Veteran voice


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

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University of Florida
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VOL. 2/ISSUE 48 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, 201435 cents Shes diminutive only about 5 feet or so tall with sparkling green eyes and closely-cropped hair. Shes friendly, a devout Christian and a member of a motorcycle club, going by the moniker Star 1. It takes people by surprise when they learn that Mary A. Epps, Melbourne, served as a brigadier gen eral in the Air Force. As an African-American woman, Epps faced a potential double whammy in terms of possible racism and sexism directed against her but she had a kind of secret weapon working on her behalf, enabling her to excel in her job with the Connecticut Air National Guard, ultimately as its deputy adjutant for Air. can female to achieve the rank of colonel and briga dier general in the history of the Connecticut Nation al Guard. A recipient of numerous awards, Epps was certain ranks. She has 45 years as a perioperative (operating room) nurse, and 26 years in service, most of which at the command or upper management levels. She is nothing if not determined. dream to work for equal opportunity in the military, and when the time came for her to become the Air National Guard Advisor at the Defense Equal Op portunity Management Institute at Patrick Air Force At that time, it was the only equal opportunity government school in the country, Epps said. I al ways wanted to do equal opportunity, and I had that opportunity. It changed my life. And it changed the way I thought about a lot of different things. How so? Much had to do with the unexpected, be hind-the-scenes help alluded to earlier. There were mentors I didnt even know I had, Epps said. White men making sure I got the recognition I earned on my career path. These men recognized effort, and reward ed it, disregarding prejudice, she said. As a Christian, Epps also credits the Almighty with giving her strength to over come all obstacles. For me, divine guidance has always been key, she said. I pray for that every single day. One hurdle to overcome was educational, for Epps, and it was overcome with the help of one of the white mentors and, perhaps, the guiding hand from above. In the military, continuing education must be done in order to get promoted. I wanted to go to Air War College. Like everyone else, I had to prepare a lot of paperwork. I sent in applications three times before paperwork was mysteriously lost at the time, I was one of the few, if not the The third time, I (personally) walked the application in to the generals (Brig. Gen. him about it. He signed it, and it went back through the chain. When they (administrative per sonnel) saw his name on it, they knew he was waiting to see the results. I think he took a gamble. Some people didnt want me to be (accepted), and he overruled them. If it wasnt for him, I wouldnt have been there. Former Air Force Brig. Gen. Mary A. Epps, Melbourne, helps out at the recent Friends and Family Day con I think he took a gamble. Retired Brig. Gen. Mary A. Epps, on former Brig. Gen. George Demers, who signed off on Epps application to Air War CollegeSee STAR page 3 Former 1-star now Star 1 faced hurdles, had secret mentors STAFF


2 OCTOBER 02, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE Inside the VA Veteran Voice Before Politifact rates the head line half true, yes, it should have read, The legislative start of federalized care for veterans which would evolve to the modern Department of Veterans Affairs just turned 225. That headline felt awkward, so The VA just turned 225. Congress created the Presidential Cabinets Department of Vet erans Affairs in 1988 out of the existing Veterans Administration, which formed from a hodgepodge of veterans-assistance programs in 1930. Some of the earliest stirrings of federalized veterans care happened on Sept. 29, 1789. That day Congress authorized disability pensions for some of the professional soldiers, sailors and Marines who served during and after the Revolutionary War. By 1792 the law was expanded to provide for their widows and or phans, too, along with imposing requirements for documenting disabilities. Thus began what for many is the VAs most famous feature its infamous claims process. Congress creation of what would go on to become the Bureau of Pensions in 1833 is the antebellum roots for Abraham Lincolns famous charge to the nation at his second inaugural address, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his wid ow and his orphan By the time Lincoln said those words that the entire VA is hinged upon, the beginning of the Veterans Health Administration was already under way, said VA historian Darlene Richardson. In 1862, the (United States) Sanitary Commission which was charged with helping the volunteers, the non-professional soldiers in the Civil War they sent someone to Europe during the war to see what they were doing for their veterans. The commission was a private relief agency created by Congress in 1861. Much of what it did was based on the British Sanitary Commissions assistance to that The VA just turned 225 FOR VETERAN See VA page 5


VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE OCTOBER 02, 2014 3 Quite naturally, Epps also cred its as role models and mentors other African-American female Michelle Howard, who became tionary Strike Group at sea, or Epps own sister, who retired as a colonel from the Air National Guard of New York. Enlisting in the Air Force in 1976, Epps went through the medical corps training procandidates schools. She was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant, and worked as nurse with the Connecticut Air National Guard, attaining head nurse status, and then became a hospital commander for six years. While stationed at Patrick, she assumed the responsibilities of acting commandant when required, and gained extensive background in equal opportunity and diversity management, and thus played a leading role in the implementation and monitoring of equal opportunity and diversity programs for the military, a por tion of her self-published biogra phy states. Additionally, while at Patrick, Epps served on the Department of Defense Mobile Training Team for equal opportunity and diversity, conducting training across the country. I loved that job, she said. Wherever mobile training was required, we went there. Eventually, Epps was recalled to Connecticut to serve as deputy adjutant general for Air (one of two National Guard departments, the other being for Army). I was happy here (at Patrick), minding my own business. But I thought, Okay, Gods hand is in this. With the (brigadier general) star, major challenges came in. I was 60, so I only had 18 months left to serve but promotion was can-American female in charge of the Air National Guard in Con necticut. The boss was a major general, who reported to the governor. As the second in command, I supervised up to 1,700 people, including the air unit, which consisted control unit. The main challenge I was not a pilot, and the pilots walked on water. Here I am, Im not the norm, and Im not what people were used to, Epps said. I did encounter chauvinistic behavior from some people. So I insisted on sexual-harassment training. When a unit is deployed somewhere, things happen. I was met with resistance from commanders, but I said, This is not going to happen on deployment. Were all about safety, all about people. At one point, I did have to say, Im the general, and this is the way it has to be. People will test you, to see if youre strong or weak. One thing Epps discovered was the power of enlisted people to help her accomplish missions. were essential to the mission, she said. They absolutely would go out and get the job done. that the enlisted are the back bone of the service. Ive met some mighty, but Ive told them, If you work with enlisted people, theyll work for you. After distinguished service as an Air Force general, Epps didnt stop serving. She retired from Wuesthoff Health Systems in Mel bourne, after having been selected as Employee of the Month and chosen to represent Wuesthoff in its medical advertisements. In Connecticut, she was one of ty of Perioperative Nursing, and 29 years. During her nursing career, Epps served as assistant director of a trauma operating room, nurse-manager in two medical centers and educational coordinator in two medical centers. And, even though she is now Air Force and nursing, Epps still hasnt slowed down. At a recent meeting of the Buf falo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Central Florida, of which she is an associate member, Epps reminded fellow members of fund-raising activities for the American Cancer Society that are upcoming. Star is on it, believe you me, said club chaplain Harold Chi Town Moore. Epps also works with the clubs educational committee to make sure the public remains aware of the many contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers in history, and to promote African-American heritage. But she downplays her career when talking about herself as a member of the club. I was a general in the military, and getting intimidated, she said. I just dont talk about that so much with (club members). Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle club Early in my marriage, I talked my husband out of getting a motorcycle, Epps said. As a periop the worst that can happen in motorcycle accidents. But when we moved to Flori da, with the better weather and better road conditions, I gave in. Someone told him about the Buffalo Soldiers, and thats how it got started. (Epps husband, Richard Magic Man Epps, is a retired assistant performs magic tricks at group functions hence the moniker.) The Buffalo Soldiers are fami ly, Epps said. You can call on anyone, from any area, whenever you need help, or just to share fellowship. A managing partner and instructor with Behavioral Interventions First in Titusville, Epps also stays active going on speaking engagements around the region, discussing women in leadership, diversity and equal opportunity and veterans issues. On Oct. 4, she is scheduled to receive an award for her achieve ments from the National Council of Negro Women in Washington, D.C. Shes a little dynamo of energy, persistence and passion, as she freely admits. First, determine what you want to do, and then plan your steps to get there very carefully. Find someone you trust, and listen to them, she said. Youll get there. Every veteran knows that service is never easy. For Epps, who had extra obstacles to overcome in her career, that has proved true. But, you know what? she said. If I had my way, everyone would go into some branch of service. It makes men and women out of them. The main challenge I was not a pilot, and the pilots walked on water. Here I am, Im not the norm, and Im not what people were used to. Retired Brig. Gen. Mary EppsSTAR from page 1 13814 Frannie 2014 VOTE For St. Lucie County Commissioner, District 4Hutchinson Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Frances Frannie Hutchinson, Rep., for St Lucie County Commissioner, District 4.


