Thursday, January 26, 2017

VFW Post 3848 80th Anniversary Celebration

VFW Post 3848 80th Anniversary Celebration

Yesterday, 9:43 PM



This message was sent with high importance.

Tina Sansouci

(Home)  702-294-0402

(Cell)  702-635-2695

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vet Toxic Exposure | Lejeune Update 66 ► VA SC Rule Published


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The presumption of service connection (SC) applies to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions:

· Adult leukemia

· Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes

· Bladder, kidney & liver cancer

· Multiple myeloma

· Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma

· Parkinson’s disease

“We have a responsibility to take care of those who have served our Nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “Establishing a presumption for service at Camp Lejeune will make it easier for those Veterans to receive the care and benefits they earned.” Environmental health experts in VA’s Technical Workgroup conducted comprehensive reviews of scientific evidence, which included analysis and research done by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the National Toxicology Program, and the National Academies of Science.

Veterans with 30 or more cumulative days of active duty service, at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period are already eligible for certain medical benefits, following passage of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. In the early 1980s, volatile organic compounds, trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser, and perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning agent, as well as benzene and vinyl chloride, were discovered in two on-base water supply systems at Camp Lejeune. The contaminated wells supplying the water systems were shut down in February 1985. The area included in this presumption is all of Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River, including satellite camps and housing areas. The rule will be effective either 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, or following conclusion of the 60-day Congressional Review, whichever is later. [Source: VA News Release | January 13, 2017 ++]


Vet Toxic Exposure | Lejeune Update 67 ► VA Cash Payouts

After years of waiting, veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may now be able to receive a portion of government disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion. The Department of Veterans Affairs described the new benefit 6 JAN as "historic." It is one of few instances in which former military personnel who weren't deployed for war could become eligible for cash payouts. Outgoing VA Secretary Bob McDonald determined there is sufficient scientific and medical evidence to establish a "strong association" between exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and eight medical conditions. "We have a responsibility to take care of those who have served our nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service," McDonald said, adding that the VA's decision will make it easier for veterans "to receive the care and benefits they earned."

Beginning in March, the disability benefits may supplement VA health care already being provided to eligible veterans who were stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 cumulative days between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987. Veterans will have to submit evidence of their diagnoses and service information. The estimated taxpayer cost is $2.2 billion over a five-year period. As many as 900,000 service members were potentially exposed to the tainted water, although the VA estimates that roughly 23,000 veterans will apply and qualify for the benefit. "This is good news," said retired Marine Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger, whose daughter Janey was born in 1976 while he was stationed at Lejeune. Janey died from leukemia at age 9. Ensminger now heads a veterans group, The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, which advocates for those seeking disability compensation. "This has been a hard, long slog," said Ensminger, who argues the government must go further in covering additional diseases. "This is not the end of the issue."

The new rule covers active duty, Reserve and National Guard members who developed one of eight diseases: adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Parkinson's disease. It allows veterans to qualify for government disability aid based on toxic harm sustained while at a garrison, as opposed to a battlefield. In 2015, McDonald also agreed to award disability benefits for another category of veterans who weren't on the ground, those who had developed medical conditions after exposure to Agent Orange residue on planes used in the Vietnam War. "It's a major first," said Dr. Ralph Erickson, a chief health consultant at the VA and former commander of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Most disability awards, he said, involve "exposures that occurred during deployment."

Documents uncovered by veterans groups over the years suggest Marine leaders were slow to respond when tests first found evidence of contaminated groundwater at Camp Lejeune in the early 1980s. Some drinking water wells were closed in 1984 and 1985, after further testing confirmed contamination from leaking fuel tanks and an off-base dry cleaner. The Marine Corps has said the contamination was unintentional, occurring when federal law didn't limit toxins in drinking water. Spurred by Ensminger's case, Congress in 2012 passed a bill signed into law by President Barack Obama extending free VA medical care to affected veterans and their families. But veterans were not automatically provided disability aid or survivor benefits. The issue has prompted lawsuits by veterans organizations, which note that military personnel in Camp Lejeune housing "drank, cooked and bathed" in contaminated water for years.

