Veterans Administration Adds Five Ilnesses to TBI Diagnosis

As a reminder to the families of returning veterans, the VA has placed five additional defined illnesses to the list of conditions that may be eligible for compensation and health care for service connected issues related to traumatic brain injury(TBI).

Veterans who are diagnosed with Parkinsonism, unprovoked seizures, some forms of dementias, depression and hormone deficiency illness linked to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands may now apply for VA benefits.

From 2000-2012 approximately 250,000 troops have been given a TBI diagnosis, with just 81,000 being rated as service connected. This accounts for much of the backlog that is now  front page news across the nation.

Another contributing factor to that backlog is the addition of Ischemic Heart Disease, about six years ago, to the Agent Orange related illness.

37% of the backlog are Vietnam Veterans, many of whom are just now getting care for exposure to Agent Orange.

Budget Boondogle For VA Clinics


Without VA Lease Authority, Veterans To Be Denied Care
Please Contact Your Elected Officials Today!
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to open 38 new community outpatient clinics, in 22 states and territories, between now and 2017. These clinics will be in leased buildings, with VA employees providing the services. This same arrangement has worked well in hundreds of existing VA clinics, nationwide.Last year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), an independent arm of Congress, decided these lease contracts would become long-term debts of the federal government. In considering the first 15 leases, Congress, based on the new CBO interpretation, forced VA to find funds for all 15 leases to cover an entire 20-year leasing period, rather than provide the money for only the first year. The authorizing law only requires the first year to be funded, with future payments to be managed through the annual VA budget. Because VA could not pay the entire cost (between $1.2 and $1.5 billion) in the first year for 15 clinics, this new interpretation effectively stopped all VA proposed leases. This program, both new clinic leases and renewals for existing leases, is now in jeopardy.

Without these clinics, VA will be denying care to veterans in need, while making their health care more expensive overall. The cost to the government is far less than construction of major VA hospitals. Without the ability to lease, from a practical point of view the change in Congressional policy forces VA to buy land and build government-owned clinics, or to do nothing. At a minimum this new requirement will add years to the existing planning process, will delay or deny care for veterans, and is unacceptable to veterans who need VA health care.

VA is managing almost 900 existing community-based outpatient clinics, all established under the prior policy, and operating under leases. Veterans who receive this care are highly satisfied. In our opinion this successful arrangement should not be abandoned at the expense of 340,000 or more veterans who would be denied care.

Please use the prepared letter, or write your own letter, to urge your two Senators and Member of the House of Representatives to solve this problem, to ensure veterans receive the care they earned and deserve. Recently, the Executive Directors of the major veterans service organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders expressing our concerns.

As always, thank you for your grassroots advocacy on behalf of injured, wounded and ill veterans, and for your support of DAV and our mission of service to veterans.

New Director at Arizona Department of Veterans Affairs

I apologize for the late posting of this press release. I was on the road helping some veterans with their claims. It seems important enough to post  for the benefit of Arizona Veterans.

Governor Jan Brewer Announces Director of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services

PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer today named Janson “Ted” Vogt as the new Director of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services (AZDVS).

“Ted ’s military background and management experience make him uniquely qualified for this position,” said Governor Brewer. “

As a veteran in his own right, Ted is a passionate advocate for our nation’s military men, women and families. He understands their needs, but he also recognizes their value to our state and our communities. I’m confident Ted will be a tremendous asset to the Department and a strong voice for Arizona veterans.”

Mr. Vogt is a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he worked as an intelligence officer and commanded a 26 person unit responsible for providing counter terrorism and threat information.

While with the Air Force, Mr. Vogt served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, and throughout the greater Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His duties within the Air Force included: Intelligence Briefer for the Secretary and Chief of Staff for the Air Force (The Pentagon 2006); Acting Flight Commander, 35th Operations Support Squadron (Misawa Air Base, Japan 2004 ‘06); Horned Owl Liaison Officer, Combined Air Operations Center (Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar 2004 ‘05); and Intel Battle Captain, Combined Joint Task Force 180 (Bagram, Afghanistan 2002 ’03).

On a civilian basis, Mr. Vogt has been an Associate Attorney at the Law Offices of Gerald K. Smith and John C. Smith, PLLC, since 2010.

Earlier, he was an advertising account executive with Leo Burnett Company, Inc., in Chicago, Illinois (1998 ’99); an executive assistant for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (1997; 1999-2000), and served as a mergers and acquisitions analyst for Broadview Associates, L.P., in Fort Lee, New Jersey (1995-’96).

Mr. Vogt has extensive public policy and legislative experience as an elected member of the Arizona House of Representatives (2010-‘13). As a legislator, he was a strong supporter of veterans’ issues, and sponsored legislation that granted automatic in state tuition at Arizona’s public universities and community colleges to honorably discharged veterans.

Mr. Vogt earned a law degree from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law (2010). He graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s in History (1995).

Tucson Mayor Announces Plan To End Veteran Homelessness

Of all the cities in the United States that could pull this off, Tucson is one that has a head start and the resources to be in the vanguard. With the laudable track record of programs like Esperanza and Escalante, the Mayor’s declaration can manifest with the evidence based success of the three decades of volunteerism in the veteran community.  Si se Puede!



