Tips on How to Obtain VA Benefits

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By Catherine Cornell, Attorney – The Veterans Practice, Ltd.

Let’s take things back to basics: what makes a good VA disability compensation claim? VA disability is like worker’s compensation for veterans.  When hurt on active duty, veterans can get VA compensation, just as a civilian worker could get worker’s compensation if hurt on the job.

This sounds simple, but the process can be trickier than you might think.

If not handled correctly from the outset, a compensation claim could be denied, possibly leaving the veteran mired in the appeals process for years. Yes, that’s right. Years.

The following tips can help veterans avoid the delay and frustration of a denial and have a better chance of obtaining VA benefits from the outset.

  1. Understand what’s required for the claim. Basically, VA compensation requires the veteran to show he has the condition he is claiming, usually through a doctor’s diagnosis. The veteran must also prove an in-service incident or injury caused the condition or that it showed up for the first time in service. That’s usually done with the help of a medical professional. Finally, in most cases the veteran needs to prove the incident, injury, or the manifestation of the condition actually occurred by using service records, buddy statements, newspaper articles or other proof. Other VA benefits, such as unemployability, have different requirements. There can also be other proof required depending on the time period and location of service. Veterans should carefully research what’s needed for a specific benefit, or get help from a veterans service officer. Many of those officers can be found in each state’s VA regional office.
  2. Don’t claim un-winnable conditions. After veterans nail down requirements for specific claims, they may realize a certain condition is not worth claiming. For example, a back injury from a car accident after service will not lead to VA compensation. Veterans should save time and possible frustration by not claiming disabilities that are clearly not service connected.
  3. Be proactive. The VA has a duty to assist veterans in obtaining information that might establish compensation claims. However, the reality is that the VA is overwhelmed, so it’s in the veteran’s best interests to gather as much evidence as possible for the claim herself.
  4. Use the correct forms. For example, the form for a new claim is different than the one needed to appeal a claim that was denied. The same goes for a veteran seeking unemployability benefits. The VA has forms for almost everything and they can generally be found on the Internet. If the correct form isn’t used, a claim can be delayed or rejected.
  5. Get military records. If a veteran doesn’t already have a complete copy of his Official Military Personnel File, he should request it, usually from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. The military file might contain helpful evidence to prove claims. Again, the VA has a duty to help obtain records to establish claims, but the veteran is best served by taking an active role in this process.
  6. Send in evidence with the claim. After a veteran gathers all the evidence and information possible, it should be sent in with the claim.  Helpful evidence may include: service and medical records; witness statements; private doctor statements; and any additional information or documentation that might help the VA make a favorable decision faster.
  7. Show up to VA exams. If the claim has merit, the VA will likely schedule a Compensation and Pension exam. That’s when a VA examiner meets with the veteran and renders an opinion on the likelihood that the claimed condition did stem from service, and the degree to which the condition is disabling. If a veteran doesn’t show up for the exam without re-scheduling it, the VA may deny the claim.
  8. Know what the VA exam is about. Often veterans submit claims for many conditions but are then scheduled for just one exam. Don’t go in blind. Contact the VA to ask what the exam will cover. That way the veteran can be prepared to explain the condition and how it resulted from service.
  9. Don’t miss deadlines or fail to respond. After getting a claim, the VA might send additional forms for the veteran to fill out or ask for clarification of a claim and set a deadline to respond. If a veteran lets these forms go or misses a deadline the VA might issue a denial.
  10. Don’t give up. The VA process can be wildly confusing and frustrating. Despite best efforts to send in correct forms and supportive evidence, compensation claims are often still denied. Veterans shouldn’t be afraid to seek help from knowledgeable people if necessary and, above all, shouldn’t give up on the benefits they deserve.

Brothers Keep Family Tradition of Army Service

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Three Stovell brothers pose for photo at their training site in Saudi Arabia, 26 June 2019. From left to right: Staff Sgt. Daniel Stovell, Staff Sgt. Daryl Stovell, and Sgt.1st Class Davin Stovell. All three work as training instructors for the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's Military Assistance Group that advises the Saudi Ministry of Interior. Called MOI-MAG, the DoD program teaches Saudi security forces how to defend their country's critical infrastructure sites like ports, airports, bridges, oil pipeline and refineries. (U.S. Army photo by Richard Bumgardner)

By Richard Bumgardner, USASAC

In 2018, when Sgt. 1st Class Davin Stovell saw a job posted on the Army’s Tour of Duty website, he knew it was tailor fit, not only for himself, but also for his two brothers, Staff Sgts. Daryl and Daniel Stovell.Pictured from left, Staff Sgt. Daniel Stovell, Staff Sgt. Daryl Stovell and Sgt. 1st Class Davin Stovell.

