DaniMartExtras, Too



Posted by Xaniel777 on November 20, 2011

 TODAY IS : Sunday – November 20, 2011


” Alternative News Stories gathered from all over the world and placed here for your awareness ! “

If you have the  extra time,  then check out Xaniel’s Blog at  TETRA-TRINITY CHRONICLES 





The Actual Victims Toll of 9/11

From Veterans Today

Posted by 

“Saddam never had any weapons of mass destruction but nevertheless, with the American invasion of Iraq, the Iraqis were destined to experience what it really meant to be bombarded with such weapons.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

New Yorkers dumbstruck by the mysterious collapse of the towers on 9/11

It is still one of my most vivid memories ever, as I’m sure it is for many others. …The planes crashing into the towers, the hysteria and the blunders of the mainstream media, the initial silence and ineptness of the white house, and people all over the world glued to their TVs as they watched in amazement the towers of the world trade center collapse like a house of cards on September, 9, 2001.

9/11, … I knew that day that what I had just witnessed was going to haunt not only the United States but the whole world for years and years to come.

Nearly 3000 innocent people were killed in the terrorist operation most of them were Americans and as voices on the American street began to call for a swift action on part of the white house to retaliate the horrific attacks, the Bush/Chiney administration wasted no time and spared no expense, as if they had it all preplanned in advance, and before we knew it the American planes were bombing Afghanistan& Iraq– two countries that never posed any threat to the US.

But what did it matter, and why should anyone care that American boots were once again on foreign grounds as long as we were told that the boys were after Bin laden and his gang and hunting down Saddam to rid the world of the threat of his weapons of mass destruction.

Surely this whole war was a set up, for Saddam never had any weapons of mass destruction but nevertheless, with the American invasion of Iraq, the Iraqis were destined to experience what it really meant to be bombarded with such weapons.

Depleted uranium

It was no secret, though may be still unknown to a lot of people, that the American and the so called coalition forces used Depleted Uranium ammunition in their air bombardment and on ground combat operations in Iraq.

For you who are not familiar with Depleted Uranium (DU) I would say that it is a carcinogenic heavy metal material that also emits alpha and gamma radiation. Once a particulate of DU has found its way into an organ such as the bone, the lungs, etc, it will be like having a tiny x-ray machine inside you, No way to get rid of it and moreover Cancer and birth defects are likely to be coming your way. It can never be cured and DU will last in the environment for eternity. Cool hey.

It is a waste material of the Nuke industry and in the battlefield it becomes aerosolized and thus its deadly dust particles become a permanent part of the world’s environment. It cannot be cleaned from the environment–ever! Its use is immoral and a crime against all humanity. The U.S. is a world major producer and the American army in Iraq has used tons of it.

The official estimates say that 9/11 victims were close to 3000. but if we bear in mind that the war in Iraq was an inseparable consequence to the New York attacks, and considering the hundreds of thousands Iraqis who actually lost their lives and the thousands who are born every day withcongenital deformities, mental retardation and cancer due to their exposure to the radioactivity emitted from the abundant use of Depleted Uranium ammunition throughout the years of the war on Iraq, we could so easily add a couple of more zeros to the official New York estimate and still, we would be far from the actual victims toll of 9/11.

Families of September 11

Since May of last year, there has been a ferocious debate over the building of some Islamic cultural center near ground zero, or what was known as ground zero mosque. The American public opinion had been galvanized against this idea of a Muslim community center near the place where the 9/11 attacks happened. The main argument, including the president’s, was that choosing a spot near ground zero for the Islamic community center was totally lacking in wisdom as it hurt the feelings of the families who lost their loved ones in 9/11.

A nonprofit organization was founded in October 2001 by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks (FOS11). Its mission is to raise awareness about the effect of terrorism and public trauma and to champion domestic and international policies that prevent, protect against, and respond to terrorist acts.

