The Local American legion post that is in Cameron MO has been assisting the local veterans in applying for their benefits and making a follow up that the veterans indeed receive their benefits. There being so many challenges that the veterans face when applying for their benefits not to mention filling out the benefits application forms. One of the big challenge is getting someone who can assist them instead of going through the many websites online or responding to the computer answering system on the telephone. The main goal is to create a pool of people who will provide these veterans with the information they need instead of them travelling long distances to seek help. Apart from that they help the veterans in dealing with crisis when they occur because it’s true the benefits might be available but then they can only be accessed after several weeks, months, or longer. When someone is in crisis, they need help now, not next week or month. So far several groups have come up that are willing to help the veterans in dealing with everything from “returning to civilian life” to “assisted living facilities” to prevention of Veteran Suicides. Though veterans should be cautious as there are some people who will take advantage of their lack of knowledge and end up scamming and take advantage of them, this also applies to the groups that are helping the veterans. The American Legion is planning on consolidating some of those efforts and provide a ready resource to help those who have trouble getting their benefits. Veterans who have had their benefits denied hare also being given advice on how they can appeal. To help with the whole process, the Legion has collaborated with the Disabled American Veterans of Missouri to schedule the Mobile Service Office van that will visit Cameron on Thursday Sept 14th from 10 AM until 5 PM. The van will be parked at the Cameron Market parking lot and help will be available for veterans and their dependents to come in and find answers to the benefits available. Many changes have been in placed in the Veterans Administration over the past couple of years. The Mobile Service Office will be able to provide the latest information about those changes to the local veterans.
The young lady who was charged with leaking classified U.S. documents has requested the federal judge ruling her case to rule that comments she had previously made to FBI agents before her arrest should not be used as evidence against her. Reality Winner, who was a former Air Force linguist and held a top-secret security clearance, had worked for the government as a contractor in Augusta, Georgia. This was until she was charged of making copies of classified report and sending the copies to an online news organization. According to a criminal complaint that was filed on the 5th of June in the U.S. District Court, Winner had admitted to leaking the documents during a questioning session by FBI agents serving a search warrant at her apartment. Winner's defense attorneys filed a court motion last Tuesday requesting the judge to suppress any comments that their client had made to the FBI during the questioning because apparently the FBI agents had forgotten to read Winner her Miranda rights. Winner’s attorneys said that, even though their client had not been formally arrested, she had every reason to assume she was in custody since she was questioned in a room of her apartment as two FBI agents stood in front of the door. The prosecutors have not responded or filed any legal reply to the defense motion and as per Wednesday the judge had not given any ruling concerning the motion. Nevertheless, U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps agreed to postponing Winner’s trial during a status hearing last Wednesday, the trial had been scheduled to begin in October. Epps postponed the case until March after Winner's attorneys reported that newer members of the defense team had not obtained national security clearances and so were not able to examine classified documents that are related to the case. So far the authorities have not given any description of the classified report, which Winner is accused of leaking or named the news outlet that received it. However, the Justice Department announced Winner's arrest on the same day that The Intercept reported it had gotten hold of classified National Security Agency report that suggested that Russian hackers had attacked a U.S. voting software supplier before last year's presidential election. The NSA report was dated May 5, the same as the document Winner is charged with leaking. Winner on the other hand had pleaded not guilty to the charges. She is charged with illegal retention and transmission of national defense information. This federal crime carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if she's found guilty.
