Veteran voice

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Veteran voice
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Newspaper
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Veteran Voice, LLC
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Port St. Lucie, FL
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weekly
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Began in 2012

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University of Florida
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oclc - 854567034
lccn - 2013201395
issn - 2330-2267
ocn854567034
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lcc - ISSN RECORD
ddc - 305.9
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AA00017059:00064


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VOL. 2/ISSUE 12 FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 201435 cents You just never know. Marty Zickert, president of the Veterans Council of Indian River Coun ty, was just trying to be helpful. Before he knew it, the Upward American Veterans Fund was $10,000 in the gain. The money came from a local business owner whom Zickert met for the him about the tattered American business. One of the ladies who works in the (Victory Center Military Store) here told me the fella had ratty, Zickert said. Looked like it was from the Civil War. That fella was Kip Smithers, owner of Escutcheon Antiques, 7707 U.S. Highway 1, Vero Beach. Zickert headed to the went in wearing a Veterans Council shirt. Smithers was expecting him. Well, not Zickert, but someone like him. I hadnt said a word, Zickert said. His immediate reaction Original source: defenseimagery.mil. Wikimedia Commons Patrick McCallisterFOR VETERAN VOICEpatrick.mccallister@yahoo.comSee DoD page 5 8546 Send your thoughts to:info@veteranvoiceweekly.com

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2 JANUARY 24, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE County Veterans Service OfficersSt. Lucie County, Wayne Teegardin Phone: (772) 337-5670 Fax: (772) 337-5678 veterans@stlucieco.orgDorothy J. Conrad Building(formerly the Walton Road Annex Bldg.) 1664 S.E. Walton Road, Suite 205 Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 By appointmentMon., Tues, Thurs, Fri 8:30 am-4:30 pmWed 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. St. Lucie County Community Services Bldg.(Corner of Avenue D and 7th Street) 437 N. Seventh St., Fort Pierce, FL 34950 Walk-ins Mon. and Fri. 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Brevard Veterans Services Office2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Bldg. B, Suite 102, Viera, FL 32940 Office: (321) 633-2012 Fax: (321) 637-5432 Mon., Tues. and Thurs., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed. and Fri, 8 a.m.-noon Manager: Glenn McGuffieIndian River CountyJoel Herman Vero Beach 2525 St. Lucie Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32960 Ph: (772) 226-1499 Fax: (772) 770-5038Sebastian Square 11602 U.S. 1, Sebastian, FL 32958 Ph: (772) 589-6597 Fax: (772) 581-4988Martin CountyTony Reese, Veterans Service Office Supervisor Nick Ciotti, Veterans Service Officer (772) 288-5448Veterans Services OfficeMartin County Community Services 435 S.E. Flagler Ave., Stuart, FL 34994 Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.VA Life Insurance Ctr., Phil., PA 1-800-669-8477 VA Regional Office 1-800-827-1000 VA Medical Ctr, W. Palm Beach 1-800-972-8262 Pharmacy, VA Medical Center 1-800-317-8387 Military Retired Pay Activities, Cleveland, OH (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force ONLY) 1-800-321-1080 Military Retired Pay Activities, Topeka, KS (Coast Guard ONLY) 1-800-772-8724 Survivor Benefits (SBP), Denver, CO 1-800-435-3396 Stuart VA Clinic (772) 288-0304 Okeechobee CountyVeterans Services office (863) 763-6441, Ext 5. Fax: (863) 763-0118.Orlando VA Medical Cente5201 Raymond St., Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 629-1599 or (800) 922-7521Telephone Care(407) 599-1404 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon. Fri. (800) 645-6895 8 a.m. 4 p.m. Mon Fri (321) 637-3625 Viera patients8 a.m. 4 p.m. Mon. Fri. (877) 741-3400 Weekends, holidays, evenings and nightsWest Palm Beach Department of Veterans Affair s Medical Center7305 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33410 (561) 422-8262 or (800) 972-8262 Telephone Care(561) 422-6838 (866) 383-9036 Open 24 hours 7 daysViera VA Outpatient Clinic2900 Veterans Way, Viera, FL 32940 Phone: (321) 637-3788 1 (877) 878-8387 Mon. Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.St Lucie County PTSD Clinical Team (PCT) Outpatient Program 126 S.W. Chamber Court, Port St Lucie, FL 34986 Phone: (772) 878-7876Fort Pierce Community Based Outpatient Clinic727 North U.S. 