Great mission indeed, but where FOS11 stand on the devastating and utterly futile Iraqi war, which has supposedly been waged on their behalf. I mean if they have been tremendously hurt by the building of a cultural community center aimed at bridging the gap between different creeds and cultures, then it would be fair to assume that the indiscriminate killing of more than one million innocent Iraqis must have been devastating news for them- putting in mind how they defined who they are and what their mission is.

I know that every human life counts and that FOS11 have been through a lot, but for that same reason I think they should have taken a firm stand against the military vendetta following 9/11 that has been tragically playing out for almost ten years.

The deaths of Iraqi children should have affected them in the same way losing their loved ones did. They, besides remembering 9/11 and participating in conferences and media events, should have explicitly said no to the post-9/11 wars on innocent people.

The families of September 11 should have made it clear that targeting innocent people with highly toxic and carcinogenic DU ammunition is not their idea of feeling vindicated or serving justice.

Their tragic loss shouldn’t have been the White House’s pretext for bombarding and shelling innocent people – who had nothing to do with 9/11 in the first place- with DU ammunition that turned their life into a nightmare that keeps recurring every time a child gets born in Fallujah or Baghdad.

Warning: The following video contains some very disturbing scenes. But we urge you to stick with it to the very end as the award winning Dateline reporter, Fouad Hady travels to Baghdad & Fallujah to investigate the devastating effects DU ammunition had on the new generation of Iraq’s newly born infants.

YouTube – Veterans Today -Dark legacy of War on Iraq


Occupy Earth



occupy planet earth

Occupy Earth is a term that I’m seeing here and there, and I hope it grows into a household phrase. There is an ongoing debate about what we need to fix first, the environment or the economy. But it’s a ridiculous debate, since you can’t fix one without fixing the other. A good piece I ran across today spelled that out in more detail. Here’s the intro:

Chico State professor of geography and planning Mark Stemen admits it: He’s part of the 1 percent. And, he says, so are you: “In the context of the biotic community, we [humans] are the 1 percent.” The true 99 percent—the rest of life on Earth—is struggling because of humans, said Stemen.

Stemen recently conducted his Environmental Issues class at the Occupy Chico headquarters in the downtown City Plaza. The idea was to discuss the relationship between the environmental movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement, which focuses primarily on the unfair influence of the richest 1 percent of Americans on the United States’ economy and government.

As it turns out, in terms of biomass, “humans are a completely trivial fraction. In fact, [all] animals are a very small fraction—most of the world’s biomass is plants, trees,” offered Gordon Wolfe, microbial ecologist and Chico State professor of biological studies. “It’s very uncertain, but microbes might constitute as much biomass as all the animals and plants of the world, because they’re everywhere, including underground,” he added.

But despite humans’ negligible position among the life on Earth, our impact has been startling and “completely nontrivial,” Wolfe said. “We’re tremendously affecting every other organism.” Wolfe went on to describe our current situation as “a period of mass extinction caused by humans.”

Many prominent environmentalists, such as climate-crisis activism website 350.org’s Bill McKibben and filmmaker Josh Fox, are concerned with this human-induced impact and have turned to the Occupy movement to widen the focus of the protests to include the environment. “The same corporations that are doing all these things to the workers, the economy and such, are the same that lay waste to the environment,” said Stemen.

The inclusiveness of the Occupy movement—its General Assembly has not yet approved an official list of demands—has proven helpful for environmentalists, who have found a welcoming stage for their own take on the Occupy concept, which some have dubbed Occupy Earth. Occupy Wall Street protesters at New York City’s Zuccotti Park recently hosted workshops in honor of Climate Justice Day, aimed at educating protesters on the myriad environmental issues connected to the same corporate cronies their movement aims to upset, such as mountain-top removal for coal extraction, and fracking, the controversial method of using chemicals to extract petroleum from rocks.

