“Today, I’m symptom-free and feel great.”
by Dore Mobley, VA Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Glamour and success have new meanings for Myriam Leonardo, an Army Veteran who receives care at the Puerto Rico VA medical center. Glamour is now defined by good health while success is defined by five months of being smoke-free.
“I started smoking to look glamorous like a lot of women did in the 80s,” said Myriam. “In the movies and in advertisements, smoking was portrayed as being glamorous so I thought smoking made me look cool.”
Her on again-off again relationship with cigarettes began at 16 years old and continued until she became pregnant with her first child and successfully kicked the habit for 10 years before succumbing to the old cravings.
She had tried to quit in the past using nicotine gum, patches, and “everything except voodoo.” But after developing a nagging cough, persistent sore throat, and an unexplained tingling sensation in her fingers, she went to the VA for help.
“I got scared when the doctor told me I was on my way to causing permanent damage to myself,” she said. “He told me I had to stop and that made a lot of sense.”
As a doctor herself,…
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There are over 2.2 million women veterans in the U.S., and about 37,000 in San Antonio alone. Many seek care through the VA Health System. In January, a local veteran named Octavia Harris was tapped to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. She’ll have the ear of VA Secretary David Shulkin for the next two years, and be able to offer input on policies that affect healthcare for women veterans nationwide.
“The women veteran population is growing exponentially,” Harris said. “We’re about 10 percent of the veteran population now. That number is growing. The needs of women veterans cross over to some of the same needs as male veterans, but we also have specific and unique issues. Those things we like to bring to life.”
The committee has previously offered its input on topics like gynecological services, therapies and protocols for military sexual trauma, homelessness, vocational rehabilitation, claims processing and recreational therapy.
Every two years, the Advisory Committee on of Women Veterans issues an official report that goes all the way to Congress through the VA secretary. In 2016, it recommended that…
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2018 —
It is a sign of America’s disconnect with its military that there are those who believe that when a person joins the military, that person cannot have a spouse or children or pets, said Amber Smith, the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for outreach.
This misperception may be extreme, but there are other and it’s one reason why DoD is launching an outreach program on Feb. 1 called “This Is Your Military.” The program is designed “to inform and educate the American public on who is serving in the military today,” Smith said during a Pentagon news conference today.
Less than 1 percent of Americans serve in the military and the number of Americans with firsthand experience with service members or veterans has declined precipitously since the beginning of the all-volunteer military in 1973.
‘A Force for Good’
“We want to show [Americans] how the military is relevant to their everyday lives; we want to show how innovative the military is and how we are a force for good,” she said.
The initiative will highlight the lives of those serve and give a balanced view of military service and life, said…
Melinda Lindsay, a resident of the Veterans Domiciliary at Wade Park, in Cleveland, works on her resume with a little help from Domiciliary Chief Patricia James-Stewart.
by Tom Cramer, VA Staff Writer
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Melinda Lindsay was discharged from the Army in 1984 and then spent the next 25 years on drugs, alcohol and on the street.
“I went to the party and just stayed there,” she explained. “I was on alcohol and crack for a lot of years. I was using every day, all day.”
Things are a little different for Lindsay now. She’s taking some college courses and living at the Veterans Domiciliary at Wade Park, in Cleveland — a place where homeless Veterans can come to heal themselves and rebuild their lives.
Free at Last
“I’ll have four years clean next month,” Lindsay said proudly. “My mind is free now. I just need to stay focused. First and foremost, I need to stay clean and sober.”
The Wade Park Domiciliary is a unique partnership between the Cleveland VA Medical Center and Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, a marriage that may be the first of its kind in the entire country. Operating since 2011, it serves as a classic example of VA’s continuing…
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The Central Texas Food Bank has partnered with the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System and Feeding America to distribute food to veterans once a month in Temple.
The mobile food pantry will be at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. the fourth Thursday of each month.
Central Texas Food Bank Chief Development Officer Mark Jackson said 1 out of 6 of Central Texans is at risk of hunger. In addition, he said from those they serve, about 25 percent of them have at least one servicemember or a veteran in their households.
“We are just grateful that we are given the opportunity to give back to people who have given so much for this country. We can’t have our veterans going hungry,” Jackson said.