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Thousands of the US veterans who have been involved in fights in the America’s longest war said that it is very reassuring for the President of the United States, Donald Trump, to reverse the calls he made in the past for a speedy exit from the Afghanistan nation and the pulling out of troops won’t happen under a strict deadline. The troops will feel bad to see what they have worked for and sacrificed big deal go in vain. Some of them though worry that the strategy made by the administration is not enough for them to emerge victorious. In a national address Monday, the president recommitted the country to a sixteen year old war. He also announced a strategy that entailed the country sending a number of three thousand nine hundred additional US forces to join the rest of the eight thousand four hundred troops that are already at the moment in Afghanistan. The first set deployment is expected to take place in a matter of a few days. It is a plan to shift away from having what is referred to as “time-based” strategy approach and focusing instead on aid to the cooperation and to result from the beleaguered Pakistan, Afghanistan and other governments. Peter James Kiernan, the marine veteran could not be hesitant, but praised the president for being intelligent and not allowing the pinning of withdrawal to that enemy fighters’ timeline to wait upon. He also expressed his concerns about the war. He said that for the moment, he thinks the US partners in the Afghanistan should take it from the strategy that they are still together and committed to their aid, which makes them the biggest beneficiaries. He said that was a reaffirmation to the partners. He also said that he is not sure of the guarantee the duration it may last now that a lot of things may tend to change quickly in the presidential office. Mr. Peter James Kiernan had spent nine months in the Afghanistan and just graduated recently from the Columbia University. A former Marine Captain, a bronze star recipient and left paralyzed by a sniper’s bullet in Afghanistan, Derek Herrera agreed to the presidents act towards the new strategy of not having a deadline in withdrawal but he also expressed his urge to know how success would be like and how could it be achieved. In an email, he said that on a personal level, he thinks that they all need to start again the difficult conversation and plan on what to expect from the future holdings. He continued to say that although it is aimed to have everyone removed from Afghanistan, the plan and strategies should be well outlined. The retired Army Col. Raymond Denisewish was also happy about the news that the president, Donald Trump is also relying on the strategies to be carried out by the commanders. A former military reservist in Afghanistan, Thomas Porter was also encouraged and happy by the presidents doing.
Poling is an Iraq War veteran and it is only in his 44Th year that he finally had a place he can call his own home. Medication complications got him discharged in 2014 from the Army and for the same reasons, he had to leave his trucking job. The little he had could only manage him to live out of his pickup in the Orange County, up to the end days of last year. The Orange County is a sprawling location of the southern California that is mostly known for beaches, high and costly houses, and not to forget, Disneyland. Before the former veteran found a temporary home in the area, he lived on the streets, homeless for an approximate of seven months. Potter’s Lane was his rescue from sleeping in the streets. This apartment complex is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States of America because it is designed from recycled shipping container material as a home for the homeless veterans. Poling explained his life, stating that he has never in his whole life owned a home. After his high school, he tried having errands here and there, while still staying with the parents. He later joined the Army while he was 23 years of age as an active duty. While in the army, he stayed with the uncle, Sam, in the soldiers barracks. He felt really happy and nice to finally have a home in the Orange County. Among the last fifteen veterans to relocate to the Potter’s lane with Polling, a sum of $6.7 million project was paid for with federal, local and state dollars. Money and donations from the nonprofit organizations behind the supporting homeless veteran project, not to forget the American Family Housing among other sources. The group’s president said that it was a wish for the American Family Housing to confirm that the apartment complex was designed with the strength of the United States military. The 350 homeless veterans around the Orange County can now comfortably say they have a home. The American Civil Liberties Union’s Orange County office has a homelessness policy analyst, Eve Garrow, who was positive and determinedly said that the potter’s lane project was a big step forward. She continued to state that the statistic of the people living in the streets and being homeless is 54%. The Director of the Washington DC- based National Coalition for the Homeless, Megan Hustlings, said that she was never aware that shipping containers were used to make permanent houses for people, especially the homeless. She continued to say that the country needs more project that would involve more tiny houses like the Potter’s Lane. With his two months of stay in his new house, he was excited and feels settled. He has even made friends, especially to Dale Dollar, his next door neighbor who was also homeless for an approximate of fourteen years. He is thankful to the company because he can now have peaceful sleep in the bed, which is the best part of his new home.
Just like an army of ants, Reno-Sparks Convention Center this week has been swarming with thousands of veterans. The veterans included different age groups from young boys to older men, making it an approximate sum of nine thousand members of the America Legion for the national convention in town. Statistic has it that a rough estimate of two million members from all over the nation are members of the American Legion. Part of the responsibility of membership is to work whole heartedly all through the year to give providence of support services for the veterans, just in case the government services are dropped off. The American Legion Member, Mr. John Rupe, addressed the congregation by recognizing their efforts and saying that the government and the veterans’ administration were to so much in appreciation for the members because they deserved even more. He noted that the work done by the members is influential and life changing at the same time. It is the responsibility of the American Legion Funds program to be in charge of the members getting employment, securing good homes and furnishing them, getting the families (spouses and children) get fed and insuring the college fees for the children in case of loss of a military parent. Charles Schmidt, the National Commander of the American Legion talked about the culture of the veterans taking care of each other as buddies. He said that in the military, they take it upon themselves to look for each other and take care of each other in both peace times and war times. This sense of responsibility among the militants, watch my back and I will watch yours, promotes unity and peace. Lobbying on their behalf is sometimes part of their responsibility. Representatives, who are part of the group, in DC work on their behalf to make and pass policies that are helpful to veterans. Victor Moss, who is also an American Legion member confirmed that there is strength in numbers, referring to the representatives of the two million members in The DC. He said that the chances of the congress giving ears to them is high because the number of the members is very high. This year’s American Legion National Convention is expected to run till 24th August.