“It was like the advertisement was a list of our qualifications and life experiences,” Davin said, who, like his three brothers and two sisters, grew up as military kids.

The three Stovell brothers, full-time members of the Los Angeles Police Department, who were once in the National Guard and now Army Reserve, applied and were soon accepted.

Davin, who enlisted as an active-duty Army infantryman in 1995, and his brothers, who joined post 9/11, follow a proud military family tradition and legacy of service to the Army.

Five generations of the Stovell family tree have worn Army colors, starting with their great-grandfather, the first Stovell to wear an Army uniform. Their grandfather served in Korea, and their father, Donell Sr., did two combat tours to Vietnam.

A fourth older brother is in the Army Reserve, and their older sister is deployed overseas with the Mississippi National Guard. The family has not only served in the Army but has also served in every Army component.

Altogether, the five generations have completed nine combat tours, with more on the way before their duty to country and service in the Army is complete.

Davin, Daryl and Daniel are serving as military training advisers, assigned to Security Assistance Command’s Ministry of Interior-Military Assistance Group, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. As a subordinate organization of USASAC, MOI-MAG’s mission is to build partner readiness that ultimately enhances regional security.

Collectively, the three brothers have already given more than 80 years of public service: 53 in the military and 26 as police officers with the LAPD. And they’re not done yet.

The MOI-MAG program is the only program in the world where a U.S. Department of Defense organization has a train-and-advise partnership with another country’s Ministry of Interior. One of the primary missions of MOI-MAG personnel – who are Army reservists – is training the Facilities Security Force that protect the country’s civil structures and facilities, much like what the U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security does.

For the Stovell brothers, teaching defensive techniques to a partner force is natural fit. All are trained drill instructors. All have backgrounds in infantry. All have served on deployments in places such as Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, Panama, Germany and Australia. Altogether they have served four combat tours in Iraq.

“Ultimately, it will make the FSF soldiers better at what they do,” Davin said. “We’re trying to give them as much training as we can; training like how to handle a weapon, reflexive fire, clearing a building, establishing a checkpoint, how to do a patrol, conducting vehicle searches at an entry control, and even how to protect themselves if they are physically attacked.”

For Watson, having three brothers, all highly experienced noncommissioned officers, on his team is an interesting story, but he said, “I think what makes it a better story is that the three brothers that I have working for me are fantastic instructors; they are doing an extraordinary job of making FSF soldiers better at what they do.”

Source: army.mil

World’s First Black Fighter Pilot Honored at Museum of Aviation

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Eugene Bullard statue at museum of aviation

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Before the Tuskegee Airmen blazed the trail for black military pilots, there was Columbus, Georgia, native Eugene Bullard.

During World War I, while fighting for France, he became the world’s first black fighter pilot. Last week, on what would have been his 124th birthday, hundreds of people honored him at the Museum of Aviation.

A life-sized bronze statue of Bullard was unveiled. Harriett Bullard White, his cousin, became emotional when she saw it.

She was 11 years old when he died and remembers him well. She has been to France many times to visit places related to his service.

“He was, for us, a giant hero,” she said. “No one ever heard of him outside of our family, it seemed, but he was our hero.”

She was among 22 family members from around the country who came for the ceremony, along with five original Tuskegee Airmen. White said it means a lot to the family.

“This is incredible,” she said. “My heart is just so touched from this recognition. He has left a legacy that’s incredible for us, as a family, and now to have the state love him and cheer him on and present the statue. … My happiness and excitement is so big right now.”

Bullard was born in Columbus in 1865, but racial tensions led him to run away from home at an early age, according to a history presented at the ceremony. He took odd jobs along the East Coast, then stowed away on a freighter to France. He joined the French Army when World War I broke out and was in some of the worst fighting. He was severely wounded.

After his recovery, he couldn’t join the infantry again but was given the chance to be a pilot. He went on to have at least two confirmed kills of enemy aircraft. He was awarded 15 medals. German enemies nicknamed him “The Black Swallow of Death.”

