A Hero’s Welcome members will join local area Patriots to say WELCOME HOME to over 200 WWII and Korean War Veterans on Tuesday Oct. 11, 2016 when they return from the Flight of Honor to Washington, DC.
Please grab your American Flags and come out to say THANK YOU to this group of America’s greatest generation. Date: Tuesday Oct 11, 2016 Location: 93 Country Club Drive Downingtown, PA 19335 TIME: 5:30 pm/ buses arrive 6:00 pm
Honor Flight Philadelphia will be providing our veterans a FREE Tour of Heroes bus trip on October 11, 2016 from Downingtown to Washington, D.C. to view the major war memorials dedicated to honor their service. This Day of Honor will end with our aging veterans returning home to a USO-styled dinner party held in their honor on behalf of a grateful nation.
Questions? Contact Shiloh Kramer 484-883-0255 “We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they walk by.” — Will Rogers
Medical Surveillance Program
During the spring and summer of 2003, approximately one thousand U.S. Servicemembers, including National Guard, Reserve, and active duty soldiers, guarded the Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Facility in the Basrah oil fields in Iraq. Those Servicemembers may have been exposed to toxic hexavalent chromium from exposure to sodium dichromate dust. Hexavalent chromium is a chemical known to cause lung cancer and other medical conditions, including nasal and skin irritations and respiratory problems. It is only produced through industrial processes for specific purposes. At the Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Facility, the chromium was used as an anti-corrosive for the water pipes, and was found on the ground after bags of the chemical were opened at the site.
In an effort to monitor the health of Veterans who may have been exposed to hexavalent chromium at the Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Facility, VA established the Qarmat Ali Medical Surveillance Program. Under the program, VA provides medical screenings free of any charge or copay. Veterans who participate in the program may receive an exam including:
- Complete physical exam with emphasis on the ears, nose and throat, lungs, and skin
- Pulmonary function tests
VA does not expect to find many serious Qarmat Ali-related illnesses. If any abnormalities are found, participants will be referred to the proper medical specialist. If you served at the Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Facility, contact your local Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) Program Manager to make an appointment to enroll in the VA Qarmat Ali Medical Surveillance Program or to schedule your follow-up exam. To find your local OEF/OIF/OND program office visit www.oefoif.va.gov/map.asp. Eligible Veterans may also be contacted directly by VA regarding their participation.
To learn more visit www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/qarmat-ali. [Source: Post 9/11 Vet Newsletter | Fall 2016
An Aging Society
In 1960, just over 500,000 American veterans were 65 years old or older — 2.3 percent of our veteran population. In 2020, over 9.4 million are projected to be 65 or older — almost 47 percent of veterans. Aging veterans are a harbinger of our nation’s aging population; between now and 2050, Americans aged 65 and over will grow from 15 percent to 22 percent of the population. Those 85 and older will grow from about 6 million to near 19 million. Longer lives and advances in medicine are accompanied by increased needs for the treatment for chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, hypertension and dementia. Three-fourths of U.S. health care expenditures are for chronic disease.
Fortunately, we have a health care system with unparalleled expertise in geriatric care; it’s called the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA leads the nation in addressing the care of an aging society because one out of every two VA patients is a senior citizen. Of 22 million living American veterans, over 6 million seek VA care in a given year; over 52 percent of these are age 65 and over. Though most of these veterans are eligible for other care systems and insurance, most of them choose VA. VA has a visionary system of geriatric research, education and clinical centers (“GRECCs”) created by Congress in 1975 to guide VA in meeting its mandate to care for America’s surviving warriors as they aged into their 70s, 80s and beyond. There are now 20 GRECCs in the 150 VA medical centers in the U.S. devoted to training health care professionals in assessing and managing health needs of elderly clients. They perform pioneering work on the impacts of diet and exercise and investigate diseases of aging, rehabilitation of stroke victims, the genetics and neurobiology of Alzheimer’s disease and on the cellular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease, among many other accomplishments.