A day after a giving out a speech that tore into the country’s press and some members of his own political party, President Donald Trump has gone ahead to ask for unity, when he was speaking to Veterans in Nevada during the American Legion Conference. Trump told the American Legion conference on Wednesday that in order to overcome the many challenges faced by the country, it’s important that veterans are held up as an example of strength and courage. The president spoke in measured tones and adhering to his prepared remarks. He also said all Americans must learn the same work ethic, patriotism and devotion as veterans. The zigzag message clearly reflected the president's real-time internal debate between calls for him to embrace moderation and his inclination to let loose. President Trump had opened his Tuesday rally in Phoenix in a similar way only to quickly erupt in anger, blaming the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, a protest organized by white supremacists. But on Wednesday it was clear that the President was still thinking about the rally, as evidenced by his Twitter account. Luckily by the time he got to the American Legion conference, he looked more congenial. He even thanked Senator Dean Heller, who is a Nevada Republican and whom he has openly and repeatedly feuded. He also discussed his early efforts to restructure and improve the Veterans Administration. Later in his speech, Trump said that Americans are not defined by the color of their skin, nor the size of their salary or even their political party. When the Medal of Honor recipient Donald Ballard, joined the president on stage, he offered praise to Trump, and said that the president will "drain the swamp" of Washington. Trump just smiled at the remarks and tipped his hand that he was indeed being restrained.
Yesterday the American Legion adopted a resolution that will urge the federal government to permit the Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss and prescribe medical marijuana in the states where the drug is it’s legal. The resolution was passed during the group’s national convention that was held in Reno, Nevada. The resolution was authored by the American Legion member Rob Ryan of Blue Ash, Ohio. According to a report released by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio happens to have the fourth highest rate of overdose deaths in the whole country, after West Virginia, New Hampshire and Kentucky. Ohio is also one of the 29 states that have made it legal to use cannabis for medical purposes. The American Legion boasts of approximately 2 million veterans nationwide. When President Donald Trump spoke last Wednesday at the convention, he called the group as an organization that is very powerful. The American Legion first demonstrated its support of medical marijuana last summer, when it decided to put its weight behind an effort to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs to allow for more research. Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD and Ecstasy, and are designated as having no medical use. Apart from that, the organization has requested an audience with the President so as to request to change his current administration’s policy on cannabis. Previous attempts in the past that were made to lift that prohibition have failed in Congress. Army veteran Donna Stacey, who is the state commander of the Alabama American Legion, commented that she was curious to know more about the medical use of marijuana because of this new resolution. As a leader in her state, Stacey will be expected to discuss with her fellow congressmen about the American Legion’s priorities, which include the medical marijuana. Recreational use of marijuana was made legal in Nevada on the 1st of July, however Alabama doesn’t permit any form of marijuana use. Stacey’s husband, Wayne — who is also an Army veteran and an American Legion member accompanied her during the tour.