He was denied the chance to fly in the U.S. military because of his race. He also fought briefly for France in World War II and returned to the U.S. after he was injured. He died of cancer in New York in 1961. In 1994, President Bill Clinton posthumously made him a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

Col. Brian Moore, commander of the 78th Air Base Wing at Robins Air Force Base, said Bullard was a hero in many ways.

Continue on to Military.com to read the complete article.

Operation 11/11 Gives Veterans Concierge- Level Health Care at No Cost on Veterans Day

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App for Medical advice pictured on phone

Medici, a virtual health care company, recently announced the launch of Operation 11/11, a new initiative providing virtual consults across multiple specialties to all U.S. veterans on Veterans Day, November 11.

During Operation 11/11, all veterans who register at Medici will have access to text, voice or video consultations with doctors specializing in general practice, psychiatry, dermatology, orthopedics and more. With this access, veterans can receive expert advice, diagnosis, prescriptions or referrals to other specialists. Proof of military service is required, although health insurance is not needed.

“Veterans Day is not about furniture and car sales. It is about recognizing the extraordinary service of our veterans,” says Clint Phillips, founder and CEO of Medici. “We can think of no better way to thank our veterans than to provide them with concierge-level care across multiple specialties without leaving their homes.”

Access to care will be provided using Medici’s simple-to-use virtual care app, which connects users directly with doctors. Veterans can pre-register now at https://www.medici.md/veterans for zero cost across multiple specialties on Veterans Day from 8 am to 8 pm for each U.S. time zone.

Military heroes support Operation 11/11

In addition to announcing Operation 11/11, Medici is welcoming four military heroes as advisors of the new initiative, including:

  • Marcus Luttrell, former Navy SEAL who received the Navy Red Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in June 2005 against Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings;
  • Mark Geist, United States Marine and member of the Annex Security team that fought the Battle of Benghazi;
  • Rob O’Neill, member of Seal Team Six who is believed to be the man who fired the shot which killed Osama Bin Laden and
  • Omar Avila, a former military member who was hit by an IED in Iraq and had two-thirds of his body burned and remains one of the world’s strongest athletes.

“Having these military heroes come alongside us and tell us that the work we are doing is life-changing is all the validation we needed to dedicate all our resources to this initiative,” said Phillips. “Operation 11/11 allows us and hundreds of remarkable doctors the opportunity to give back to those who deserve it most.”

Medici has also partnered with 2nd.MD, which provides access to the world’s leading specialists across 130 subspecialties at the top U.S. hospitals. A limited number of veterans with complex cases will be able to have virtual second opinions thanks to 2nd.MD.

About Medici

Medici is working to change how health care is delivered by recreating the doctor-patient relationship. With the secure messaging app, physicians and patients can connect via text, call or video from anywhere and on their schedule. This enables patients to chat with their doctor, vet or therapist at any time, and clinicians to extend care and get paid without extra overhead or burdensome schedules. With over 20,000 doctors across all platforms, Medici is leading the way in the future of health care. For more information, visit http://www.medici.md.

LA’s Only National Cemetery For Vets Is Finally Taking New Applications After More Than 40 Years

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Mebers of the color guard at a military funeral service

For the first time in decades, veterans and local military families have access to a final resting place alongside fellow servicemembers in the city of L.A.

The Los Angeles National Cemetery, closed to new burials since 1978, is once again accepting applications for interment.

“It’s fantastic, and I’m starting to tear up a bit, because I know what it means to the veterans and their family members,” said cemetery director Tom Ruck.

The openings are thanks to a newly expanded columbarium, a series of thick concrete walls with niches to store cremated remains, which opened Oct. 1. As property values climb and space for below-ground burials becomes scarcer, the Department of Veterans Affairs is building more of these high-density memorial structures in cities around the country.

For myriad personal and religious reasons, the columbarium option is not for everyone. Angeleno families who choose a casket burial will still have to drive to Riverside or Bakersfield for the nearest veterans cemetery with room to accommodate new applications.

The L.A. National Cemetery, first put to use in 1889, is home to servicemembers from conflicts dating back to the Civil War. It houses roughly 90,000 graves between Brentwood and Westwood, just east of the 405, north of Wilshire Blvd.

Moviegoers may recognize the solemn white stone markers dotting an immaculate green lawn; film shoots sometimes use the setting as a substitute for Arlington National Cemetery.

The new columbarium niches are behind UCLA’s Jackie Robinson baseball stadium on the West L.A. Veterans Affairs campus, across the freeway from the main cemetery.

