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In This Issue: May 31, 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

At The Wall on Memorial Day

Memorial Day Wreath Laying

At The Wall on Memorial Day, VVA National Secretary William C. Meeks (center) presents wreath on behalf of Vietnam veterans of America. Also pictured Tony Cordero, president, Sons and Daughters In Touch

Remarks by the President at the Commemoration Ceremony of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Chuck, thank you for your words and your friendship and your life of service. Veterans of the Vietnam War, families, friends, distinguished guests. I know it is hot. (Laughter.) But you are here -- to honor your loved ones. And Michelle and I could not be more honored to be here with you.

It speaks to the complexity of America's time in Vietnam that, even now, historians cannot agree on precisely when the war began. American advisors had served there, and died there, as early as the mid-'50s. Major combat operations would not begin until the mid-'60s. But if any year in between illustrated the changing nature of our involvement, it was 1962.

It was January, in Saigon. Our Army pilots strapped on their helmets and boarded their helicopters. They lifted off, raced over treetops carrying South Vietnamese troops. It was a single raid against an enemy stronghold just a few miles into the jungle -- but it was one of America's first major operations in that faraway land.

[Read President Obama's Remarks]
June is National PTSD Awareness Month

Returning Soldiers with PTSD Don’t Seek Treatment

Roughly half of the soldiers who return from war with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder don’t seek treatment, and many more drop out of therapy early, according to military research presented at the recent American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting. “Fewer than half of the soldiers who report symptoms of combat-related PTSD receive the care they need,” Maj. Gary H. Wynn, a research psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, said during a presentation to the association. “And of those soldiers who do start treatment, between 20 percent and 50 percent walk away before its completion.” 

[Read the full story]

National Center for PTSD Launches New PTSD Webpage - About Face

About Face Website

How I knew I had PTSD

Re-living the event (also called flashbacks or re-experiencing): Memories of trauma can come back at any time. You may have nightmares or feel like you are going through the experience all over again.

Avoidance: You try to stay away from things that remind you of the event…including discussing it with a counselor, friends or family.

Feeling numb: You find it hard to express your feelings, and you may not be interested in spending time with family and friends.  

Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal): You may be constantly on guard, startle or get angry all of a sudden. 

PTSD Treatment can help. Sound familiar?

[Go to the new website - About Face]

Vets Filing for Disability Benefits at Historic Rate

America's Newest Vets Filing for Disability Benefits at Historic Rate

According to a May 27 AP article, forty-five percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s. The new veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the last year are claiming 11 to 14. By comparison, Vietnam veterans are currently receiving compensation for fewer than four, on average, and those from World War II and Korea, just two.

[Read the article] 

Costs of Caring for Veterans

Current and Projected Costs of Caring for Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

In June 2011, Harvard Professor of Economics Linda Bilmes published a paper detailing current and projected costs of caring for OEF/OIF vets. This seminal paper was not widely circulated at the time, but is now more important than ever with the long-term federal budget cuts looming on the horizon. 

[Read the paper]  

Invitation from Friends of the Forgotten

Dedication & Unveiling of the Memorial to the First American Military Nurse and Woman to Die in the Vietnam War

Click on the invitation to get more information.

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