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Tag: veterans


Lakewood, UP honor veterans

Two local communities will honor veterans at council meetings tonight.

In University Place, the council will read a proclamation and present a flag to former Womens Airforce Service Pilot Dorothy Olsen (who I wrote about last month).

And in Lakewood, the council will proclaim April as “Women Home Vietnam Veterans Month.”

From a press release:

The City of Lakewood chose to honor Vietnam Veterans during the entire month of April in light of the large veteran population in Lakewood. The last U.S. service-members departed Vietnam 35 years ago on April 30, 1975 when the American Embassy was finally

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Local links, March 31

I’m back from a few days off. If you haven’t read it, check out my Sunday stories about the Stryker vehicle. In the main story, I covered a bit of the history and what folks across the military (from joes to generals) and Congress think about the vehicle today. In a sidebar, I wrote about future modifications to the vehicles. And you should check out the print edition: It’s got plenty of cool graphics, a box descrbing the 10 variants and a timeline of the Strykers vis-à-vis Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Other local links:

Military spouses

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Local links, March 22

If you haven’t had a chance — and the news of the health-care reform bill passing the House has pushed it down our homepage — check out the story of some local Women Airforce Service Pilots. I got a chance to interview two of them, and I had more fun during those two sit-downs than with almost any other interview in a long time.

Other local links:

Joint Base Lewis-McChord
Fort Lewis unit detonates 1930s-era mortar shell near Kelso airport [The Daily News]
City of Olympia, port focus on military cargo [The Olympian]

2nd Battalion,

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Murray ‘deeply disturbed’ at veteran suicides

Sen. Patty Murray, the Washington Democrat and long-time critic of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, took aim at the agency Wednesday for its counseling programs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental-health issues.

From her speech:

“I was deeply disturbed by the news in January that the VA’s preliminary data show a dramatic increase in veterans suicide between 2005 and 2007. The fact that our veterans are serving and sacrificing for our nation only to return to spiral into depression and suicide is appalling. The preliminary data did suggest that access to VA services

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Legislation to help female veterans

On duty in Afghanistan

The rule was clear: Other than the commander’s stenographer, women weren’t allowed on the top floor of the headquarters building.

For Margo Willis, a brand-new soldier in 1973 when the rule at Fort Meade, Md., was in place, the sexism was stinging.

“I will never forget that,” said Willis, who retired 20 from the service years later as a first sergeant and now lives in Tacoma. “Things have changed since then. They’ve changed tremendously.”

And with the United States fighting two wars with no defined front line and an enemy that uses indiscriminate bombing as its chief method of attack, the role of women in the military continues to evolve. But elected officials worry women face barriers to veterans benefits, especially health care.

“Once they get in, they see progress,” Sen. Patty Murray told The News Tribune in a phone interview last week. “But the barriers they face now mean they don’t always get the care they need.”

Murray, a Washington Democrat and a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced legislation aimed to improve access to care for female veterans. Her bill was rolled into the Caregiver and Veterans Omnibus Health bill, which passed unanimously on Nov. 19.

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New program aims to cut waiting time

The Seattle VA
The Seattle VA

A pilot program designed to reduce waiting time for veterans’ disability claims will expand to Fort Lewis and five other installations, the Pentagon announced Monday.

The Disability Evaluation System aligns the filing processes for claims in the medical systems of the Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

It takes about five months to complete a claim at the Seattle VA Regional Office, external affairs manager Rob Hard said, but the new program should lead to new claims being “completed at, or very close to, the service member’s date of discharge from military service.”

The expansion at Fort Lewis is expected to begin in January and be running by March 31.
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A flight to remember

A nationwide program is giving World War II veterans a chance to visit the new war memorial in Washington, D.C. And the commander of the American Legion post in Bellevue organizing the fundraising drive in Washington state is hoping to raise enough money to cover the entire expense.

The cost of each flight is about $1,000, and one of the equirements is that every three vets must travel with a caregiver. A doctor and respiratory therapist must also accompany each flight.

“My dream would be to raise enough funds to pay the way for the volunteers as well,” Jim Broe

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Looking for benefits?

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s office e-mailed us media types today to announce he’s hosting a Veterans’ Resource Fair on Saturday in Puyallup.

The event will be 9 a.m. to noon at Ballou Junior High School at 9916 136th St. E. It’s open to all veterans, their families and other interested residents.
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