In December, Central Texas Food Bank served 170 families during a food distribution for veterans in Temple. Jackson anticipated serving over 170 families on Thursday morning.
U.S. Army Veteran Larry Gill who got food from the mobile pantry is grateful for the help. The 57-year-old said with his income he is not able to afford the groceries he may need.
‘I’m just grateful to be here today and this is a blessing from God for me. I was…
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By Air Force Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer
27th Special Operations Wing
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., Jan. 29, 2018 —
When Air Force pilots based here prepare for flight, they need the help of 27th Special Operations Support Squadron weather forecasters to contribute to their safety and mission success.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph Klein, 27th SOSS weather forecaster, is one of those airmen who unlock the weather-related puzzle.
“We provide forecasts for the local area, as well as [other parts of] New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Texas,” Klein said. “We also do resource protection. That way, if any bad weather is inbound on our location, we can alert units around base to ensure equipment doesn’t get damaged.”
Weather forecasters here work alongside pilots, using the latest technology to predict weather patterns, prepare forecasts and communicate weather information to pilots so every mission can be carried out.
“It helps that we work so close with aircraft crews,” Klein said. “[In my previous bases], we didn’t get too much face time with them. Here at Cannon, we’re interacting with each other much…
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This blog is part of a weekly series called “Medal of Honor Monday,” in which we’ll highlight one of the nearly 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the honor of wearing the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor.
In June of 2006, the 3rd Squadron of the 71st Cavalry Regiment (Recon), 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, prepared to execute Operation Gowardesh Thrust, a squadron-sized operation in the Gremen Valley, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.
The operation was designed to disrupt enemy operations in the Gremen Valley by denying the enemy freedom of movement and the use of critical staging areas near the border with Pakistan. The initial phase of the operation required a 16-man patrol to infiltrate into the area of operations in advance of the squadron’s main effort.
Monti, left, was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2009. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2006, and has been described by his unit members as “the ideal NCO.” Army courtesy photos
The patrol, consisting of snipers, forward observers and scouts, would maneuver north along a high ridge overlooking the Gremen Valley. From the high ground of the ridge, the patrol would provide real-time…
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By Katie Lange
Defense Media Activity
Who’s willing to serve in tomorrow’s military?
It’s a question military leaders and experts continue to ask as national trends show the military-civilian divide is growing as fewer young people have direct connections to service members and veterans.
Recently, Amber Smith, the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for outreach, joined other experts to discuss how that divide affects the all-volunteer force going into the future. The discussion comes as the Defense Department’s new initiative, This Is Your Military, kicks off to bridge that gap.
Here were some of the biggest takeaways from the discussion.
Time away from family is the top concern for service members and their spouses.
According to Blue Star Families’ 2017 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, nearly 70 percent of service members and their spouses said current operational tempo is making life unsustainable. All of the duty station moves, deployments, odd schedules and lack of flexible child care led to this issue being No. 1 in 2017.
Military spouses also need to have meaningful careers.
Military spouses join their service members at nearly every duty station. But that can often…
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In the past five years, Veteran Brian Fleming has taken over 5,000 images. (Photo by VA Biloxi Medical Media Services)
by Mary Kay Gominger, Public Affairs Specialist
Monday, November 25, 2013
Thanksgiving Day means many things to many people. Veteran Brian Fleming is thankful for the health care he has received at his VA medical center. He feels safe there.
Army Veteran Brian Fleming knows what it’s like to be stuck at home, days on end, with nothing to do but watch television and stare at a computer screen or sleep. For several years after he was medically discharged from the Army as a result of a rappelling accident, the only thing Brian did for himself was to go to the Biloxi VA Medical Center every week for his therapy appointment. That was the extent and highlight of his week.
Then one day several years ago, Brian became interested in some of his friend’s photos that he had posted online. He started asking some questions and decided to try to take a few photos of his own. That was five years ago. By his estimates, Brian has taken over 5,000 images.
There’s no place that I feel safer than
here at the VA.
“Photography has opened up a whole new world for me,” Brian…
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HOHENFELS TRAINING AREA, Germany – In a combat environment, the knowledge of where a threat is could mean the difference between life and death.
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