VA pioneered and broadly implemented home-based primary care in which clinicians make house calls to veterans with serious, disabling diseases, and we established teams of clinicians in every medical center to provide end-of-life care that provide comfort and dignity for veterans and their families when it is most needed. Since the late 1940s, VA has maintained close working relationships with most U.S. medical schools. Over 70 percent of U.S. physicians receive some clinical instruction in VA settings. Though there is an acute shortage of health personnel with advanced training in geriatrics, VA has many initiatives to educate and train future clinical leaders in geriatrics. This country owes its freedom to veterans, men and women who have “borne the battle” for us all. VA is setting the bar in optimizing the well-being and independence of an increasingly elderly veteran-patient population. America would do well to follow VA’s lead as it prepares to address its looming geriatric challenges. [Source: Reno Gazette-Journal | Robert A. McDonald & Richard C. Veith | September 6, 2016 ++]
08 ► Telephone Application
Veterans can now apply for Veterans Affairs health benefits over the phone. The VA published a final regulation on 12 SEP that allows former service members to complete VA health care applications by calling 877-222-8387. The line is manned by VA employees who walk the veterans through the process, including providing them information on copayment requirements and third party insurance. Previously, VA required veterans to apply in person at a VA medical center or submitting a paper application to the department. But the system was beset with problems, creating a backlog of 847,882 applications that stretched back nearly 15 years and included submissions from more than 300,000 deceased veterans. After the VA inspector general released a report on the backlog a year ago, VA took steps to change the application process, to include removing a requirement that veterans physically sign the necessary paperwork. It also embarked on an effort to clear the backlog, starting with 30,000 combat veterans who should have automatically qualified for the benefit but were placed in the system by mistake. Veterans can continue to apply for benefits in person as well, according to the department. [Source: Military Times | Patricia Kime, September 12, 2016 ++]
Re-dedication planned for Chadds Ford Vietnam War Monument
One of the earliest, if not the very first monument dedicated to those who served in Vietnam is about to be rededicated after years of obscurity and neglect.
The monument, a cannon on a stone base, was rediscovered four years ago behind some brush in an unused bank parking lot along Route 202 in Chadds Ford Township. But no one seems to know anything about its origin. Who made it, dedicated it and why remain mysteries.
According to a plaque, the monument was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1966, only two years after the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that committed American fighting forces to Vietnam, and four years before the Tet offensive of ‘68, when about 57,000 of the 58,316 dead were still living. The memorial had not been the site of any activity in four decades.
The plaque reads: “To the men of Delaware County for their valiant service in Vietnam.”
It also included a partial quote from Wendell Willkie, the 1940 Republican presidential candidate: “Freedom is an indivisible word. If we want to enjoy it, and fight for it, we must be prepared to extend it to everyone, whether they are rich or poor, whether they agree with us or not…”
Steve Quigley, of Concord Towing, brought the monument to the attention of the media after he rediscovered it while cleaning the area near his business four years ago. It was surrounded by brush and debris in an old bank parking lot diagonally across from Hillman Drive. That location is now part of the Wegmans’ development.
Chadds Ford is better known for the Sept. 11, 1777 Battle of Brandywine, which might be the reason why the monument included a Revolutionary War era cannon.
So far, no one has been found with any recollection of its dedication, and public records have revealed no information.
Since August 2012, some Vietnam veterans, along with Quigley, were looking after this monument by cleaning up weeds, placing of flags and wreaths until construction started at the Brandywine Mills shopping center.
Peter S. Miller, president of Carlino Commercial Development that built the Wegmans and surrounding development. “We’re happy to move the monument to give it a respectful place within our public space of our development. I think it will be a perfect gathering spot,” Miller said.
The monument’s re-dedication date is set for 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. at the Brandywine Mills Shopping Center, 751 Wilmington Pike, Glen Mills, PA 19342. The location is part of a green space between a row of shops and the Wegmans store.
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 67 of Delaware County will be the official host with it’s president, Bill Gafford, acting as master of ceremonies.
Ralph W. Galati, Captain, USAF former POW – Vietnam Veteran of Springfield Delaware County will be our special guest speaker.
Patrick J. Hughes U.S.M.C. ChuLai 67-68
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God Bless America