The first phase of expansion includes space for about 10,000 veterans, their spouses and qualifying dependent children. The ultimate project should nearly double the capacity of the entire cemetery to 180,000.

Veterans have to meet certain criteria to be eligible for burial in a national cemetery, including being discharged with status other than “dishonorable.” Niche, marker and site upkeep are free of charge, but cremation must be arranged and paid for independently.

Ruck said that applicants can’t reserve specific columbarium niches. “We can’t take reservations,” he said. “We just can’t.”

He expects a bit of a rush from years of pent-up demand. After 40 years of “no vacancies” at the local veterans cemetery, Angelenos who may be holding on to remains in an urn at home can find them a permanent resting place in the new structure.

“I can tell you that there’s a whole lot of people who have mom, or dad or uncle or brother in the closet, just waiting for this to happen,” Ruck said. “We’re going to be able to take care of them with dignity, with honor and with pride.”

Continue on to LA ist to read the complete article.

Getting a haircut at Sport Clips Haircuts now through Veterans Day can Help A Hero

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Sport Clips Help-A-Hero campaign poster

Getting a haircut now through Veterans Day will support service member and veteran scholarships as a part of Sport Clips Haircuts annual “Help A Hero” campaign that kicks off in stores October 14, 2019.

The Help A Hero Scholarship program is designed to reduce the burden of college, graduate and technical school tuition often needed to pursue post-military careers and is administered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW). The goal this year is to raise $1.5 million toward scholarships in the more than 1,800 Sport Clips Haircuts stores across the country.

In just six years, 1,450 military and student veterans have been awarded Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarships with the nearly $6.5 million donated to date by Sport Clips Haircuts, its clients and product partners. These scholarships provide up to $5,000 of assistance per semester to help cover the cost of tuition and fees for service members and veterans in the rank of E-5 and below.

“I used my G.I. Bill benefits to obtain my B.A. and even the first three semesters of my M.A. before exhausting my benefits,” says Christopher Mynatt, a U.S. Navy veteran. “The VFW and Sport Clips are the reason I will never have to pay for school out of pocket.”

“These scholarships are making a difference in the lives of so many who have served our country in the military. Right now, there are 165 student veterans attending colleges and certification programs here in the U.S. with the aid of Help A Hero Scholarships,” says Gordon Logan, Sport Clips founder, CEO, Air Force veteran and VFW Life member. “Whether it’s graduate school or beauty school, it’s an honor for us to be able to thank those who serve by helping them toward the degrees and certifications to pursue civilian careers.”

“Our student veterans can face a lot of adversity while pursuing higher education,” said William “Doc” Schmitz, VFW national commander. “With the help of Sport Clips Haircuts and its generous patrons, we’re so pleased to have the opportunity to ensure the financial burden is alleviated during an already stressful time in these veterans’ lives.”

Many locations are also offering free haircuts to service members and veterans with valid military identification check here for participating stores and store hours. Anyone can support the cause by making a donation when checking out at a Sport Clips location. On Veterans Day, November 11, the company donates an additional dollar for every haircare service to the scholarship program, which added more than $100,000 to the total last year and will be even higher in 2019.

About Sport Clips Haircuts

Sport Clips Haircuts is headquartered in Georgetown, Texas. It was established in 1993 and began franchising in 1995. The sports-themed haircutting franchise, which specializes in haircuts for men and boys, offers online check in for clients, and is ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “Fastest-Growing Franchises’ and #17 in its “Franchise 500.” There are more than 1,800 Sport Clips stores open in the U.S. and Canada. Sport Clips is the “Official Haircutter” of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), offers veterans preferential pricing on haircuts and franchises, and was named a “2018 Best for Vets: Franchises” by Military Times. Sport Clips provides “Haircuts with Heart” through its annual Help A Hero fundraiser that has contributed $7.5 million to the VFW; national partnership with St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants; and other national and local philanthropic outreach. Sport Clips is a proud sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR drivers Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Indy Car driver Sebastien Bourdais, and partners with numerous NCAA and professional sports teams. To learn more about Sport Clips, visit sportclips.com.

About The Veterans of Foreign Wars

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation’s largest and oldest major war veterans organization. Founded in 1899, the congressionally-chartered VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With more than 1.6 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in 6,200 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at vfw.org.

U.S. Navy celebrates 244th birthday; 5 things to know about the powerful military force

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U.S. Navy ship pictured off the coast

Salute to the United States Navy, which celebrated its 244th birthday on Sunday.