Lisa Markkula, Communications Director
Office of the Mayor
o: (520) 791-4201

TUCSON, AZ – June 21, 2013

Who: Mayor Jonathan Rothschild
Representatives from: CODAC, Compass, City of Tucson Housing, Police and Fire Departments, the DM50, Primavera, the Red Cross, the Veterans Administration, other service providers

What: The White House has announced an initiative to end veterans homelessness by 2015 and Tucson is one of 25 flagship cities selected to lead this effort.

Mayor Rothschild has embraced this challenge and formed a working group to focus on identifying homeless and chronically homeless veterans and placing 52 a month into housing – all while cutting the HUD VASH Voucher processing time in half, from 40 days to 20 days. HUD, of course, stands for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and VASH stands for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.

“Our homeless veterans run the gamut from chronic homeless to students taking classes at Pima or the U of A and living in their cars,” said Mayor Rothschild. “We can get both populations – chronic homeless and recent homeless – off the street and into housing. We’re working hard to make this happen quickly, but it certainly won’t be easy. It’s going to require commitment from our city departments and employees, from our agency partners, and from our community.”

Veterans of Foreign Wars Looking For Vietnam Veterans Who Were Under 16 Upon Induction

The VFW is on a mission to discover anyone who served in Vietnam who was under 16 years old. The only known person is a Marine from South Carolina named Dan Bullock.  Should you have any pictures, letters or any documents to verify the veterans tender age, send them to Robert Widener, VFW Magazine, 406 West 34th Street, Kansas City, Mo. 64111. 816-969-1173.  email, “”

Touring my time in Vietnam, we encountered many soldiers and Marines who were 17, but none 16.  Both the South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese Armies employed children of all ages, as did the Viet Cong.  Of course, we all now know that it was tactical.  Our boys just wanted to serve, as they have done since the inception of  our nation.

New Online VA Tools

Since the inception of this blog, I have used the Catholic War Veterans as a resource. They are top notch, honest and reliable in the information they gather and work diligently to disseminate to the veteran community.  We are all here to do our small part to keep all veterans in the loop and hopefully not  misguided by our sensationalism addicted media, who frequently do not do all their homework. Veterans Affairs cannot be relegated to sound bites and talking points.  Can you imagine running the Armed Forces in that fashion? T

We are excited to share a few new online tools VA has recently launched to help Veterans learn more about the benefits they’ve earned.

Please help us share this online content by sharing it with your email contact lists and posting it online – via your websites, online newsletters and social media accounts.

If you have any questions about this or other VA content, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


VA Disability Claims process:

Vocational Rehabilitation:


Fully Developed Claims:


VA Hiring:

God Bless +

Jose M. Garcia PNC

National Service Officer

Catholic War Veterans

Mindfullness Classes For Veterans

Good News
from Purple Mountain Institute
Summer 2013

On the way to San Jose

Purple Mountain Institute at Netroots Nation 2013
We won!
PMI won a booth at Netroots Nation, a big convention of and for progressive thinkers and doers and movers and shakers. We will use this opportunity to raise awareness about our programs, especially the Mindful Veterans Project, and to raise money to allow us to continue our work in this ever-expanding community.
A big thanks to all who voted for PMI in the contest!

Get Your Souvenir T-Shirts Here!
We have t-shirts to take to Netroots Nation. We will give one to everybody who makes a donation to PMI of $20 or more. If you are interested in supporting PMI or the Mindful Veterans Project, or if you just want one of these cool shirts, you can make a donation here and then send me a note to tell me what size shirt you prefer. (M or W – s, m, l, xl, xxl, xxxl.)
Shirts are 100% unbleached cotton, union made in the US, screened at The Gloo Factory, a local union shop.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 

MONDAY NIGHTSFREE TO VETERANS AND THEIR PARTNERS6 – 7:30 pm  *  Rally Point/La Frontera  *  1101 E. Broadwaydrop-in meditation class, open to all.Beginning June 3

6 – 8:30 PM  *  Library at Ada McCormick Bldg  *  1401 E. 1st St.
Registration – Wednesday, July 17, 6 – 8 pm
MBSR – Wednesdays, July 24 through Sept. 11
daylong class, Aug. 31
Registration – Wednesday, Sept. 25, 6 – 8 pmMBSR – Wednesdays, Oct. 2 through Nov. 20daylong class, Nov. 9
6 – 8:30 pm  *  Rally Point/La Frontera  *  1101 E. Broadway Registration – Friday, July 19, 6 – 8 pmMBSR –  Fridays, July 26 through Sept. 13daylong class, Aug. 31 

Registration – Friday, Sept. 27, 6 – 8 pmMBSR –  Fridays, Oct. 4 through Nov. 22daylong class, Nov. 9   

MBSR classes are open to the community. Registration $400. Sliding scale available.
Thank you for your support and referrals!
Dr. Teri Davis
Executive Director, Purple Mountain Institute
Director, Mindful Veterans Project
Purple Mountain Institute | | |
120 South Houghton Road
Suite 138 • PMB 174
Tucson, AZ 85748