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34950 Phone: (772) 595-5150 Fax: (772) 595-6560St Lucie Community Based Outpatient Clinic128 S.W. Chamber Court, Port Saint Lucie, FL 34986 Phone: (772) 344-9288Stuart Community Based Outpatient Clinic 3501 S E Willoughby Boulevard, Stuart, FL 34997 Phone: (772) 288-0304 Fax: (772) 288-1371Vero Beach Community Based Outpatient Clinic372 17th St., Vero Beach, FL 32960 Phone: (772) 299-4623 Fax: (772) 299-4632IMPORTANT NUMBERS ... Veteran Voice is a weekly publication designed to provide information to and about veterans to veterans and to the broader community. Veterans are an integral part of their Florida communities, which currently have individual organizations of their own, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Vietnam Veterans of America and many other groups with a narrow focus, but no convenient way to connect to a wider population of veterans and to the community in general within a limited geographic area, their community. The mission of Veteran Voice is to publish a weekly source of information that will provide, in one place, a listing of resources available to veterans, articles about changes in policies or organizations affecting veterans and events of interest to veterans as well as articles about veterans of interest to the general public. Veteran Voice LLC is organized as a partnership of experienced newspaper executives with an interest in veterans and in the communities of Florida veterans and friends. Veteran Voice is a start-up intended to address a perceived lack of information readily available to veterans on programs and policies affecting them and objective reporting of veteran affairs to the public. To our knowledge, and based on comments from lead ers of local veterans organizations, there was no media or website currently meeting this need until the launch of Veteran Voice. We hope you agree, and will support this publica tion with your subscription. Without subscriptions there will be a limited number of people we can help, without which this mission will not be realized. As part of our commitment to supporting local veteran communities, readers and subscribers. Please let us know what you think by emailing news@veteranvoiceweekly.com or mailing your comments to us at 1919 S.W. South Macedo Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34984.OUR MISSION STATEMENTAND OUR OBJECTIVE8547 SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!! Regular .................................... $18/yr ......... $12/yr PAYMENT OPTIONS Enclosed check payable to: VETERAN VOICE, LLC. #_____________________________________ SUBSCRIPTION/GIFT FORMMAIL SUBSCRIPTION PAYMENT TO: ___________________________________________ _________________________________________ ___________________________________________ _________________________________________________ ___________________________________________ _________________________________________ ___________________________________________Veteran Voice is a weekly newspaper for veterans, active military, their families and their friends.e Voice of Experience

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VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE JANUARY 24, 2014 3 Editors note: Military sexual trauma rate reports skyrocketed in 2013, as reported in the na tional news. Coupled with that, allegations against high-ranking or high-authority servicemen of the very crime theyre supposed to prevent have captured attention. Veteran Voice is examining this issue in three parts. Part I was dedicated to an overview of the is sue, to include how central Florida has been affected and will be ex pected to contribute to eradicating the crime. Part II broke down the anatomy of sexual assault crimes, especially by gender, and examined some of the many factors that complicate the issue even more for military victims. In this, Part III will explore what progress has been made toward eliminating the crime throughout the Department of Defense and in Florida. SHARP, the Pentagon calls its main weapon against military sexual trauma. It stands for Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Program. Its been around awhile but its kicked into higher gear as a direct result of the massive jump in reported cases last year, and in the uncovering of vast numbers of unreported cases. The problem is big in a Dec. 27, 2013 report by Associated Press reporter Lolita C. Baldor, there were more than 5,000 reports of (military) sexual as that ended Sept. 30, compared to 3,374 in 2012. But the number that shocks the most comes from an anonymous Department of Defense survey that shows that about 26,000 service members reported some type of unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault, Baldor report ed. Considering there are about 1.5 million people currently serving in the armed forces, that number Women are the primary victims of military sexual trauma; howev er, evidence has shown men have suffered also, and in numbers that have surprised many. Of the 26,000 incidents reported in the DoD survey, an astonish ing percent involved attacks Mary KemperSTAFF WRITERmkemper@veteranvoiceweekly.comSee DoD page 6 8534

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4 JANUARY 24, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE Theodore Wilson Publisher Steve Erlanger Partner Tammy Raits Managing Editor Debbi Denning Kelly Delprete Patrick McCallister Nicole Rodriguez Shelley Koppel Mitch Kloorfain Chief Photographer Eric Macon Graphic Designer Phil Galdys Donna Marinak SUBSCRIBE TODAY $18 YEAR (52 weeks) (772) 204-2409 or contact us by email at: info@VeteranVoiceWeekly.comVeteran Voice is a newspaper for veterans, POSTAL STATEMENT POSTMASTER: e Voice of Experience Editors note: Under most circumstances journalistic tradition is to stay out of stories reported. Veteran Voice felt it important to waive that tradition when someone called to tell us about her friend, a veteran with a short time left and many stories to tell. The