Founded on October 13, 1775, the US Navy describes itself as the “largest, most advanced, and most lethal fighting force the world has ever known.”

In 1972, nearly 200 years after its founding, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt designated October 13 as the Navy’s official birthday.

He ordered the day to be celebrated to “enhance [the] appreciation of our Navy heritage” and encourage “pride and professionalism in the Naval Service”

Here are five things to know about the U.S. Navy:

It’s the country’s second naval fleet

The Continental Congress established the Continental Navy at the beginning of the American Revolution. Its main purpose was to disrupt British supply ships.

On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress purchased two armed vessels to attack British ships and prevent them from reaching soldiers in the colonies.

Congress passed a resolution creating a committee to oversee the purchase and manage the small, but growing, fleet.

After the US won its independence in 1783, the Continental Navy was disbanded and its remaining ships were sold. Its officers and sailors returned to civilian life.

Before long, the young country began facing threats from pirates and others wishing to disrupt its seaborne commerce. To defend its interests, Congress moved to reestablish a naval fleet. President George Washington signed the Naval Act of 1794 creating a permanent standing US Navy. The Navy was run by the Department of War until Congress established the Department of the Navy in 1798.

It’s the largest navy in the world

Today, the US Navy is the largest naval force in the world.

It boasts more than 330,000 active-duty personnel, and an additional 100,000 on ready reserve, according to the U.S. Navy.

The Navy hosts an impressive fleet of 290 battle force ships. Its fleet consists of aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, cruisers, littoral combat ships, destroyers and submarines.

The Navy describes its submarines as “one of the most lethal weapons in the nation’s arsenal” and says they navigate the world’s seas unseen carrying out secret missions.

It names ships after states and national heroes

In 1819, Congress gave the duty and responsibility of naming ships to the Secretary of the Navy.

It’s not an easy as just picking a name. In fact, there’s a long list of rules and regulations that must be followed. For example, all first-class battleships, those armed with 40 guns or more, must be named for the states, and not for any city, place or person until the names of states have been exhausted, according to Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). The Navy, however, no longer has any battleships in its ship inventory.

Fortunately, the secretary can rely on others for help. Each year, NHCC compiles a list of possible names. The recommendations are based on research and suggestions from military personnel and the public.

It’s a huge honor for a ship to be named after a person. The tribute is usually reserved for naval leaders and national figures who are considered heroes of war or made extraordinary achievements in peace. The Navy’s newest ship, the latest model of destroyer, is the USS Zumwalt, named after that admiral that designated its birthday.

Its SEALs aren’t named for the animals

Navy SEALs are the US Navy’s special operation force. They’re adept at navigating the seas but aren’t named after the semi-aquatic marine mammal that shares that skill.

SEAL stands for Sea, Air and Land — all the places the elite force carries out missions.

In 1961, Adm. Arleigh A. Burke, then serving as chief of naval operations, authorized the creation of SEAL teams to carry out unconventional operations, including capturing or eliminating high-level targets and intelligence gathering.

Sailors hoping to be a SEAL must successfully complete arduous training, including “Hell Week” in which candidates endure a week of constant stressful training with little sleep. Each year about 1,000 candidates start SEAL training, but only 200-250 actually complete it, according the Navy.

It really does have an NCIS

NCIS isn’t just a hit TV show. It’s an actual law enforcement agency.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is the civilian federal law enforcement agency that investigates crimes, prevents terrorism and protects secrets for the Navy and Marine Corps.

Continue on to Fox News to read the complete article.

Roche Partners with iHeartMedia to Present ‘iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military’ Concert to Bring Further Awareness of The Impact Diabetes Has On The Nation’s Veteran Population

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Event poster for the Roche veterans diabetes awareness concert

The Second Annual Concert Will Feature Performances from Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

Event Will Broadcast Nationwide On Veteran’s Day From The Country Music Hall of Fame, Honoring The One In Four Veterans Living With Diabetes In The U.S.

Roche recently announced that it has again partnered with iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in the United States, to present the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military concert on Thursday, November 7,[1] at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. In recognition of National Diabetes Month, and the one in four U.S. veterans living with the chronic condition, the exclusive event will include performances by Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

The iconic venue will be filled with American heroes from across the nation, and the performance will broadcast across iHeartRadio’s Country stations nationwide and livestream exclusively on LiveXLive.com at 7 p.m. local time on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11.