Ensminger credited North Carolina Republican Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis for their efforts. Burr introduced the 2012 legislation to provide free VA medical care. "It's about time," Burr said, welcoming the VA 6 JAN news. "These veterans put their lives on the line for our nation and they were negligently poisoned by the government." Affected veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune may now submit applications for benefits. Roughly 1,400 disability claims related to Lejeune are already pending, and will be reviewed immediately, according to the VA. [Source: Associated Press | Hope Yen January 13, 2017 ++]



clip_image002Military Update: After two years of study and debate, the Department of Defense has made a policy change, effective next November, to allow 16 million honorably discharged veterans to shop online for discounted military exchange products.

Peter K. Levine, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, signed a memorandum Wednesday announcing the benefit expansion, effective Veterans’ Day Nov. 11, and giving Congress the required 30 days’ notice before actions begin to implement the plan.

Months of preparation are needed to make e-shopping portals more robust and to allow the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) time to create software for verifying veterans’ status using Department of Veterans Affairs records.

Several million vets already are eligible to shop in exchanges — on base or online — because they are active or reserve component retirees, or 100-percent disabled from service-connected injuries or ailments, or Medal of Honor recipients.
Thomas C. Shull, chief executive officer of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, led a three-year quest to expand online exchange shopping to all honorably-discharged veterans with access to computers. It cited two reasons.

One was to reward their service with exchange product savings that, on average, will be near to 20 percent versus commercial department store prices when military exemption from state and local sales tax are considered too.

Shull’s other purpose was to increase exchange revenues to help offset troubling declines due to the drawdown of active duty forces, base closures and the end of military tobacco discounts for the higher priority of healthier populations.
The Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard exchange services joined Shull and AAFES in pushing for the shopping benefit expansion. They worked with Levine’s office and with resale board executives in refining the proposal.

The online benefit does not extend to veterans’ dependents, although spouses and family members theoretically could use the authorized customer’s log-in credentials, given the nature of an online shopping benefit.

Exchange officials project that expanding online shopping will result in $1.8 million in added annual fixed costs to handle the larger customer base. However, they also project added sales and revenue, which will more than offset any added operating or order-fulfillment costs. Higher net earnings are seen boosting exchange dividends to support on-base morale, welfare and recreational activities.

With DMDC verifying shopper identifies electronically, the department will not have to produce special identification cards. DMDC estimates that 13 percent of eligible veterans, primarily those who served before 1981 might not be in their data base when the shopping benefit becomes available. Presumably guidance will be issued for veterans who might have access problems initially.

Defense officials believe they have mitigated concerns previously raised on expanding the exchange benefit. These included worries it would dilute the benefit for currently authorized patrons, increase appropriated funding costs, reduce state and local tax revenues for civilian communities and harm commercial retailers.

An audit of public comments to earlier news articles on the plan showed 90 percent support for veterans online shopping. Also, the online benefit should have no impact need for taxpayer support of certain exchange operations. Total sales are expected to climb annually by from $185 million to $525 million. But that range is viewed as insignificant against $300 billion in online sales reported across the retail industry, thus muting complaints retailers.

The four exchange services are to maintain independent websites and separate online portals to the selection of goods they offer. But for verifying eligibility to shop, online shoppers might have a “common landing page.”

The business case for expanding the online benefit calls it “a low-risk, low-cost opportunity” to better fund morale, welfare and recreation programs and quality of life activities. It also notes that smaller percentages of recently discharged veterans are serving until retirement to qualify for base shopping, yet a higher proportion of them probably had multiple tours deployed, often to war.

The Veterans Online Shopping Benefit will help to recognize the contributions of all who served, the business case argues, while strengthening the online benefit to better serve current patrons. The veterans are expected to at least double exchanges’ online presence, which will help attract better terms from vendors, more competitive merchandise assortments and improved efficiencies.

Exchanges project $18 million to $72 million in new annual earnings when the online operation is fully matured. Half of the added earnings typically would be distributed as higher dividends to MWR programs, which have come under budget pressure as the services divert funds to more immediate readiness needs.

The Veterans Canteen Service, which sells products to veterans under authority of VA, is weighing the idea of establishing its own online retail presence. AAFES had reached out to the canteen service about a joint venture online, but the VCS opted to “go it alone,” according to AAFES documents. That is not seen as impacting the future success of the Veterans Online Shopping Benefit.

