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In This Issue: March 19, 2012 Latest News

Special Notice: If you are a veteran in emotional crisis and need help RIGHT NOW, call this toll-free number 1-800-273-8255, available 24/7, and tell them you are a veteran. All calls are confidential.

VA Caregiver Hotline

VVA Testimony

Marsha Four Delivers VVA Testimony Before Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Regarding "Ending Homelessness Among Veterans."

Marsha Four

On March 14, Marsha Four, VVA National Board member and chair of VVA’s National Women Veterans Committee, delivered testimony before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee regarding “Ending Homelessness Among Veterans.”

[ To view print version of the testimony ]

VVA's Annual Testimony

John Rowan to Present VVA Annual Testimony on March 21

John Rowan

On March 21, at 10:00 am, Vietnam Veterans of America National President John Rowan will deliver VVA's Annual Testimony before the Joint House and Senate Committees on Veterans' Affairs. The hearing will be held on Capitol Hill at the Dirksen Office Building, Room G-50, Washington, D.C.

To view the House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing, click the link below on March 21, 10:00 am, and it will direct you to the “live feed.” One can also view the submitted written statements at that time.


Vaccine Study

Hepatitis C Vaccine To Encompass All Global Strains of The Virus?

VANCOUVER, BC –  March 6, 2012 – February 2012 has marked a milestone to be forever remembered in the field of Hepatitis C research.  After 15 years of hard work and continuous research, Dr. Michael Houghton and his team (the same Dr. Houghton responsible for the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus genome in the late 80's) discovered, that after Phase 1 human studies, the volunteers made antibodies that killed ALL THE STRAINS AND GENOTYPES of the Hepatitis C virus IN THE WORLD. The discovery was made only 1 month ago, where he and his lab member, Dr. John Law work at the University of Alberta, Dept. of Medical Microbiology & Immunology.  Bill Remak says, “This is the closest we've come so far to ending the scourge of the Hepatitis C virus.”

Dr. Houghton first started the research project 15 years ago at Chiron, which was later bought out by Novartis. Dr. Houghton left Chiron in 2007. He went on to continue his research, and in time joined the University of Alberta in 2010. It is here that the monumental breakthrough occurred. 

Dr. Michael Houghton was shocked by his own discovery, and claims that he never expected the “cross neutralization”* to be so broad. What they found was that this vaccine encompasses all strains of the Hepatitis C virus globally. This is the most surprising and profound outcome imaginable.  Dr. Houghton has not yet released his own publication, and first divulged his team's monumental discovery at the CERC (Canada Excellence Research Chair) conference in Vancouver, BC, two weeks ago.

*Disclosure - funding for Cross Neutralization and follow up were completed in Canada, and Novartis holds ownership of the new vaccine. Clinical testing was funded by Novartis & NIH.

CFPB Press Release

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Now Taking Private Student Loan Complaints

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is now accepting complaints from borrowers having difficulties with their private student loans. The CFPB will assist all borrowers experiencing problems taking out a private student loan, repaying their private student loan, or managing a student loan that has gone into default and may have been referred to a debt collector.

"The ability to work hard and better yourself through education is part of what makes this country so great," said Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB. "But getting a higher education can mean taking on significant debt – a big decision with a lot of consequences. The CFPB is now the one-stop federal agency where all private student loan borrowers can ask questions, get information, and file a complaint about this important market."

Student loans have now surpassed credit cards as the largest source of unsecured consumer debt. Millions of students turn to private loans to pay for college when scholarships and federal student loans do not cover the full costs. But unlike federal student loans, private student loans do not generally have the same borrower protections such as military deferments, discharges upon death, or income-based repayment plans.

[ read entire press release ]

To find out more information about the Bureau’s new private student loan consumer response function and to file a private student loan complaint, borrowers can:

  • Call the toll-free phone number at 1-855-411-CFPB (2372)
  • Visit online at www.consumerfinance.gov
  • Fax the CFPB at 1-855-237-2392
  • Mail a letter to P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244
March 12, 2012, Update

National League of POW/MIA Families Update

March 12, 2012

AMERICANS IDENTIFIED: There are still 1,677 Americans listed by the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) as missing and unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. Most recently listed as accounted-for on the DPMO website was Lt Col Charles M. Walling, USAF, AZ, MIA in South Vietnam on 8/8/66. His remains were recovered on 4/13/10 and identified on 11/30/11. The number of Americans announced as returned and identified since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is now 906. (Five more Americans previously listed as KIA/BNR in Cambodia (4) and Laos (1) have been accounted-for, though not yet named/announced by DPMO.) Another 63 US personnel, recovered post-incident and identified before the end of the war, bring the officially listed total recovered and identified to 969. Of the 1,677 still missing or otherwise unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War, 90% were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam's wartime control: Vietnam–1,286 (VN-472, VS-814); Laos–326; Cambodia–58; Peoples Republic of China territorial waters–7; more than 450 were over-water losses.

[ read entire update ]

[ read the newsletter here ]

Commemoration Newsletter

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Newsletter, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Parade

[ read the newsletter here ]

News From Defense Prisoner of War * Missing Personnel Office

The Torch, Spring 2012

The Torch Masthead

[ Read the Spring 2012 issue here ]

The Torch will no longer be available in hard-copy for distribution by mail. An archive of all past issues is available for viewing on the website www.dtic.mil/dpmo.

Welcome Home Day Event

VVA Chapter 1047, Harrison, Michigan, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

Friday, March 30, 2012
Harrison Mid Michigan VVA 1047 will have a short honor service at 12:00 noon outside the Clare County Courthouse. Specials, music and more...

[ download the flyer here ]

Welcome Home Day Event

Whittier, California, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

A Welcome Home Celebration For All Veterans!
Join Us In Welcoming Home Veterans In Your Community
Sunday March 25, 2012, 11 :OOAM to 5:00PM
California High School Football Stadium
9800 Mills Ave, Whittier, CA 90604
• Military Vehicle Display • Custom Car And Motorcycle Show • Military Memorabilia
• Live Music • Food And Retail Vendors • Kiddie Korner • Family Fun For All

[ download the flyer here ]


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