JUNE 2017 Newsletter

Volume 1                                                                                                                                                                                               Issue 2

 

Your buddies need your help two ways

– with almost no effort!

First, as you’ll see in this newsletter, we are planning a Jobs/Career Fair for November.  Almost every vet who has a job is working for a company that would like to be part of our event.

Tons of Bay Area companies have “hiring vets” as a priority.  First, because it’s good business to hire people with excellent work ethics and skills.  Second, the get incentives from the government.  Third, it’s great for public relations.

So, all I’m asking you to do is use this form to send me the name and email address of the head of the Human Resources department in your company, please. https://fotvc.typeform.com/to/kvt3T9   I’ll take it from there, and won’t even tell them we know each other, unless you say it’s OK.

 

 

Second, please pass along this link to get as many of your buddies, significant other’s, co-workers and strangers on the street, to join you on the front lines of local vet information, by subscribing to the Newsletter and Events News http://tinyurl.com/y9t3xxk2 and also visit the website, www.KnowAVet.com

I’m a combat vet too. I know that no one comes back from combat alive. But you and your buddies can be smarter than me. I wasted 40 years before I got the help I deserved. The earlier you take charge the more of your best life you can have.

They will thank you!  And I thank you for following our tradition of service to our country!  Let us know how we can be of service to you or topics you want covered in the future!

 

 

I need your help

We are growing rapidly, with groups ranging from Vet Organizations, Colleges, Government and Companies all coming together to make things happen and get the word out to as many vets, especially post 9/11 vets, as possible.

So, if you know someone who can help us update the website, or produce this newsletter, or work on outreach to business or places where vets gather, PLEASE let me know. https://fotvc.typeform.com/to/bKa5oE

 

 

AROUND THE VET CENTER

Once again.

Life isn’t always easy after a deployment. That’s where Vet Centers can help. They offer a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to combat Veterans and their families. They can guide you through many of the major adjustments in life that often occur after you return from combat.

To see the 60 issues you and your family can get help with, FREE and CONFIDENTIALLY (Even From The VA), at the San Jose Vet Center Network, or a Camp Lejeune Water contamination update, or Presumptive Agent Orange Diseases, just take a look at our May Newsletter, or mouseover the Welcome Home tab above.  Or better yet, give the SJVC a call at (408) 993-072, even anonymously 

 

 

VET HAPPENINGS

is information and commentary from my good friend “pegleg”, Jerry Donnellan of the VSA of Rockland NY.

 

WHAT’S INSIDE

 

Your buddies need your help, two ways

– with almost no effort!

 

I need your help

 

Around the Vet Center

Get Your Best Life Back

 

Vet happenings

  • Does anyone Care?

  • The Latest Killer

  • Healthcare

 

Issue of the month – 

RELATIONSHIPS

  • Family Relationships

  • Job and Employment Problems

  • Dealing with Co-Workers

 

News of our First Jobs/Career Fair

 

It’s Up to You

Does Anybody Care?

Saturday morning, April 28th, I was watching a Spring fog across the lake.  The 7:00 a.m. CBS News ran, “Two Army Rangers killed in Afghanistan.”  It was the 10th of 12 items.  I hit the computer to see if any other news outlets had it.  The New York Times had it, but not on the front page, and not much more information.

Regular folks think of Army Rangers as these burly, unshaven, older, super-tough soldiers.  And they are tough and they are super-soldiers.  But these two guys were 22 and 23.  Think of the 22-year olds you know.  We were told that these Rangers were there to be advisers and trainers.  So why were they on a re-con or kill patrol?  Who in General Nicholson’s chain of command ordered that?  Also, with them were roughly 50 good Afghans.  They were headed in to the Mohmand Valley near where the MOAB bomb was dropped a couple of weeks ago.

The Army has been following the same SOP (Standard Operational Procedure) I guess since World War I. I know they did it in North Korea against the Communists and as you can see we haven’t had a problem with them ever since.  Right?

A decade later, the Commies moved south to Vietnam – the weather was better!  So my guys went to chase them out of there and win the war.  Well, we were winning when I left.  Then I guess the Commies got tired of moving.  So we went to the Middle East to save them from –  I’m not really sure what, and the bad guys had a whole bunch of different names.  So for our purposes we’re going to call them “bad.” Besides that, it’s easier to spell.

Anyway, for at least 100 years we have followed any important bombing or artillery strike by sending in the Grunts (Infantry) to gather intelligence or body count.  For the past 16 years, the bad guys have watched us do this as they have watched centuries of invaders.  For that matter, in 330 BC, this Greek guy who had gotten thrown out of there called Afghanistan “the graveyard of empires.”  The bad guys were lying in wait with an ambush that Ray Charles could have seen coming.  And because of the steep terrain there were only a couple of trails into that valley or a couple of possible LZ’s (landing zones).