 “With diabetes on the rise and affecting nearly 25 percent of the VA’s patient population,[2] this sponsorship fits our mission of helping people with diabetes live more active and unrestricted lives,” said Matt Logan, Vice President of Marketing, Roche Diabetes Care.As a proud Military Friendly® Employer,[3] the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military partnership allows us to celebrate our servicemen and women while simultaneously raising much-needed awareness about diabetes among the military population.”

In support of this event, Roche is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to donate comfort kits to our military abroad.  Deployed troops will receive much-needed items, including healthy snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other toiletries. “Our nation’s military needs the comforts of home while they are so valiantly protecting our freedom,” said Jeff Imel, Manager of Service to the Armed Forces and International Services for the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “We are grateful that Roche has recognized this need and is providing hundreds of comfort kits to our brave military members.”

“iHeartMedia has long been committed to honoring the men and women who have served our country by using our diverse platforms to address the most pressing issues facing our military. Over the years we have invested heavily in their transition from the military back into civilian life,” said Rod Phillips, EVP Programming for iHeartCountry. “iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military Concert is a natural extension of our deep commitment to our military and an opportunity to celebrate our service members while bringing attention to the high prevalence of diabetes among the military population.”

To learn more, visit accu-chek.com.

About the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross:
The Indiana Region serves 87 counties statewide through its six chapter areas: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Greater Indianapolis (Regional Headquarters). For more information on the Indiana Region: redcross.org/indiana. Follow the Indiana Region on Twitter at: @INRedCross, on Instagram at: @indianaredcross or www.facebook.com/INRedCross.

About American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including more than 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

About Roche Diabetes Care

Roche Diabetes Care is pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services for more than 40 years. Being a global leader in integrated diabetes management, more than 5,000 employees in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target range and experience true relief from the daily therapy routines. Roche Diabetes Care collaborates with caregivers, healthcare providers and payers to optimally manage this complex condition and contribute to sustainable care structures. Under the brand Accu-Chek and in collaboration with partners, Roche Diabetes Care creates value by providing integrated solutions to monitor glucose levels, deliver insulin and track as well as contextualize relevant data points for a successful therapy. By establishing a leading open ecosystem, connecting devices, digital solutions, Roche Diabetes Care will enable optimal personalised diabetes management and thus improve therapy outcomes. Since 2017, mySugr with its world-leading mobile diabetes management app and services is part of Roche Diabetes Care. For more information, please visit www.accu-chek.com and mysugr.com.

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.  Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the tenth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as the most sustainable company in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit roche.com.

Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes Third Annual Marriage Retreat

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combat wounded veteran pictured with family outdoors

The Heroes Freedom Weekend is a 3-4 day relaxing marriage enrichment retreat for combat wounded veteran couples.

The primary goal is strengthening the bonds of marriage for Veteran couples who have so much additional stress in their lives due to physical and mental wounds from war.

Along with the couples who attend, we see so much value in the efficacy of our program, helping to avoid situations that include divorce, custody battles, depression and often suicide or attempted suicide. A strong marriage acts as a pillar of support in the life of a wounded veteran, to allow him/her to survive, recover and rebuild.

A recent study showed that suicide rates in the military were highest among people divorced or separated — with a rate of 19 per 100,000 — 24% higher than troops who are single. It also showed that relationship problems are a common occurrence preceding suicide. showing that 39.5 percent of suicide attempt cases had experienced a failed relationship within 90 days of the suicide event. Primarily these involved romantic partners, but also included close friends and family.

Combat wounded veterans sit with spouses in a meeting room to discuss marital issues

The HFW19 implements the Warriors to Soulmate Program which:

Warrior to Soul Mate (W2SM) is a program that:

  • Aids in helping Warriors reconnect with their spouse.
    • Works to help spouses understand the emotional toll military service can take.
      • Improves communication techniques to reduce conflict in a healthy manner.
      • Helps to restore the bond between soul mates.
      • Teaches couples how to reclaim the love they once shared.
      • Provides a plan for how to renew a life together.

Due to the success of our previous marriage retreats and other programs, we are stretched thin with our number of wounded veterans applying for help. With support from donors and sponsors, we’re working to bring in 12+ Wounded veteran couples to help strengthen and enrich their marriages.

combat wounded veteran sitting outdoors with familyThe retreat will take place from Nov 1-4 (Fri – Mon) in Colonial Williamsburg Virginia. For more information, please click here.