staff believed it wasnt an option to simply tell her about the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and let the family take it from there. We a Vero Beach man who is making a mission of capturing and preserving veterans stories and connected him with the veterans family. We elected to tell the story to inspire other veterans to get their stories recorded. As fate had it, the veteran with many stories left to tell died after work started on this story. Veteran Voice dedicates it to a man we didnt know, but who by all accounts was a soldiers soldier. Godspeed, Ted Griesinger. Theres no soft way to say it. Ted Griesinger died of cancer on Saturday, Jan. 11. When he did, many memories of his extensive military life went with him. Memories important to the character of America. A friend who requested anonymity wanted some of those memories preserved for posterity and the public. ber, saying she hoped Veteran Voice would do a biography about Griesinger, but there wasnt a lot of time left. Not in the papers usual article repertoire. But, there are people who capture and archive veterans stories for historys sake. Mark Ossenfort is one. Hes starting the Veterans Story Initiative. Veteran Voice got him in touch with Griesingers wife, Elizabeth. Ossenfort went to the familys home on a Sunday afternoon and recorded two hours of Griesingers story. A couple days later, doctors recommended hospice. Not long after, Griesinger died. They talked about a lot of things, Elizabeth said. Some things I never heard before. Ossenfort said he was grateful to have captured at least some of Griesingers memories. Those recorded memories are going to an archive that researchers, students and interested folks will soon be able to access by the Internet. Every business gives something back to their community, Ossenfort said. Im giving back to my community and my country as a business owner. Ossenfort owns Crossroads Media in Vero Beach, and has extensive experience in videography. He decided to use his skills and equipment to capture veterans tales. He doesnt charge for the donors willing to help defray some of the costs. Ossenfort hopes to take whats starting as a small, local project and get it national. The Vero Beach man is working with a private high school to help its students regularly record veterans stories at the Victory Center Military Store, Indian River Mall, 6200 20th St., Vero Beach. That should start in February. The Veterans Council of Indian River County owns and operates the combined museum and store. The president, Marty Zickert, said he hopes many veterans go in to have their stories recorded. We need to tell the story, he said. When (veterans) die, they take the story with them. In most cases, they will not have told their children a thing. Griesinger is about the 15th veteran Ossenfort has talked with on camera to preserve their memories. He gives familys DVDs of the interviews. Thats the most important thing, Patrick McCallisterFOR VETERAN VOICEpatrick.mccallister@yahoo.com Photo courtesy of Mark Ossenfort Mark Ossenfort See MEMORIES page 5 Military sexual trauma. Its a crime only possible at this point in history. Oh, its been around since earli est recorded times; but with women serving in the ranks, only now is it being seen as its own, unique crime. It makes people uncomfortable to talk about it and it should. It is a terrible crime. And the time for pretending MST doesnt exist is over. It does. And it can destroy everything we hold dear as Ameri can warriors. As someone with a background in psychology, I know some things about sexuality. There is sexuality geared toward pleasure Mary Kemper See KEMPER page 9

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VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE JANUARY 24, 2014 5 veteran would come by to tell me how to dispose of it. Zickert explained the council worked with local Boy Scouts to could be properly burned. Smithers agreed, and said something about getting Zickert a check. Normally when I get a check, I dont look at it, Zickert said. For some reason, this one, I caught it up, and it was $10,000. My thought was, Holy (big bucks, Batman). OK, thats the family-friendly version of Zickerts reaction to the $10,000 donation. Unfortunately Smithers was tied up with antique show preparations at press time and couldnt tell Veteran Voice his side of the tale. Zickert said hes a veteran. That money went to the Upward American Veterans Fund, which the council established with about $50,000 a couple years ago to help struggling veterans. Zickert said it has about $20,000 remaining. Kathy Allston is one of the funds director. She said 73 Indian River veterans requested help in 2013. It was mostly Vero and Sebas tian, Allston said. Out of 73 re quests, we were able to help 53 of them. She added, We are seeing a lot of veterans that need help lot of them need help with elec tric. We dont know why, but we often get calls saying, If I dont pay it tomorrow, itll get turned off. Most veterans learn about and make requests through the A committee examines requests with an eye toward whether temporary assistance will bene refers many to other programs for employment and money-management help, too. We spent, last year alone, spent $36,825, Allston said. Zickert said hes concerned that the fund might run too short to help more veterans. He said that while the $10,000 donation was