4 OCTOBER 02, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE Publisher Partner Managing Editor Graphic Designer 407-286-0807 (please note county in the subject line) or contact us by email at: e Voice of Experience Buffalo bash with ribs, hot dogs, burgers, cole slaw and potato salad, along with several desserts. the groups chaplain, during the annual Friends and Family Day at F. Burton At right, club member Day watches. Veteran Voice Melbourne.


VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE OCTOBER 02, 2014 5 nations veterans. During the War Between the States, the com mission among other things opened soldiers and sailors homes to care for injured and disabled Union military men. The Civil War changed every thing for Americas veterans, Richardson said. She said three dramatic phenomena intersected before, during and after the war fought from 1861 to 1865: medical advancement, immigration and urbanization. Throughout history, non-professional warriors conscripts and volunteers who survived bathome to families that mostly lived in small, farming communities. Their care was presumably woven into the social fabric. But by the time of the Civil War, immigration and urbanization had quickly grown in the United ers mostly Irish and German immigrants had no homes, no families, and no communities when they joined the Army, Navy and, infrequently, Marine Corps. Many literally got off ships from their native lands to voluntary or involuntary military enlistments. Never before had warriors sur injuries like they had during the Civil War. The signature wound of the war was limb amputation, something victims almost never survived before the 1860s. (Amputation) techniques had started to be perfected during the Civil War and they got better at it to where men were surviving, Richardson said. That led to the nation facing something no one had seen on a massive scale: veterans home lessness. The problem grew even as the war raged on. There were news accounts of homeless veterans, Richardson said. Most of (the home less veterans) were young at the time. They just got off the boat (when they joined the Union military) and didnt have family. A lot of them, they would try to do something to provide for them selves. But many, if not most, lacked any education to do professional jobs and were physically unable to do the manual jobs around at the time. This just became a disgrace ful situation, Richardson said. There were homeless men out in the cities. The nations patriots who fought to keep the country united were out on the streets begging. As the Civil War was winding down, Congress authorized a massive expansion of national veterans homes, the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. Due to growing negative connotations of the word asy lum, the name changed to the National Home for Disabled Vol unteer Soldiers by 1873. Richardson said its tempting to compare the 19th century soldiers homes to modern adult living facilities, ALFs, but thatd be way off the mark. These were little communi ties, she said. They were loosely based on military bases. They had barracks for able-bodied men who didnt have to be in the hospital. But they had hospitals on site caring for the veterans. A lot of what VA does now start ed at the national homes, Rich ardson said. Including occupational and recreational therapy, counseling and annual remembrances. Richardson said many of the about 30 national homes had small industries on site, so residents could earn money. Every home had a band, Richardson said. They gave concerts on the weekends. A couple of them became major tourist at tractions. Populations at the veterans homes peaked in 1905 as older Civil War veterans kept entering them for a variety of reasons. They were rapidly declining in population a decade later as the residents died off. It looked like the homes were on their way to eventually closing. The Great War changed that when the United States sent almost 5 million service members to battles from 1917 to 1918. By then the nation was ready to care for its veterans. Among other reasons, the Grand Army of the Republic a Civil War Union veterans organization had established a strong tradition of veterans self-advocacy that others, such as the American Legion, have followed. Its because of the Civil War that the veteran has become so venerated in American society, Richardson said. Thats when we started to bend over backwards for any veteran. VA from page 2 MARTIN COUNTY Kevin Donahue had a great idea. His Veterans of Foreign Wars post 4149, Stuart should help veterans with small and big housing issues. The Navy veteran didnt know that theres a tradition among veterans organizations suggesting is volunteering. I had this idea, so I was told, You run with it, he said. Last November Donahue and about a half dozen volunteers started up the VFW 4149s House A Vet program. While it still oper ates out of the post, House A Vet is now an independent entity. It does a few things. Mostly House A Vet has helped veterans and their families with minor home maintenance, so small things dont become costly repairs. House A Vet teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Martin County earlier this year to donate volunteer hours to help veterans get homes through that program. Itll soon have a mobile Housing Martins veterans FOR VETERAN right. See HOUSE page 7