This event would also give us a great opportunity to update the face of the invisibly wounded veteran family, which make up 90% of the 200 applications we’re now getting each month.

For more information regarding supporting this events, we are still in need of sponsorship, gift-in-kind donations and volunteers. Please contact ddaughenbaugh@saluteheroes.org to learn more.

Arlington Chosen as Site for National Medal of Honor Museum

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Medal of Honor Museum finalist announcement

Following a nationwide search, Arlington has been selected as the location for the first ever National Medal of Honor Museum. The foundation behind the museum made the recent official announcement.

Arlington beat out Denver, which was also named a finalist city.

“Arlington, Texas is the optimal location to build America’s next national treasure – the National Medal of Honor Museum,” Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, said in a statement. “All of us at the Museum were simply overwhelmed with the enthusiasm, warmth and level of commitment of those involved, who have worked beyond expectation to have the Museum come to Texas.”
Daniels also noted that 70 Medal of Honor recipients have lived in the region — and that Texas is home to nearly 1.8 million veterans and active duty military.

The museum will be built on land between E-sports Stadium Arlington and Globe Life Park, in the heart of the city’s entertainment district.

City leaders, museum officials, and other dignitaries will hold a formal press conference Friday, where they’ll reveal more details about the project.

“Arlington, Texas is honored to be entrusted as the home of the National Medal of Honor Museum,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said in a statement. “Located in the heart of our nation, we look forward to commemorating the stories of the 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients to educate, inspire, and motivate our youth to understand the meaning and price of freedom. We are excited and humbled to provide a national platform to spread this message throughout our great country.”

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest and most prestigious military award, given only to service members who have distinguished themselves with acts of valor during combat.

Since it was first awarded in 1863, only 3,505 service members have ever received the Medal of Honor.

Continue on to NBCDFW News to read the complete article.

Gary Sinise To Host Hope For The Warriors 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala

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Hope for warriors logo

Award-winning actor/humanitarian Gary Sinise will host Hope For The Warriors 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala Thursday, Oct. 17 at Union Station in Washington, DC.

Sinise’s portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in “Forrest Gump” formed a connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community. After several USO handshake tours in 2003, Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in early 2004 and began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad.

In 2011, Sinise established the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs that entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. Of its many outreach efforts, the Gary Sinise Foundation is building custom Smart Homes for severely wounded veterans, serving hearty meals to deploying troops and hosting spirit-boosting festivals for patients, families and medical staff at military hospitals.

Hope For The Warriors has partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help its R.I.S.E. program provide adaptive homes to combat-wounded veterans. Hope For The Warriors’ Make a House a Home program offers grants to enhance the homes by incorporating hobbies, in-home businesses and other life passions that personalize the space for the individual/family.

Gary Sinise professional headshot
Gary Sinise will host Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala

Joining Sinise as co-host is retired U.S. Marine Col. Barney Barnum Jr. Barnum served 27 years in the United States Marine Corps and was the fourth Marine to receive the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the annual event honors members of our nation’s armed forces and their families with the Vigiano Family Hope & Courage Awards. In addition, Hope For The Warriors will introduce six new awards highlighting individuals, corporations and organizations who have stood beside the organization in serving military families.

This year’s gala honors the memory of John Vigiano (1938-2018). A longtime Hope For The Warriors volunteer and supporter, Vigiano and his family have lived a life of service. Vigiano, a former Marine, retired as decorated FDNY fire captain. Despite his record of service, Vigiano was most proud of his family and the paths his two sons chose: John Jr., a FDNY firefighter, and Joe, a NYPD detective, both losing their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

“As we embark on the 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala, we’re honored to have Gary Sinise and Col. Barnum host such a memorable night honoring John Vigiano,” said Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors co-founder and president. “Each year we honor service members and military family members who have demonstrated both hope and courage in the face of extraordinary circumstances. Being that John Vigiano and Gary Sinise have the same passion and profound respect for those who serve, we couldn’t have a more perfect host to help us honor John’s legacy while celebrating the night’s honorees.”

For more information on attending, sponsoring or donating to the 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala, visit hopeforthewarriors.org.

About Hope For The Warriors: 

Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served over 23,200 through a variety of support programs focused on clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition. One of the nonprofit’s first programs, Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, has awarded over 135 scholarships to caregivers and families of the fallen. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of over 25,500 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.