Wednesday, April 18, 2012

End Time Truth: "Rapture of the Deep"... Deep Calleth Unto Deep

End Time Truth: "Rapture of the Deep"... Deep Calleth Unto Deep: Young's Literal Translation  Psalm 42 >> To the Overseer. -- An Instruction. By sons of Korah. 1.As a hart doth pant for streams of w...

Veterans’ remains go unclaimed, unburied, sometimes for years

POSTED: Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

 - Medill News Service
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 - On Friday, 15 veterans will be buried with full honors in an Arizona cemetery. One served in Africa during World War II, another in Korea. A third earned an Army Commendation Medal for his service in Vietnam.
The men were homeless or indigent when they died, and their remains sat unclaimed in funeral homes for months, even years. In other states, volunteers have found the remains of veterans who fought in the Civil War.
A new bill from Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, would instruct the Department of Veterans Affairs to work with veterans’ organizations to help find and identify the unclaimed remains of former service members, and, if they are eligible, to ensure their interment in national cemeteries.
Portman and Begich’s office predict bipartisan support for the bill, which they expect to pass with little resistance. A similar bill sponsored by Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, already has 38 co-sponsors. But a version that was introduced in the last Congress died in committee.
Fred Salanti, the executive director of the Missing in America Project, which looks for and identifies the unclaimed remains of veterans and their dependents, worries that this year’s legislation will meet a similar fate.
“To me it’s very frustrating, because anybody that hears what we’re doing or sees what we’re doing automatically is on board,” he said.
Since Salanti’s organization began in 2006, its work has led to the recovery, identification and burial of the remains of more than 1,600 veterans. He said the volunteers expected to reach 2,000 burials within the next couple of months.
Many of the veterans they find were homeless or indigent when they died, he explained, while others were lost in mix-ups after their spouses or other loved ones died. Steve Ebersole, an American Legion member who lobbied Tiberi about the House of Representatives bill, has been working with the Missing in America Project to find unclaimed remains in Ohio.
Volunteers have found 10 veterans’ remains — among them the recipient of a Bronze Star with valor — and they’ll be buried in Dayton National Cemetery on May 22.
A Bronze Star recipient “does not belong — I don’t care what anybody says — does not belong in the basement of a funeral home,” Ebersole said.
The legislation, Salanti hopes, would help streamline the process and encourage funeral homes — which are sometimes fearful of releasing information or burial rights due to liability issues — to work with veterans’ organizations to identify unclaimed remains.
Neither the National Funeral Directors Association nor the Cremation Association of North America has records on the number of unclaimed remains at funeral homes.
Barbara Kemmis, the executive director of the Cremation Association of North America, said the issue of unclaimed remains came up at a recent trade conference. Her impression from funeral home directors was that it’s an extensive problem.
Funeral home directors will, “to a one,” she said, do everything they can to preserve cremated remains on the off chance that someone claims them. Some have even put up additions or new buildings to store them.
The Congressional Budget Office hasn’t researched the cost of the Senate bill yet. A representative from Portman’s office said the CBO suggested that the cost should be low, considering that the VA already sets aside money for burying eligible veterans in national cemeteries.
Another provision of both versions of the bill would instruct the VA to create a nationwide public database of missing remains to aid in their identification. Portman’s office added that the VA already keeps a database of veterans’ grave sites that could be adapted for accounting for missing remains, keeping costs down.
There’s no CBO research into the House version of the bill, either, but an aide from Tiberi’s office said the cost would be “negligible.”
The Medill News Service is a Washington program of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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Automatic VA enrollment plan splits vets groups