I asked one of our Afghan vets how you can tell a good Afghan from a bad Afghan and he said the bad Afghan is about 1/8 of an inch taller.  I can relate to that because in Vietnam we had the Viet Cong. According to the movies they wear black pajamas and conical hats.  In the real world they dress just like the farmers in the Central Highlands of Vietnam to blend in with the indigenous personnel.  For that matter, the first one I shot I thought was a farmer until he went for his AK 47.  Thankfully I was faster with my 12 gauge pump – not from any military training, but from years of upland bird hunting in the Catskills. Before I get hate mail from PETA, I don’t do that anymore.

By afternoon, the news outlets began to talk about friendly-fire.  I know I’m more sensitive about this, but the tone had changed.  Like somehow or other friendly-fire made you less dead or it was their fault. Maybe it will turn out that there were some bad Afghans with the good Afghans.

But why should we even be talking about this?  Afghanistan, according to President Obama, ended 3 years ago on December 28, 2014.  Try telling that to 2 women – one in Ohio and one in Illinois who won’t be getting a Mother’s Day card this year or ever again.

PS:  Sunday morning, April 29th no fog on the lake this morning.  The New York Times, “An American service member was killed Saturday but near Mosul, Iraq.”  Here it turns out to be the bad Iraqis were wearing the good Iraqi uniforms.  Every war if nothing else, has a black market.  Happy Mother’s Day….

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County
20 Squadron Boulevard  Suite 480
New City, NY  10956
Telephone  (845)-638-5244

 

 

The Latest Killer

There are so many killers out there today that affect veterans of all ages.  There are strokes, cancers, and heart conditions that affect people in their prime.  Where millions of dollars are spent on research trying to cure or eliminate the existing killers, there is a new one working its way up the charts.  There would be no need to raise funds.  We already know how to rid ourselves of this new scourge.  This killer leads to falls, causing especially the elderly broken bones and perhaps their lives.  It contributes to automobile crashes as well as pedestrian fatalities and  mis-communication with fire emergency services responding.  This killer adds additional stress to those with heart-related problems.

The really sad thing is it could be eliminated with almost no money by simply passing legislation.  It would be the type of legislation that would fly through both Houses.  It would be backed by the liberal and conservative ends of each party and both political parties would claim credit.

This new killer is Robocalls.  Think about it – an older person on the second floor hears a phone ringing on the first floor, hurries down the stairs thinking it might be a doctor or a grandchild, and loses their footing.  Now tell me that hasn’t happened – and that could be fatal.  By the time police or emergency services arrive at the scene, the individual could already be dead – the death caused by a fall.  The fall caused by an older person stressed and hurtling down a flight of stairs.

Then there’s the scenario where a driver is distracted by a call that’s meaningless, and even a few seconds of their concentration off the road could lead to a fatality.  An automobile accident or perhaps a pedestrian being struck.  Then there’s a possibility of interrupting an important call for fire emergency services.

I think other situations could be named, but the point is that these robocalls do cause deaths and it’s one of society’s killers that could be eliminated with little or no cost.  So why is it our Congress and Senate can’t take this on?  Seemingly they can’t agree on much else.

Here’s something I think very few would object to.  Many would congratulate them.  Here’s an opportunity for Congress to do the right thing in spite of themselves.

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County
20 Squadron Boulevard  Suite 480
New City, NY  10956
Telephone  (845)-638-5244

 

 

Healthcare

Going back, we had Hillarycare, which failed to get out of the gate.  Then we had Obamacare, which made it out of the gate but fell on its nose the other day.  Now it’s Trumpcare and we are wrestling with it.

Why is this so hard?  I don’t understand.  A lot of you know me – I lost a leg in Vietnam.  But I’m not saying this for praise or sympathy.  I am saying this to use myself as a visual aid.  For example, as an honest witness I got hit October 24, 1969 in the Central Highlands – a mountainous region of northern South Vietnam.  The medic was on me in no time.  Thankfully my platoon had cleared an LZ (Landing Zone) for the helicopter.  The Huey couldn’t fully land because of stumps so he had to hover a few feet off the ground, which made it difficult.  And in order to get me on the Evac my buddies had to put me in a poncho tied at both ends like a hammock.  Then they swung it back and forth and on the count of 3, threw me up and onto the bloody floor of this helicopter.  Then the chopper with nose down headed out for a place called Hawk Hill, which was an aid station kind of like a MASH hospital.  There I received clean medical care.  They actually hosed me off and gave me the last rites, which may be good for the soul but it stinks for the morale.  Then into the 95th Evac – many surgeries and the last rites again.  Then out of ‘Nam to Japan to the 106th in Yakoda, Japan – more surgeries.  Then Evac back to the States to Valley Forge – Army General Hospital in Pennsylvania for a year.  More surgeries, occupational therapy, physical therapy.  We used to call the physical therapist, physical terrorist – that’s before the term became popular. I learned to walk.  Then into the VA where they have cared for me for practically half a century.