Check out the full piece here: Occupy Earth: Humans are the 1 percent.
Occupy Earth Photo via ericwagner

Source: Planetsave (http://s.tt/13)


 Civil Rights & Faith Leaders Rally with OWS


All OWS Working Groups and Autonomous Beings,

Tomorrow is a historic day! Elders from the Civil Right’s Movement will be sharing the torch of social justice and equality with our movement, a symbolic act by which they recognize OWS as the transformative movement of the 21st Century. “We see Occupy Wall Street as a continuation, a deepening and expansion of the determination of the diverse peoples of our nation to transform our country into a more democratic, equitable, just, and compassionate society,” (excerpt from the statement of solidarity by the Council of Elders to be read at each of the Occupy encampments). By bringing their voices to the Occupy Wall Street movement, the elders will be addressing a litany of social grievances, including poverty, mass incarceration, and what they call a culture of war and violence.


* 3:30pm, Liberty Square: Interfaith Service lead by the Elder Council at Liberty Square. They’ll symbolically pass the torch of hope and social justice to OWS.
* 5:30pm, Judson Church: Conversation between the Elder Council members and OWS at Judson Memorial Church. Open to the general public – discussing space, liberation and race.
* 7:00-7:30pm, march: Gathering at Washington Square Park for a candle light vigil march to Duarte Park. There will be donuts, coffee and some actions 😉

On the heels of the 17th National Action Day, tomorrow Sunday will be a day of non-violent, spiritual and powerful gathering of all of us with those who stand in solidarity with us.

Occupy to Liberate; Occupy to Awaken; Occupy to Empower; We lost Zuccotti but we haven’t lost Liberty; Rise and Reclaim!



Elders from Across the Nation Declare Solidarity with the Occupy Movement

Veterans of America’s 20th Century civil rights movement will enter the 21st Century Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles on Sunday, November 20.

Known as the “Council of Elders,” they will step inside the nationwide encampments to symbolically share the torch of hope and justice and engage the Occupiers in dialogue about defining movements of the past. “We want to contribute to this intergenerational movement,” says Dr. Vincent Harding, activist and writer in the civil rights movement. “We are thankful for the efforts of Occupy Wall Street to unite the 99% and bring the many gifts and great energy of millions into effective action to transform our nation.”

The Council of Elders is an independent group of leaders from the farm workers, sanctuary and human rights movements that shook the nation’s conscience with public protests over the past 50 years.

“We see Occupy Wall Street as a continuation, a deepening and expansion of the determination of the diverse peoples of our nation to transform our country into a more democratic, equitable, just, and compassionate society,” excerpt from the statement of solidarity by the Council of Elders to be read at each of the Occupy encampments.

By bringing their voices to the Occupy Wall Street movement, the elders are addressing a litany of social grievances, including poverty, mass incarceration, and what they call a culture of war and violence. Dolores Huerta, activist with Cesar Chavez and the farm-workers movement, believes today’s conditions create bitter divisions among peoples across the United States and throughout the world.

“We applaud the miraculous extent to which the Occupy initiative around the nation has been non-violent and democratic, especially in light of the weight of the systematic violence under which the great majority of people are forced to live,” says Rev. James Lawson, leading theoretician, tactician and theologian of the civil rights movement.

The economic crisis which sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement also motivated the veteran protesters. They cite soaring unemployment rates, home foreclosures, and inadequate health care as issues that require public outcries.

The Council of Elders promotes compassion and non-violent action as the highest values to reverse trends that put profits ahead of people in its quest to contribute to the much-needed movement for a more just society and a more peaceful world.

The council members are urging elders from around the nation to join the Occupy Wall Street movement.

*Elder Council Members include:

REV. JAMES LAWSON, JR. served 14 months in prison as a conscientious objector to the Korean War draft in 1951. After studying Gandhi’s principles of civil disobedience in India, he went on to train the Freedom Riders and other future leaders of the Civil Rights Movement as director of the Congress for Racial Equality.

DR. VINCENT G. HARDING. Native New Yorker, theologian, civil rights activist, and author of nine books including Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement. He was an educator and activist in the Southern Freedom Movement and continues to advise churches, schools, prisons and community groups.