via Navy Times
By Patricia Kime - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Apr 18, 2012 14:55:49 EDT
A lawmaker’s proposal that war veterans should be automatically enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Department health system has divided veterans groups over concerns that the legislation would strain an already burdened system and estrange those who did not serve in combat.
Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., said he sponsored HR 1460 to ease the transition of injured personnel to the VA health system and reduce the paperwork associated with processing out of the military.
Some advocacy groups, including the American Legion and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, strongly favor the bill. But others, including the Military Officers Association of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, oppose it.
“It could prove polarizing and send the message to non-deployed veterans that they do not qualify for VA health care,” said Shane Barker, VFW senior legislative associate.
“Automatic enrollment of only combat theater veterans will likely be perceived as a negative decision by noncombat veterans, causing them to view it as a form of health care rationing and the government’s attempt to diminish their contributions of service to their country,” said retired Navy Cmdr. Rene Campos of MOAA.
Adrian Atizado, assistant national legislative director for Disabled American Veterans, said automatic enrollment could “squeeze out” an older generation of veterans who have yet to enroll but will need care later in life.
And it could cause a logjam for obtaining services after enrollment, he added.
“We are keenly aware of delays in timely access once enrolled, generally because of insufficient VA resources, capacity or geographic barriers,” he said.
At a hearing on the proposed legislation and other veteran-related bills, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s health panel gave little indication of how they will handle the proposed bill.
The subcommittee would have to approve the bill for it to advance in the legislative process.
Other proposed bills under consideration by the panel include:
• HR 3016, a bill to direct the Defense Department and VA to jointly manage the Federal Recovery Coordination Program, an initiative that assigns a nurse manager or social worker to wounded warriors to guide them through their recovery and rehabilitation process.
• HR 3279, proposing to amend a law allowing VA to provide monetary assistance and services for caregivers to include those helping seriously ill veterans.
Veterans groups unanimously support the latter and generally said they favor the former, emphasizing that the entire Federal Recovery Coordination Program needs better oversight by VA, DoD and Congress.
Robert Jesse, VA’s principal deputy undersecretary for health, said his department has not yet formed an opinion on Owens’ bill.
But VA opposes the effort to direct joint operation of the FRCP, saying the proposed legislation duplicates existing requirements for the two departments to work together.
He added that VA supports expanding comprehensive assistance for family caregivers to include those helping the seriously ill, but VA would need to define the term “serious illness” to determine who would be eligible.
According to VA, the legislation would result in an estimated 870 veterans and service members qualifying for the caregiver stipend and benefits, at a total cost of $45 million the first year and $263.5 million over five years.

Army Professionalism To Make Comeback

Army Professionalism To Make Comeback

Army Professionalism To Make Comeback

“Sleeve” tattoos that cover the arms would be prohibited under new Army regulations, but may be grandfathered in.
“Sleeve” tattoos that cover the arms would be prohibited under new Army regulations, but may be grandfathered in. / Army Times

Senior leaders are putting the final touches on 17 grooming regulation changes that cover everything from tattoos and makeup to cellphones and civilian attire. And soldiers will likely face punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if they fail to get squared away.
The pending changes include:
• Shorter sideburns.
• Soldiers must be clean shaven on and off duty, even during leave.
• Women will be allowed to put hair into ponytails during physical training.
• Men will be prohibited from wearing cosmetics, to include nail polish.
• Women may wear cosmetics “conservatively.” That means no unnatural or exaggerated appearance, and no more fake eyelashes. Nail polish will only be worn in service, mess or dress uniforms.
• Women’s fingernail length will not exceed a quarter of an inch. No fake nails, add-ons or extensions will be authorized.
• Tattoos will not be visible above the neck line when the physical fitness uniform is worn. Tattoos will not extend below the wrist line and not be visible on the hands. Sleeve tattoos will be prohibited. (This rule may be grandfathered.)
• Soldiers will not eat, drink, smoke, or talk on cellphones while walking.
• Army Combat Uniforms will not be commercially pressed; only hand ironing will be authorized.
• Bags worn over the shoulder must be black or the color print of the uniform, without logos.
• Hair grooming standards will become more restrictive and better defined.
• No visible body piercings will be allowed on or off duty. Males will not be allowed to wear earrings at any time. Ear gauging will be unauthorized.
• Civilian clothes standards, both on and off post, will be better defined.
• No dental ornamentation or gold teeth will be authorized.
• Soldiers will be authorized to wear authorized ballistic eyewear in garrison.
• Officers will be authorized to wear nonsubdued rank on their headgear in garrison.
• Men will be authorized to carry a black umbrella with the Army Service Uniform.
The pending changes are part of a comprehensive review of Army Regulation 670-1 led by Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler. While some soldiers have voiced opposition to such changes, Chandler has reiterated that his goal is to project a uniform and professional Army.