The four exchange services reached agreement last year on how to divide revenue from the online purchases, in part by using zip codes of buyers to estimate their service affiliations. They have been eyeing a “soft launch” of the expanded online benefit to segments of vets by mid-2017 to gauge demand and test system capabilities including the process to verify veteran status before the full launch.

The more highly prized commissary benefit isn’t being opened to all veterans. Current exchange patrons won’t see more store traffic and discounts for exchange shopping on base are expected to remain higher than savings online. These factors helped to persuade major military associations to back the initiative.

Proponents were anxious to see the initiative approved before the Obama administration ends Jan. 20 to avoid having to reargue its merits to new leaders.

Military exchanges acknowledge that they are losing sales to popular online sites such as Amazon, particularly as military patrons grow increasingly comfortable with using smart phones and tablets to shop.

Send comments to Military Update, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA, 20120, email or twitter: Tom Philpott @Military_Update.

# # # #

Tom Philpott has been breaking news for and about military people since 1977. After service in the Coast Guard, and 17 years as a reporter and senior editor with Army Times Publishing Company, Tom launched “Military Update,” his syndicated weekly news column, in 1994. “Military Update” features timely news and analysis on issues affecting active duty members, reservists, retirees and their families.

Visit Tom Philpott’s Military Update Archive to view his past articles.

Tom also edits a reader reaction column, “Military Forum.” The online “home” for both features is

clip_image003Tom’s freelance articles have appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Reader’s Digest and Washingtonian.

His critically-acclaimed book, Glory Denied, on the extraordinary ordeal and heroism of Col. Floyd “Jim” Thompson, the longest-held prisoner of war in American history, is available in hardcover and paperback.

Buy Glory Denied from Amazon

Monday, January 9, 2017

Department of Defense Announces Successful Micro-Drone Demonstration


Press Operations

Release No: NR-008-17
Jan. 9, 2017

In one of the most significant tests of autonomous systems under development by the Department of Defense, the Strategic Capabilities Office, partnering with Naval Air Systems Command, successfully demonstrated one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms at China Lake, California. The test, conducted in October 2016 and documented on Sunday’s CBS News program “60 Minutes”, consisted of 103 Perdix drones launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornets. The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing.  

“I congratulate the Strategic Capabilities Office for this successful demonstration,” said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who created SCO in 2012. “This is the kind of cutting-edge innovation that will keep us a step ahead of our adversaries. This demonstration will advance our development of autonomous systems.”

“Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said SCO Director William Roper. “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”

The demonstration is one of the first examples of the Pentagon using teams of small, inexpensive, autonomous systems to perform missions once achieved only by large, expensive ones. Roper stressed the department’s conception of the future battle network is one where humans will always be in the loop. Machines and the autonomous systems being developed by the DoD, such as the micro-drones, will empower humans to make better decisions faster.

Originally designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering students, the Perdix drone was modified for military use by the scientists and engineers of MIT Lincoln Laboratory starting in 2013. Drawing inspiration from the commercial smartphone industry, Perdix software and hardware has been continually updated in successive design generations. Now in its sixth generation, October's test confirmed the reliability of the current all-commercial-component design under potential deployment conditions—speeds of Mach 0.6, temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius, and large shocks—encountered during ejection from fighter flare dispensers.

The “60 Minutes” segment also featured other new technology from across the Department of Defense such as the Navy’s unmanned ocean-going vessel, the Sea Hunter, and the Marine Corps’ Unmanned Tactical Control and Collaboration program.

As SCO works with the military Services to transition Perdix into existing programs of record, it is also partnering with the Defense Industrial Unit-Experimental, or DIUx, to find companies capable of accurately replicating Perdix using the MIT Lincoln Laboratory design. Its goal is to produce Perdix at scale in batches of up to 1,000.

Editor’s Note:

A fact sheet about Perdix can be found here.  

Perdix video footage:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Emailing: Announcement in RJ 6 Dec 2017.jpg

 Announcement in RJ 6 Dec 2017

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Please get the word out any way you can. This may  be our best chance to let the Veteran community know what is going on with the  Memorial Monument at the SNVMC.