surprising, the veterans council appreciates all donations. Zickert said sometimes a few dollars is thousands to another. The U.S. Flag Code states: The emblem for display, should be erably by burning. Anyone can respectfully perform the disposal. For more about properly displaying and handling The Victory Center Military Store proper disposal. Its at the Indian River Mall, 6200 20th St., Vero Beach. Many veterans organizations, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, offer similar ser vices. are at 2525 St. Lucie Ave., Vero Beach, and 11602 U.S. 1, Sebastian. The phone numbers are (772) 226-1499, and (772) 5896597. More about the council is at indianriverveterans.org. DoD from page 1the family gets a DVD, he said. Ossenfort isnt alone in preserving veterans stories. Likely the most famous repository of veterans stories is the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congresss American Folklife Center. The project gives family members and others opportunities to record veterans stories and preserve them at the library. Bob Patrick is the director. This stuff doesnt just get put in a box and shipped up to Maryland, Patrick recently told Veteran Voice. It is made accessible to researchers. Its a history from the bottom up. We have 89,000 collections now. Thats oral histories as well as other materials. About 13,000 are actually digitized. Digitized and available any time to anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection by going to loc.gov/vets. While the project has volunteers who regularly record veterans stories at public libraries and other places, Patrick said most of the material it has was produced and sent by veterans and their families. The Veterans History Project that process, he said. Ossenfort said hes not submitting material to the Veterans History Project. The government can barely take care of running our country. The last thing they can do is take advantage of the newest technology, he said. Theyre working with 15-year-old technology. This story started with a family friend calling Veteran Voice, worried that Grisingers stories might go untold. She was grateful Ossenfort quickly responded to the opportunity to speak to him. I think its wonderful, she said. I know he really enjoyed it. (The military is) something he likes to talk about and always has. She hopes the story will inspire other veterans to record their stories. Zickert said interested veterans can watch the Victory Centers Facebook page for when student videographers will record stories there. Its website is MEMORIES from page 4 8466

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6 JANUARY 24, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE on men, mostly by other men, according to James Dao in a re port for The New York Times. Why does military sexual trauma happen at all? Is it hypermas culinity, as psychologist Janet Meyer, theorized in a paper on the root cases of sexual assault? Experts agree the perpetrators are nearly all men, regardless of the gender of the victim. Is it a male thing, or even a military thing? Research has been conducted in the population at large, and is ongoing. Nearly all experts agree it is not a sexual issue at all, but rather an issue of power and control. military crimes is still in ear ly stages. That said, it is still a crime, and it is happening every day until more studies are con ducted that point toward better ways to combat it, SHARP is how the armed forces is taking the issue on. Before 2013, many victims re ported that their attackers were in their direct chain of command some going to the top, accord ing to reports in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press and other national news organizations. There 2013 of high-ranking or high-authority service members being accused of military sexual trau ma, including Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who, before he was relieved of command, served as deputy commander of support for the 82nd Airborne Division. His case is pending resolution. Victims reported that the perpe trators having such control over their lives made the effects of their assaults doubly devastating, according to DoDs anonymous survey. In the case of Kori Cioca, a for mer member of the Coast Guard, her perpetrator still holds his job, despite giving her injuries that will last a lifetime, including shattering her jaw so badly she must eat soft foods to this day. Ciocas story, and those of more than 60 other women, are told in the documentary The Invisible War. Mens stories have been told in the documentary Justice Denied. Diane Chamberlain, a psycho therapist who treated women at an Air Force base, had harsh words for commanders, based on her own experience: charges; isolation and transfer are common, as are court-ordered psychiatric referrals that label the women as lying or incompatible with military service because they are Borderline Personality Dis orders or mentally unbalanced. I attended (to) many of these wom en, after they were discharged, or were wives of abusers, when I was a psychotherapist. That was always their diagnosis, yet retesting tended to show some thing different after stabilization, like PTSD (from Chamberlains book, Conduct Unbecoming: Rape, Torture, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Military Commanders, 2013, Friesen Press). If being assaulted by a superior isnt enough, many victims have