REV. PHILLIP LAWSON** is a long-time civil rights leader, Cofounder of California Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and Director of East Bay Housing Organization.

DOLORES HUERTA. Cofounder of the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez, Huerta directed the famous national grape boycott that resulted in the entire California table grape industry signing a contract in 1970. Never deterred from the struggle, she has been arrested 22 times and was beaten by police when protesting George H.W. Bush.

DR. BERNICE JOHNSON REAGON. Singer, author, educator, and Civil Rights Activist in the Freedom Singers organized by the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, Reagon has recorded several albums including Lest We Forget, Vol. 3: Sing for Freedom and written on African American culture and history including We Who Believe In Freedom.

DR. GRACE LEE BOGGS. At 95, Boggs’ life as feminist, activist, and author, collaborating with scholars such as C.L.R. James in the ‘50s, is world renown. She has been an integral part of the Detroit Social Justice Movement since the ‘60s, founding Detroit Summer in 1992, a program aimed at connecting youth education with community struggle.

DR. GWENDOLYN ZOHARAH SIMMONS. Activist in the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee in the ‘60s, Simmons is also a student of Islam and Sufism and was staff for 23 years with American Friends Service Committee. She currently teaches subjects such as Race, Religion, and Rebellion.

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN. As the first Black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, Edelman worked with the NAACP to defend activists in the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. She went on to found the Children’s Defense Fund and advocate against child poverty.

RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW** has authored many works including “A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority,” a manifesto supporting military draft resisters. He is an ardent peace activist in the Israel-Palestine conflict and has been awarded by numerous organizations, including the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation.

REV. DR. GEORGE (TINK) TINKER is a prominent American Indian activst, theologian, and author of works such as Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation. He has been a critic of Western intellectualism and economic, political, religious, and social systems.

REV. JOHN FIFE co-founded the Sanctuary Movement, which organized over 500 churches to illegally support refugees fleeing U.S.-supported death squads in the ‘80s, and No More Deaths, a coalition to end border deaths.

REV. MEL WHITE.** After starting his career ghostwriting for homophobic evangelicals such as Jerry Falwell, White struggled to accept his homosexuality and broke with the Christian Right. He has since become an outspoken LGBTQ advocate and author for and minister to the LGBTQ community.

REV. NELSON JOHNSON** is founder of the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro, NC and a longtime advocate for poor people. He led the 1979 anti-Klan march in which neo-Nazis and Klan members, with police collusion, murdered 5 protesters on November 3, 1979, and has been a leader in the Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation process, designed to seek truth and reconciliation around those events.

JOYCE HOBSON JOHNSON.** Active in civil rights struggles since the ‘60s, Johnson is Director of the Jubilee Institute of the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro, NC, which provides institutional support, social and political analysis, and training for the broad-based progressive movement. She was also an important figure in the Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation efforts.

SISTER JOAN CHITTISTER, O.S.B. is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania, where she served as prioress for 12 years. She writes a web column for the National Catholic Reporter, “From Where I Stand” and speaks on women in the church and society, human rights,and peace and justice in the areas of war and poverty and religious life and spirituality.

**As of Nov. 14, these elders have confirmed their attendance at the NYC Intergenerational Day. Other elders may confirm later. Still other elders will be in attendance at similar demonstrations in San Francisco and/or Oakland on 11/20.

(Biographical information compiled by the Education and Research Sub-committee of the #OWS People of Color Working Group/Caucus.)