Subject: Emailing: Announcement in RJ 6 Dec 2017.jpg

In today's RJ. It does state "Doors open at 8:30 AM for networking"! THEY WANT US TO NETWORK!


Veterans Town Hall Southern NV, VA. N. LAS VEGAS


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Nevada Attorney General Office of Military Legal Assistance


2017 Vegas Flyer.pdf388 KB

State Flyer 2.pdf3 MB

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Subject: Nevada Attorney General Office of Military Legal Assistance

Please find the attached flyers and text below, which is being forwarded to you from one of the members of the State Commander’s Group; for the good of the whole.

Thank you,

                D.C. Martinez

To all Veteran Organization Commanders:

Please disseminate to your veteran membership,

WHO:             The Nevada Attorney General’s Office of Military Legal Assistance @EASE Program and Nevada Legal Services.

WHAT:           Free civil legal assistance to Veterans and their families.

                        Free wills, medical/financial powers of attorney and legal advice pertaining to family law, bankruptcy, consumer issues, landlord/tenant and access/denial to public benefits. Veteran Service Officers will be on hand to assist with VA benefit questions.

WHERE:        The January workshops will take place on 1/27 at the VA Hospital Auditorium located at 6900 N. Pecos Road, North Las Vegas, Nevada, and on Jan 28th at American Legion Post 40 located at 425 E. Van Wegenen Street, Henderson, Nevada.  

WHEN:           Attorneys will be available to assist veterans and family members from 10am to 2pm both days.

NOTES:          Workshops will take place at least once per month throughout the State of Nevada. Please refer to our attached flyers. For more information or to receive email alerts on upcoming workshops, please email and we will add you to our email list.  Also, please visit our site at:

Ryan McDonald | Outreach Director
State of Nevada | Office of the Attorney General | Office of Military Legal Assistance  

T: (775) 684.1216 | F: (775) 684.1162 | E:

From: Martinez, David C. (LV) []
Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 3:45 PM
To: Ryan J. McDonald <>
Subject: OMLA Flyers - Corrected

If this rendition is final, you can send over the message for the commanders and I’ll send it out.  It will give them time to get the word out.

                D.C. Martinez

From: Ryan J. McDonald []
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 3:23 PM
To: Martinez, David C. (LV)
Subject: [EXTERNAL] RE: OMLA Flyers - Corrected

Yeah, couple of needed corrections. Thanks David. Ryan

Ryan McDonald | Outreach Director
State of Nevada | Office of the Attorney General | Office of Military Legal Assistance  

T: (775) 684.1216 | F: (775) 684.1162 | E:


Hi Ryan,

Here is the newest rendition.

                D.C. Martinez



Heather T. Cooney

Assistant to Nic Danna

Special Assistant Attorney General

Director Office of Military Legal Assistance

Nevada Office of the Attorney General


Notice: This e-mail message and any attachments thereto may contain confidential, privileged or non-public information.  Use, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this information by unintended recipients is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy all copies.

Len Yelinek

Commander, Las Vegas Chapter 711

Military Order of the Purple Heart

(702) 362-7673-H    (702) 460-0769-C

5116 Longridge Ave, Las Vegas NV 89146

Monday, January 2, 2017

Subject: Vietnamese New Year Tết 2017 ( Year of The Rooster) invite

Dear VN Vets brothers,

We would love to have you and your spouse at our Tết 2017 celebration which will be held at Palace Station from 6:pm till 10pm on January 15, 2017.

Like last year, we will have free food, music, lion dance, raffle tickets with prizes such as TV's set, coffee machine, water dispenser etc...following by a dance with Vietnamese music and classic oldies American music of your time. Please  forward this Invite to all your fellow brothers and your Henderson 1076 and Las Vegas 17 chapters.    

Your presence will be a great honor to the Vietnamese-American Community of Las Vegas.  

Please see attached flyer for more info. Thank you very much 


Anthony Luu ( V.P VACLV ( Vietnamese-American Community of Las Vegas/ Prez. Association of ARVN Veterans Las Vegas)


Len Yelinek

Commander, Las Vegas Chapter 711

Military Order of the Purple Heart

(702) 362-7673-h    (702) 460-0769-c