Bob Sussan, the Chief Road Captain of the Legacy Run, unexpectedly stopped by Green River, Utah, when the planning for the first ride for the year’s Legacy Run was underway. He was shocked to hear from the people that such memorial did not in exist in the area. This was after he had suggested to the local officials that he be allowed to lay a wreath at the town’s veteran memorial in the Legacy Run Stop. Well, one was created and the memorial is in existence at the moment. The memorial was built under the effort of Sussan collaborating with The American Legion Riders and the Green River officials. Much appreciation to them for the good work. The Riders as a result participated in the dedication ceremony of the memorial, when the Legacy Run chose to make a stop on the Green River last Monday. Sussan while talking to the officials, was informed that the town has been struggling and had done everything they could, in order to get a veterans memorial. The town has an approximate of three dozen veterans out of the almost one thousand residents. He then offered the town residents a deal in which he would team up with the locals and finance the town getting a veteran’s memorial. Sussan spoke enthusiastically of how the construction of the memorial was a success, giving details of how things went down. He said that he had plenty of discussions with the town mayor who was also involved in the project and helped him a lot with his campaigns since he was a local community leader. The Legion Riders also took part in the campaigns and the construction. They did forty percentage of the memorial by getting some stuff donations. And that was how the whole thing started. The memorial dedication ceremony included members of the community. Pat Brady, the Green River City Mayor, addressed the crowd and started by thanking Sussan for showing them the path to the light. He assured Sussan that the whole town is currently doing everything possible in making sure that the path becomes worthwhile taking a walk on. He also gave a vote of appreciation to the Riders for the whole set up of their great flag. The involved community members were also not forgotten. He concluded by saying that they should not forget the lost members of the community, rather they should be kept close to their minds and hearts. A Legion Rider and Legionnaire from Post 284 in Colonial Height, George Ahrend was excited and could not help it, but express his joy in words by saying that it was very nice for him to see a town like Green River still appreciating its military roots. The Green River town was once the home for the Green River Launch Complex military installation. This is why this was a very important and remark full ceremony. It is ironical that the dedication of the memorial was done at the same time as the burial of the Legacy Run Chief Guard, Verlin Abbott, in Indiana long time. Abbott and Sussan had co-planned this year’s ride when Abbott was in Green River during the commencing of the memorial first talks. It is the first Legacy Run for Ahrend. He had hindrances from his first work and also he is the one looking after his beloved mother. Those priorities kept him away from attending and riding, but he was given that chance this year. This was a first in his four years for Daniel, who has been taking part in the riding in the four Legacy Runs. He was racing against some more two hundred and forty other riders. A visit to the Richfield City Ceremony was a way to close the day for the Riders. There, they were part of the wreath-laying ceremony in the Veteran Memorial of the city. Alex Aerts, the Department Commander of Utah was part of the attendance list with the members of the community.
The President of Streator Stars and Stripes, Carrie Hrasch, said that she occasionally came around people who were wearing the Korean War Veteran hats around Streator. Each time this happened, she was always made it her personal initiative to thank them and other veterans for their service. However, there is always a formal opportunity to give gratitude to the veterans, this happens when veterans from the Korean War come together during a veteran recognition event at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Streator Moose Lodge, 2017 Skelgas Road, hosted by Hrasch's nonprofit group. Many members of the public can use this wonderful opportunity to thank the veterans. Hrasch described the Korean War as the ‘Forgotten War,’ and that all veterans from this war should not think they have been forgotten and that’s why the event has been planned. This memorable event will be graced by the presence of Sgt. Steve Gifford of the Illinois National Guard, who will be the guest speaker. Vehicles from the Company B 766th brigade engineer battalion from Marseilles will be displayed. According to Hrasch about 25 Korean War veterans so far have signed up for the event, she is very optimistic that more veterans will register prior to the event,. The event will involve a dinner for the veterans and their families. Families of the veterans who had passed away have also been encouraged to register their loved ones, this is so that their names can be included in the print materials of the organization. Hrasch’s late grandfather, James Losh, had also served in the war and will be among the many veterans who are to be included on the event’s printout. The veterans who will be present at the event will be given gifts of appreciation similar to the challenge coins and ribbons given to World War II veterans when their recognition event was held last year. Hrasch commented that, this year’s event will be very similar to the World War II recognition event that took place this year, the only difference is that this event will take place indoors so that to ensure the environment is very comfortable for those who will be attending the event. The World War II event turned out to be a mega success that the group felt very encouraged to hold a series of similar events and have already started making plans for the Vietnam War veteran’s recognition event that will happen in 2018. She appreciated the ever growing support that the group has been receiving from the community members as more members of the public attend the meetings and offer more monetary support and other donations like supplies that are sent to the military personnel who are still in active duty. The month of October will have several events and also there will be additional supplies to the veterans who had recently received from the Bill Walsh donation drive intended to be sent to the soldiers in active duty for Christmas.