Police Force Peaceful UC Davis Students to Open Their Mouths … and Then Shoot Pepper Spray DOWN THEIR THROATS

From  WashingtonsBlog

By now, you’ve heard that peaceful UC Davis protesters were brutally sprayed right in the face with pepper spray:

Professor Nathan Brown of UC Davis notes in open letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi:

When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

James Fallows writes in the Atlantic:

Let’s stipulate that there are legitimate questions of how to balance the rights of peaceful protest against other people’s rights to go about their normal lives, and the rights of institutions to have some control over their property and public spaces. Without knowing the whole background, I’ll even assume for purposes of argument that the UC Davis authorities had legitimate reason to clear protestors from an area of campus — and that if protestors wanted to stage a civil-disobedience resistance to that effort, they should have been prepared for the consequence of civil disobedience, which is arrest.

I can’t see any legitimate basis for police action like what is shown here. Watch that first minute and think how we’d react if we saw it coming from some riot-control unit in China, or in Syria. The calm of the officer who walks up and in a leisurely way pepper-sprays unarmed and passive people right in the face? We’d think: this is what happens when authority is unaccountable and has lost any sense of human connection to a subject population. That’s what I think here.

Less than two months ago, it seemed shocking when one NYPD officer cavalierly walked up to a group of female protestors and pepper-sprayed them in the eyes. The UC Davis pepper-sprayer doesn’t slink away, as his NYPD counterpart did, but in every other way this is more coldly brutal. And by the way, when did we accept the idea that local police forces would always dress up in riot gear that used to be associated with storm troopers and dystopian sci-fi movies?

For additional details, see thisthisthisthis and this.


Top 10 Veterans Stories in the Weekend News – November 19 ,& 20, 2011

Posted by 

Veterans! Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the weekend compiled from the latest sources

We encourage you to browse our list so that you can take what you want and keep what you need

1. Obama Signs HR 2112 to Extend FHA and VA Loan Limits Through 2013.  National Mortgage Professional Magazine  President Barack Obama has signed HR 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 into law renewing the expired higher loan limits for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans for …

2. FDA Approves Drug for Vision-Loss Disease.  Wall Street Journal  In September, the FDA issued a warning about the drug causing several serious infections in Florida, and later that month the US Department of Veterans Affairs stopped using it for AMD pending an investigation into safety. …

3. Paperwork help for local veterans.  Ithaca Journal  To deal with the problems with the US Department of Veterans Affairs claims, paperwork, awards and commendations, benefits and other service related issues, Hinchey assembled a team of caseworkers to ensure that those who served in our armed forces are …

4. Hope on the Horizon for Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  PR Newswire
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are teaming up for a research project aimed at advancing the treatment of military personnel suffering from …

5. Empty buildings at fort to be rehabbed for vets.  Post-Bulletin  Some vacant buildings at the Upper Post of Fort Snelling will be remodeled for homeless veterans. The US Department of Veterans Affairs said this week that CommonBond Communities of St. Paul and Sand Cos. of St. Cloud will work together …

6. VA Increases HIV Testing Rates.  AIDS.gov blog   In this month during which we observe Veteran’s Day, I am pleased to share news about an a significant achievement in HIV screening at the US Department of Veterans Affairs: Annual HIV testing rates in Veterans Administration Medical Centers increased …

7. Zanesville postal worker charged with stealing drugs from mail.  Zanesville Times Recorder  According to the plea agreement, McCullough had been taking items from a customer from August 2010 to this past August. The US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General also assisted in this case.

8. 50 years ago today: ‘US discloses: Aid rolling to Vietnam’.  Hard to believe, but we’re starting to hit a point where just about every day will be the 50th anniversary of something that happened during the Vietnam War.

9. Rumor Doctor: Why was Armistice Day renamed Veterans Day?  Jack Woodville London argues that the word “armistice” was too closely associated with the armistice that ended the Korean War without victory for the United States, prompting Congress to rename the holiday in 1954.

10. Panetta preparing DOD directive on investigating sexual assaultsIn the face of a rising tide of criticism over the military’s handling of reported sexual assaults, a Pentagon spokesman said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is preparing orders that make ending this ‘silent epidemic’ a top department priority.

More Veteran News

  •  Kosovo disturbances mimicked in training scenario.  Officials at JMRC, which regularly prepares U.S. and multinational soldiers for the NATO force known as KFOR, or Kosovo Force, decided to re-create the events as a training tool after a visit to the country last month.