had to go through the VA denying their claims for medical treatment due to their injuries. It took Cioca seven years before her claim was accepted she will need treat ment for a lifetime, she said in the documentary. Donna Carlsen, an Army veteran who served in the 1990s, served as the Veteran Services Coordinator for St. Lucie County up until April of 2013. In her capacity, she processed several claims of ser vice members for military sexual trauma. During her tenure, she said she processed claims for MST for at least six to 10 female service members, and at least two males. These were compensation cases, she said. There were a lot more. Its these issues and others that make military sexual trau ma different from civilian cases. And its these issues that DoDs updated policies are meant to address. So what, exactly, is Defense do ing about it? SAPRO the Department of Defenses Sexual Assault Prevenbegun in February 2004, when former Secretary of Defense Don ald Rumsfeld directed Dr. David Chu, the former undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, to review the Defense process for addressing sexual assault in the military. One objection was commanders ability to keep on govern ing their individual commands. Some regulations were seen as onerous, even harmful, to that time-honored dictum too much additional paperwork, time, and resources. Commanders asked: What if so many regulations are ordered See DoD page 7 DoD from page 3 PORT ST. LUCIE FLORIDATradition Parkway (Exit 118) 1/4 Mile W. of I-95 Festival Rides & Games Entertainment StageOver 20 Performers including: Tommy Mara of the Crests Friday 8:00 pm Lets Hang On#1 Frankie Valli TributeShow in America Sunday 6:00 pmwww.TASTEOFLITTLEITALY.NETJoe PiscopoA Show to Sinatra and More SATURDAY 8:00 PM BANFIWine SeminarFAMILY PICNIC AREA Meatball & Pizza Eating ContestBocce Pavilion Kids Zone!Authentic Italian Food, Music, Art & Tradition Friday January 24th 3:00PM 10:00PM Saturday January 25th 10:00PM 10:00PM Sunday January 26th 10:00PM 8:00PMAdmission $7Children 12 & Under FREE! Discounted Multiple Day Passes Available FREE PARKING 8520

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VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE JANUARY 24, 2014 7 that the units mission is compro mised? Until the Congressional hearings in 2013, their concerns were given priority over reform ing the way investigations were handled. Back in 2004, DoD used strong language to show how commit ted it was to eradicating military sexual trauma. According to advocates, though, it continued the very procedure that led to probkeeping commanders in charge of prosecuting the cases. From DoDs 2005 release ( sapr. mil) : One of the recommendations emphasized the need to establish a single point of accountability for sexual assault policy within the Department. This led to the establishment of the Joint Task Force for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. Advocates argued that it was that policy a one-person, topdown structure that enabled crimes to keep on happening. Thus the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law in December 2013, had a key provision written in by U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida, whose district includes Palm Beach to Broward counties. The provision directs the mil itary to examine the need for a assault in cases when someone abuses their position in the mili tary chain of command, stated a press release issued by the Con The measure in the national defense bill seeks to address which requires proof of physical harm or threat of life in order to for serious sexual crimes. The current law does not account for situations in which the superior abuses his or her position to take advantage of victims. Back in 2005, military sexu al trauma was receiving a lot of attention, if not from across the spectrum of the national news, as was the case in 2013. According to a CBS news report of Feb. 25, 2005: Allegations that not enough is being done to help victims or prosecute offenders have been raised from the service academies ghanistan where hundreds of cases of sexual assault have been reported by women in uniform. It was that revelation, plus pressure from Congress, thats forced the Pentagon to once again examine sexual misconduct in the military which has been done 18 times in the last 16 years. The result has been more recommendations and sweeping policy changes. That was in 2005, and the issue has been reported off and on since the 1990s. Clearly, sweeping changes have not happened. However, the widespread attention the issue received last year has resulted in direct and Defense-wide reaction. Once again, DoD has restated its commitment to eliminate sexual assault from the Armed Forces in its re-issuing of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response plan in May 2013, as a result of the hearings held in Congress. Key goals include (but are not limited to): 1) Enhancing commander accountability Service chiefs are to direct their subordinate com mands to develop plans to assess commanders progress in implementing directed initiatives. 2) Assessing military justice systems Service chiefs are directed to ensure a timely and independent assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses assessment of military justice systems. 