So what’s your point, Jerry?  The point is I never paid a dime for any of that healthcare.  Either when I was being cared for by the Department of Defense (DOD) or the VA.  They are two separate government departments.  Many people don’t realize that.  Both are headed by members of the President’s cabinet. So we already have two federal healthcare systems.  So at the age of 70 I am still walking on two legs – one of mine, one of yours.  Still working 40 hours a week, and if you run into my boss Ed Day, tell him I am working very hard for an old guy.  Don’t mention giving me a raise unless you want to see him make weasel faces. He’s good at that!

The DOD runs dozens of hospitals and clinics around the world.  The VA runs over 1,200 medical centers here in the States and has been doing that for about a century.  They know what works and what doesn’t. Why not use their institutional knowledge and use their systems as a model or a skeleton to build on?  Or as more military bases close across the country, sell of the bases but keep the hospitals.  Encourage or bribe doctors to person it – notice I didn’t say ‘man’.  Boy, am I becoming a 21st century guy!The military also has what they call, Tricare, which is insurance for retired military and it works very well. So couldn’t Hillary, Obama, and now we’ll see how long it takes President Trump to get healthcare through.  Although it’s been 100 days already, it just got out of the Congress.  What’s hard?  We have 2 systems of government healthcare already in place and an insurance system.  Surely somebody in Congress knows about that.

The other thought which my veteran brothers will gristle at, but allowing non-veterans over a certain age to use the system that’s already in place.  Face it – the number of veterans has been declining since the Draft ended in 1973.  When I came to this job in January, 30 years ago, we had nearly 30,000 veterans here in Rockland County.  Now the population in Rockland County has declined markedly.  However, our veterans are down to roughly 11,000 – almost a 2/3 drop.  Mostly from the passing of the veterans.  But also veterans are moving south and I think we all know why.  For instance, the Montrose Hospital in Westchester opened in 1950 as a 2,000-bed hospital.  Today they only have 200 beds sitting on a 180+ acres of northern Westchester real estate.  The hospitals are running at 10% capacity and the boys and girls in Washington are going to close them now.  

Would you rather have the VA start to close them?  Or allow non-veterans over a certain age to keep them in place for you?

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County
20 Squadron Boulevard  Suite 480
New City, NY  10956
Telephone  (845)-638-5244

Issue of the month – RELATIONSHIPS

There are actually FOUR topics you may want to know about in this area.

 

Relationships and Family Relationships – 

The experiences of military life can affect Veterans in ways that may impact their relationships. See videos of Veterans talking about working through problems with their friends and loved ones and finding solutions that benefit everyone.

 

Job and Employment Problems – 

Work-related problems may signal other issues

Some work-related problems may be signs of other challenges that need to be addressed. Hear from Veterans who talk about working extremely long hours or having conflicts on the job. Others discuss losing their jobs or being unable to find good work. They all took advantage of VA resources to find solutions to work problems and get back on track.

 

Dealing with co-workers 

Often when you get back to civilian life your co-worker’s discussions seem so petty that you just want to scream out loud to wake them up.  But you don’t because that would’t be a good career move.  You would like to be part of a calmer life, but you can’t just block out the camaraderie and experiences of what you’ve been through.

You don’t need to isolate yourself or self medicate.  Listen to how other vets have regained their best life possible in these videos then give the San Jose Vet Center a call, at (408) 993-0729 to get back to your best.

 

News Of Our First Jobs/Career Fair

We expect our first Jobs/Career Fair on 11/4/2017, to be at least twice as big as the April Resource Fair.

This is on its way to being the largest, and most valuable Vet jobs event in Silicon Valley, in many a year.  We already are receiving help from local officials, colleges, companies, veterans organizations and many more.  Everyone is excited to be part of what this can do for all of us, especially post 9/11 vets.

The conservative estimate is for 100 hiring companies, ranging from trades and crafts, to top tech companies, to be there, looking for you!

And not only that, there will lots of private areas where companies will be doing on-site interviews.

What’s more, we are adding the “career” component to help you get really prepared, with FREE, PROFESSIONALLY RUN seminars on topics like: What companies really want you to tell them; Networking; Mock interviews and interviewing techniques – including what to and not to say, and lots more.  And we are going to do it weeks before the Jobs Fair portion, so you can be presenting your very best skills and materials at the main event.

It’s going to be the absolute best we can do.  Why, because I am just an older you.  I know what you have gone through, and I need to help you get your best life back!

Stay tuned.  More good news will be coming in future newsletters and announcements.

 

 

IT’S UP TO YOU

What topics do you want us to research and cover?

If you are really passionate about helping yourself and other vets guide the SJVC to the services that would be most valuable to you, we are looking for a few vets from the post 9/11 era to join our Advisory Council. Just click on https://fotvc.typeform.com/to/kvt3T9  and tell us, why you.

Volunteer yourself or someone you would want on our team trying to help with outreach to your buddies, execute projects, keep our CONFIDENTIAL database up to date, help update the site or produce these newsletters, etc.

 

You have my sincere appreciation for all you have done and had to do.

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