policy not ideology. They aggressively took on the lingering problems with Agent Orange, as has this VA Administration.  They promoted and promulgated legislation that struck and emotional and survival cord for many of the families of Vietnam Veterans.  Karl Rove had not yet mastered the wedge issue game. And, I am not so sure that retired four-star-general, Eric Shinseki, the highest ranking Secretary of VA in history, would play those games. He has also proclaimed by way of expanding the list of illnesses and populations that were exposed to Agent Orange to finish this issue and take care of every legitimate applicant. This research benefits every soldier with chemical exposure to this day. The legislation spills backward and forward in time. Veterans know this.

There are 2 million troops who have rotated home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and a million more to come. Their party loyalty is somewhat vacant with nearly 40% registering Independent. Few elect to affiliate with the mainline fraternal organizations like the VFW, American Legion, or Marine Corps League. The reasons for ghosting from the traditional organizations is glaringly obvious, evidenced by an observation from a young former Navy sniper, Jonathan Andrews, who stated, “why would I join those guys? I will walk in a VFW for a beer and have a Blue State guy on one side and a Red State guy on the other…hurting my ears! I can get this cacophony in Baghdad or Kabul!”

Jonathan’s next observation about the state of nation is more penetrating.

“So the Republicans and Democrats pick the candidates, but us Independents pick the winners!”

Even though Dante warned us that, “the hottest places in hell our reserved for the neutral,” it is no wonder that the candidates neuter themselves in all discussions of war. Neither one wants to be tagged as a Dove or a Hawk. The resultant zeitgeist is that we have never in history been so disconnected from the conduct of war.  On this issue, I declare both cowards.

While the topic is avoided, it is proper to acknowledge that this Administration did dust Bin Laden, continue the surge, and implement the use of Drones without much controversy.

The jury is out on Benghazi. There are way to many moving parts in the Middle East to pretend this is the NFL Channel. Ergo, the reason Condi Rice said to, “back off.”

The evacuation of Saigon did not work out so well either, did it?  In Vietnam we had daily acts of terror.  Be assured we were not always granted support.   This “need to know,” from the common citizen who never served is a bit ludicrous. General Petraeus knows his shit. Let him be. Sometimes the few are sacrificed for the many. It is war folks…wake up.  Imagine helicopters coming to the rescue….just like all the Facebook Generals suggest. Then imagine Black Hawk Down. Go play war on your computer.

Back to the veteran table and the issues and policies that could tip tomorrows election.

The core issues of homelessness, joblessness amongst veterans, post-traumatic-stress-disorder, the disability claim process and the GI Bill have the laser attention of this Veteran Administration. There has never been a VA Secretary as aggressive and so respected as General Shinseki. He has gained advance funding for the  VA in the last two budget cycles—unprecedented for the previous 26 years.  He increased the budget by 25%, and increased medical coverage for the National Guard and Reservists. By example GW Bush knocked them off the docket, and John McCain did not even show for the vote on the GI Bill.

Veterans are hyper-vigilant about these issues and they have a huge impact on election decisions that transcend the arranged duopoly of party politics.

The Defense Budget is a crap shoot when it comes to veterans. As an issue, this a bit more dependent upon the voters depth and fund of knowledge about the very subterranean planning process of the Pentagon. Remenber, it was Donald Rumsfeld who wanted to drastically cut the boots on the ground in favor of aviation and nuclear submarines. War is morphing itself as warp speed.  We are entering areas that not even Star Ship Enterprise ventured. Cyber-war is dead serious and it is not fought with guns.  Our power grids are vulnerable. Our VA Hospitals were on alert a few years back and most likely still are.

Do not let the pundits fool you or engage in red herring tactics when it comes to elections. For every soldier we cut back, they are replaced with a private contractor or mercenary. It is still your tax tab. The whole world of the proverbial, “shadow government,” has little to do with Presidential elections, but the armchair State Department mavens think it does. So, this issue is a near tie for both candidates, with a small edge going to POTUS, since he actually knows who runs the shadow government.

With the total veteran population at 23,067,000.  7,653, ooo from the Vietnam era. 5,507,000 from the Gulf War era. Korean conflict, 2,261,000. and World War ll at ,2,272,000 and peacetime veterans at 5,892.000. Female veterans representing 7.9% of all veterans at 1,824,00 and one-in-five males over 18 years of age being veterans, it can be said that this is one of the most diverse and amorphous body politics in America.

My prediction is that the combination of the Vietnam Veterans and women veterans who are somewhat concerned about Mitt Romney’s bellicosity without grounding, combined with the 40% Independent OEF/OIF veterans, will tip the election to the return of Obama.

Respect the process and our most amazing system of checks and balances. Read Article One of the Constitution, pray unceasingly, and know that America will always prevail with dignity.