3) Ensuring appropriate command climate to ensure DoD facilities promote an environment of dignity and respect, and are free from materials that create a degrading or offensive work envi ronment, DoD component heads will direct comprehensive and regular visual inspections of all DoD workplaces (sapr.mil). So, how are the individual ser vices making sure they get it right this time? Navy Rear Adm. Sean Buck, the began his efforts by attending a SAPR forum in San Diego, Calif., Tuesday (Jan. 14), according to a report at navy.mil. The SAPR Forum included a variety of sailors, enlisted and be part of a collaborative research and analysis project to develop and messages that will help ac complish the Navys SAPR vision, the report stated. A key group Buck said he pins his hopes on is local chapters of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions, which is peer-to-peer operated. CSADD is a game-changer, Buck said. Fleet sailors are going to solve our sexual assault prob-DoD from page 6 See DoD page 8 www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com/USmilitary Indian River Colony Club Toll free: 877-484-6178 www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com/usmilitary www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com/usmilitaryThe Place Patriots Call Home Maintenance Free Living in Single 2-4 BR Single Family Homes Take a tour! Call Today!Although we don't play golf or tennis, IRCC is the ideal place for us. Maintenance free living (someone else does it, not me) is a dream come true. Retired military with over 12 moves, we've nally found the place that we can call home. ~Karen & Robert WasReady to start your next adventure? Enjoy the lifestyle you deserve with the time to do everything you always wanted to do.Active, Friendly, Military Retirement Community 8486

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8 JANUARY 24, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE lem through peer pressure that can help change the culture of our society, the report stated. Complicating things for the Navy, however, is the resigna tion Tuesday (Jan. 14) of Acting Undersecretary Robert Martinage following allegations of sexual misconduct with a subordinate, report by Richard Sisk of military. com. Martinage had replaced Robert Work, who resigned to take a po sition in the private sector. Last week, the controversial nomination of Jo Ann Rooney to become the new undersecretary of the Navy passed the Senate Armed Services Committee de spite opposition from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., over the nomi nees remarks on sexual assaults in the military, Sisk reported. Rooney aroused Gillibrands ire by stating that she, Rooney, opposed removing commanders from deciding whether serious crimes go to trial, according to the Associated Press. Despite the opposition, Rooneys nomination has passed the Senate Armed Services Committee. Clearly, the services changes to investigation and prosecution are still evolving. On the Army side, however, training is the focus. Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno issued a statement that read, in part: Commanders, non-commisment must ensure that every allegation of sexual assault and sexual harassment is thoroughly and professionally investigated and that appropriate action is taken I urge everyone to start a con versation within your unit or or ganization, among leaders, peers, and subordinates and with family and friends to better understand one anothers experiences and to develop better solutions to this problem (armylive.dodlive.mil). One unit, the 2nd Armored Bri gade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., has developed a bystander focus on training, according to army.mil. It was based on the Mentors in Violence Prevention, or MVP, program at Northeastern Univer sity in Boston, which has been operating since 1993, and focuses on encouraging bystanders to take an active role by promoting a positive environment and teaching participants there are many effective ways to intervene in The Marine Corps also emphasized training in its SAPR direc tive to all members: (Policy) references require spe career, to include annual, pre-deployment, post-deployment, and pre-command/senior enlisted leader SAPR training. SAPR training is also required during recruit training and at military occupational specialty schools, the statement read. Newly promoted corporals and sergeants will be required to complete Take A Stand training, to be given by Uniformed Vic tim Advocates and delivered in small-group format, to encourage discussion and reduce the stigma of reporting (marines.mil) Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III emphasized health care in issuing the Air Forces response to DoD policy updates. This interim change implements new guidelines that clarify the ers and health-care personnel; responsibilities of health-care providers and health-care personnel in providing medical care to victims of sexual assault, partic ipation in the Case Management Group, reporting requirements tion and preservation of evidence; and expands personnel actions to include guidelines in the event a Line of Duty determination is re quired, Welshs statement read. The only service not under the direction of the DoD, the Coast Guard, is governed by Depart ment of Homeland Security rules. The Coast Guard has also developed a SAPR policy, and its primary focus is improving the culture, or prevention. The success of Coast Guard operations has always rested on the twin pillars of prevention and is always to prevent an incident from occurring, stated Adm. R.J. Papp, Coast Guard commander, in his release of SAPR policy. To that end, the Coast Guards existing and new training puts the emphasis on fully accrediting its victim advocates, according to Cmdr. Chris ONeil, public affairs DoD from page 7 See DoD page 9 Jo Ann Rooney Gen. 