  •  Committee Chair Concerned About VA And “Sequester”.  Military.com   ”With the deadline looming for the Congressional ‘super-committee’ to carve $1.2 trillion out of the national deficit in the next ten years, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-FL, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee is concerned how resultant ‘sequester,’ the congressional jargon for the massive cuts, might affect the VA.” According to Miller, VA officials didn’t provide a good answer to the question if they’re exempt from sequester during a hearing recently. According to Miller, “It will be Secretary Shinseki’s responsibility if, in fact, sequestration kicks in and OMB does decide to rule that that veterans are not exempt from sequestration.”

  • VA Committed To Swiftly Treating Mental Health.  USA Today  The VA Undersecretary for Health, Robert A. Petzel, M.D., writes, “USA TODAY’s report ‘Lag in mental health care found at a third of VA hospitals’ is misleading about the time new patients wait to receive VA mental health appointments.” Petzel says, “Since 2007, the Veterans Health Administration has required that new patients seeking mental health therapy be seen within 14 days of the desired appointment date for a full assessment and treatment initiation.” Last year, Petzel notes, “I changed the standard for patients already involved in mental health care from 30 to 14 days.” While acknowledging that the VA still has work to do in the area, Petzel said that the article was “incomplete,” since it lacked a comprehensive inclusion of measures used to asses appointment timeliness.

  •   Soldiers Need To Reinvent Themselves. Gunnar Counselman, a former marine and the founder of Fidelis, writes in a piece published by The Hill ” “I spent the first week of November in Washington D.C., talking with anyone willing to listen about my company’s efforts to solve the military to civilian career transition problem.” According to Counselman, “The problem seems to be that veteran unemployment is directly tied to three massive political issues for which there are no easy solutions: the nation’s waning economic competitiveness, the budget imbalance / debt crisis, and the larger unemployment picture.” To help reduce veteran unemployment, Counselman suggests that returned military personal should, “Find out what skills employers need to win, and build those skills. Layer those skills on top of a solid military foundation and a little social polish and then get out there, talk to people and build a trusted referral network.”

  •   Batten, Escobedo Discuss VA’s “Make The Connection.” KGUN-TV  An interview of Dr. Sonja Batten, VA’s Deputy Chief Consultant for Specialty Mental Health and retired veteran Bryan Escobedo about the Make the Connection Campaign. Batten said that the campaign is VA’s “newest program” to reach veterans all over the country and the half a million residing in Arizona who may be “experiencing mental health issues or readjustment challenges.” Batten said that there are resources available for those veterans. She also emphasized maketheconnectoin.net, a website for veterans and their loved ones, which provides relevant information. Escobedo called maketheconnection.net “a great tool” and discussed his own readjustment issues.

  • National Rural Health Day Raises Awareness For Veterans In Need.  Atlantic  “Young people living in rural zip codes are more likely to join the Army than others — but when they return home, they’re without basic services and help.” Yesterday was “the first National Rural Health Day, and VA Office of Rural Health (ORH) Director Mary Beth Skupien said she’s proud of how far the office has come since it began three years ago.” According to Skupien, “The office is most focused on getting veterans better access to care close to home and specialty care in their communities.”

  •  Passage Of Vet Jobs Bill Doesn’t Mean Immediate Changes. Stars And Stripes “The House overwhelmingly passed legislation Wednesday offering a host of new job training programs for veterans and offering employers up to $9,600 for hiring them.” However, “it could take months before veterans see any benefits.” In a statement, “VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said…that the legislation ‘sends a message that a grateful nation honors their service and sacrifice and wants to welcome them all the way home.’”

  •  Suicide Risk Greatest After Dementia Diagnosis.  Medscape “Receiving a diagnosis of dementia increases a person’s risk for suicide, particularly if symptoms of depression and anxiety are present,” according to researchpublished in the November issue of the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia. For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Department of Veterans Affairs on “294,952 mostly male adults aged 60 years and older who were diagnosed with dementia between 2001 and 2005,” 241 of whom committed suicide. Notably, “multivariate logistic regression models identified several potential predictors of suicide with dementia diagnosis; most notably male sex, white race, history of depression, history of inpatient psychiatric care, and prescription for anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication.”

  •  Cultural Divide, Smaller Budgets Contribute To Vet Unemployment.  Military.com “The members of the post-9/11 generation of servicemembers were the best educated, most tech-savvy ever to sign up,” its puzzling they and other veterans face higher unemployment rates than the civilian population. “According to” experts, “there are several contributing factors: Employers and veterans who fail to see how they can connect; shrinking public sector budgets; and a long-suspected but difficult-to-prove reluctance by some employers to hire workers who may still have a reserve commitment.”

  • Finalizes Aurora Hospital Contract With Kiewit-Turner.  Denver Business Journal “The Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday announced it has formally awarded the joint venture team of Kiewit-Turner a $580.2 million construction contract to build the new VA hospital in Aurora.” On November 10, “a 14-month impasse between the federal agency and the contractor for the $800 million hospital ended…laying the groundwork for the start of one of the largest Denver-area construction projects in recent years.” In a statement, Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said, “This new medical center will not only help provide veterans with the care they have earned, it will create good-paying jobs that benefit the local economy.” Construction should end in 2015.

  •    Bakersfield Vet Accused Of Lying About Purple Heart For Money.  KBFX-TV “An exclusive Eyewitness News investigation uncovered a Kern County veteran who is accused” of lying about receiving a Purple Heart, “allegedly for money.” Iraq War veteran “Ashleigh Martel allegedly lied to fellow veterans, claiming she was awarded a Purple Heart when she wasn’t.” She worked as a human resource specialist while in Iraq. She served in the army for three years. A fellow veteran called her story “very convincing.” Records obtained by the station indicate that she hasn’t received a Purple Heart. Veteran Affairs records make no mention of head injuries. As part of her story, Martel says she suffered head trauma. The Wounded Heroes Fund has award Martel grants.

  •   Hero’s Actions In Vietnam Honored 43 Years Later.  Buckeye Lake (OH) Beacon  43 years after saving the life of Danny Phillips, who wandered behind enemy lines, “Sergeant Thomas R. Gdovin, of Westlake, Ohio” was awarded a Silver Star by Sen. Rob Portman on November 8, 2011. At “Nov. 8 ceremony, as Portman was presenting the Silver Star to Gdovin, Portman said, ‘I feel very privileged today to play a very small role to honor the very proud history of the 101st Airborne Division. Let’s ensure that we honor and remember all our veterans, not just this week, but throughout the days and years to come. Their commitment to this nation is a shining example to all of us.’” Gdovin said he was “overwhelmed” by receiving the Silver Star. Phillips is a Purple Heart recipient.

  •  Shop Owner Donates Time Differently.  USA Today  Navy veteran Karl Robinson, who “owns the New England Clock Shop, a Sun City,” Arizona grandfather and wall clocks store “decided to take his personal savings and donate grandfather clocks to the families of fallen veterans” instead of retiring. “Robinson has donated about 45 clocks over the years.” The store owner “reaches out to the families, who select an oak or cherry clock, each valued at about $3,200.”

  • Santa Maria Veteran, Retired Teacher Denied Passport.  KION-TV  A Vietnam War veteran “and retired teacher in California applied for a passport and was declined.” Bob Harris, who served in the Navy, was born at home. To prove his citizenship, Harris “sent in his delayed birth certificate, military pictures of himself back in 1965, his Vietnam service medals, and a certificate of appreciation from the school district where he taught.” The State Department rejected his passport application, saying he lacks “enough evidence to prove he’s a” US “citizen.” Congresswoman Lois Capps’ office said it’s investigating the matter.


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