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VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE JANUARY 24, 2014 9 Assault Prevention and Response Washington, D.C. The Coast Guard currently has more than 800 personnel who are fully trained as victim advocates, ONeil said. However, under a proposed mandate, not every unit that requires an advocate currently has one. The victim advo cate mandate would ensure the proper distribution of advocates by unit type and size. It would also require national-level train ing for all advocates, including chaplains. While we are still examining the numbers, we know that our current process of accepting, vetting and then training volunteers, regardless of assignment, is not sustainable and in the end is There were 196 total report -DoD from page 8and having babies, and there is sexuality used as a weapon. As a veteran, I know sexual abuses have always occurred in the armed forces, dating as far back as Hector and the gang in Troy, or farther. If it wasnt troops raping civilians, it was troops raping each other. Nowadays, were more civilized. But were still doing it. Some of it goes back to child hood, sadly. Way too many chil dren are abused, and grow up to repeat the behavior. (While youre at it, DoD, try to help warriors with that also, if they need it, while theyre getting other mental-health treatment.) I served in peacetime, during the 1980s. I was lucky I didnt either personally witness MST or have it happen to me. But I know the culture well and it pertained to all of us, but especially men: Warriors are tough. Warriors have power. Warriors have to be men (so do women) in every sense of the word hard, strong, merci less when necessary. So far, so good. But warriors are supposed to be courteous, respectful, and always willing to help others when need ed, too. When they make women (or other men, or children) the enemy, they are no longer war riors, but big, big problems. Morale, readiness, discipline all of the important military goals are wiped out by sexual abuse. Worst of all, though, warriors tear up their humanity when they abuse other people, and once lost, its not easy to get back. It doesnt help that DoD hasnt truly handled the issue very effec tively up until now. (But kudos to Coast Guard Cmdr. Chris ONeil, who personally invested a lot of time helping me gather informa tion.) Hardly anyone in any of the services has wanted to admit that its a problem; but under the surface, peoples lives have been getting truly messed up. In writing the three-part series some of the stories victims told. It began with someone violating them, and went downhill into a compensation, and even suicides. Thanks to movies like The In visible War and Justice Denied, plus a whole lot of passionate advocates, plus some key members of Congress, plus the nation al media, 2013 was the year MST came out of the shadows and we need to make sure it stays in the light of day. It helps if we all try to maintain awareness about it and talk about it openly and honestly. If you know someone impacted, offer your help. Donate to some of the many networks working to get rid of MST. If you hear someone putting women down (or other men), tell them its wrong, right out loud. DoD says theyre really crack ing down, this time, but we must keep our eyes on them. If their efforts work, Im hopeful this is the year we really do bring MST to an end. U.S. Army veteran Mary Kemper is a staff writer and marketing consultant for Veteran Voice. KEMPER from page 4 ed cases in the Coast Guard in 2013, up from 156 in 2012, which ONeil attributes to more ing made to ensure the system works, he said. Every service member and veteran, regardless of type of service, can be treated for military sexual trauma not only through medical care, but also through related service such as counseling and group support, according to Steve Murray, communications director for the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. If you go to the website, youll see that each and every medical center offers treatment and pro grams, Murray said. The website is http://www.mentalhealth. va.gov/msthome.asp and at the bottom of the third para graph, there is a blue hyperlink that directs to a VA fact sheet called Disability Compensation for Personal Assault or Military Sexual Trauma. There is a wide range of re sources people can access just from the website, Murray said, including hotlines for immediate needs and many mental-health resources. He added, however, that people can always contact their medical centers directly. Because medical claims have been tough to prove under DoDs standards, the guidelines have been revised for the VA. From the fact sheet: VA knows that events involving personal assault or sexual trauported. Therefore, VA has relaxed the evidentiary requirements and looks for markers (i.e., signs, events, or circumstances) that provide some indication that the traumatic event happened, such as: Records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals or physicians. Pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Statements from family members, roommates, fellow service members, clergy members, or counselors. Request for transfer to another military duty assignment. Deterioration in work performance. Substance abuse. Episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an Unexplained economic or social behavioral changes. Relationship issues, such as divorce. Sexual dysfunction. Military sexual trauma is a terrible crime that many feel has taken too long to be addressed. It cuts across genders, services, ranks and families, devastating not only the victims, but also their families and their units. While its causes are still being researched, the need to combat military sexual trauma is imme diate. However, with so much scruti ny in the national news on the issue last year, DoD has been prompted to act more forcefully. In the coming months, as reports from the individual services are compiled, it remains to be seen whether all the improvements will show results. DoD is under heavier pressure, now, which victim advocates say will not ease until real changes are made. Its a train wreck, Kori Cioca said in remarks on ABC TV. It keeps on getting swept under the carpet. 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10 JANUARY 24, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE Introduced in the late 1940s, American service members have faced it in combat for decades. The Avtomat Kalashnikova. Better known as the AK-47. Its inventor, Mikhail Kalashnikov, recently died at age 94, according to Russian press. His legacy is what the Guinness Book as the most common combat gun on the globe. With around 75 million to 100 million in circulation, the AK regularly shows up in cringe-worthy images. For example, one of the most famous videos of Osama bin Laden featured him shooting an AK. Sonny Hartwell was a Marine in Vietnam, to He said Kalashnikovs death has no meaning to him. He was just the inventor, Hartwell said. He never pulled the trigger on me. Still, Hartwells voice audibly shudders when he talks about the thats killed innumerable Americans. Thats a hell of a weapon, he said. They could drag that thing through mud and tunnels and it Hartwell said he picked up nuNever shot one. He mostly remembers one thing about the gun. The sound, Hartwell said. That probably strikes a cord with me more than anything. Rick Kaiser, executive director of the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, Fort Pierce, was an active-duty SEAL from 1979 to 2001. He faced multiple combat situations in numerous places against people carrying the AK. We used them ourselves, Kaiser said. The SEALS used them on operations. Youd take whatever was the best weapon for a situation. He said the gun has a couple downsides. That weapon is not the most accurate in the world, Kaiser said. But the reliable functionality is its great asset. Hartwell said the AKs infamous inaccuracy gave Marines in Vietnam a small measure of comfort. Im glad they had that weapon rather than us, he said. We didnt have to worry so much, especially at distance, because they couldnt hit us. The AKs other problems? That was one of the cons of the AK-47, its quite heavy, Kaiser said. Originally almost 8 pounds unloaded. Later models shed some of that weight. Kaiser added, The magazines themselves are quite heavy. Those were originally almost a pound. They too had weight trimmed over time. Its got a hell of a kick, Kaiser said. Thats never changed. Many shooters say the AK leaps badly in Kaiser said he never had any particular feeling about the AK what someone was shooting at him never made a difference to him. A .22 will kill you just as dead as an AK-47, or M-16, Kaiser said. Operation Restore Hope, Somalia, veteran Donna Carlsen had much the same feeling. Getting shot at is getting shot at. But When you saw (an AK-47), it was Kalashnikov reportedly wrote an emotional letter to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church less than a year before his death. He expressed much shame about name and became a widespread tool of death. My spiritual pain is unbearable, he reportedly wrote. When you saw that, it was Patrick McCallisterFOR VETERAN VOICEpatrick.mccallister@yahoo.comSource: LOOK Magazine photo, Library of Congress 1969. 8545 All furnishings were designed for this home and are negotiableFor more information and pictures go to:http://grf.me/f8GTeam Coley Real Estate GroupJason Coley/Realtor/CDPE 772-201-5229 Beautiful, custom designed 5 bd. 3.5 bth home, with library lo and oversized game room. Brazilian cherry wood, tile and carpet ooring, custom window treatments, granite, wrought iron railing, crown molding throughout. One of the most beautiful homes on the market and it comes with its own botanical garden-like landscaping Your Own Botanical Paradise and pool home in Vero Beach A $1,000,000 Home For Only $499,000 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9AM TO 5PM Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum 6600 Tico Road, Titusville, FL 32780 Special Event Venues Available $1.00 OFF ADMISSION WITH THIS AD 3 Display Hangars Over 30 Aircraft Memorabilia Free Guided Tours Gift Shop C-47 Plane Rides Canteen $1.00 OFF Admission Cannot be combined with other offers. This coupon is not redeemable for cashWITH THIS AD8548

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