6 OCTOBER 02, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE Veteran Voice therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder sounds like some sort scene from the 1970s television series Kung Fu, or some vers es of ancient religious writings. In short, belief becomes reality change the mind, change the person. But this simultaneously straightforward and near mystical concept appears to hold the key to alleviating PTSD symptoms for many. Our minds will look for things to support our beliefs, Jack Gamble, clinical coordinator at the Department of Veterans Affairs St. Lucie County PTSD Clinical Team Outpatient Pro gram, said. The clinic handles veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder related to combat and military sexual trauma. Cognitive processing therapy, CPT, is one of three evidence-based therapies the VA uses to help treat service-related PTSD in conjunction with tra ditional talk therapy. At the St. Lucie program, about 85 percent of clients use CPT as a primary or combined approach to help alleviate PTSD symptoms. Beliefs do have tremendous power on people. The placebo effect is well-known. People given pills with no medicinal properties will often get much better if they believe the tablets are supposed to treat their symptoms. Alter nately, children sometimes play a game of tricking another into thinking he or she is about to get touched by a hot object, then place ice against the victims bare skin. The victims often experi ence the immediate and lingering sensations of heat until the trick is revealed to them. But, how does that relate to treating PTSD? Gamble said that when trau matic events are happening, the stimuli to focus on the most important things at the moment. In other words, survival mode. For example, during an automobile accident, a drivers brain will automatically turn off awareness of a song playing on the radio and tion to steer a car to minimize damage. But oftentimes the brain loses awareness of surrounding details to put a traumatic event into an accurate context. Recalling those details often helps alleviate PTSD. Say theres a football player, Gamble said. Hes a famous receiver. He makes millions and millions of dollars. His family has it made. Then during a game a lineman falls on the receivers leg and breaks it. The football player is taken off That limits his information about the incident. The receiver might start selectively thinking about other incidents with the lineman and begin to see a real or imaginary pattern of acrimony. Hes probably going to think the linebacker did that on purpose, Gamble said. He has no other information except his experience and what he saw. That emerging belief, called a maladaptive belief, could lead to debilitating chronic anger that grows over time and affects all of the receivers relationships. Theres something going for the famous linebacker to prevent that. The football game they can run instant replay, Gamble said. The receiver might see in video that the lineman was knocked by another player as he went for a clean tackle and realize the man was simply doing his job. In other words, the broken leg was a mat ter of the risks one takes to play football. That can instantly undo the receivers anger, no matter how deeply felt, and start emo tional healing. But combat veterans almost never have video archive of their traumatic moments to look at. They must face them with limited information usually only that already stored in their heads. Theyre going to form an attri bute, a belief thats going to be stamped so hard its like classical conditioning, Gamble said. Dr. Patricia Resick and a team developed the four-part cognitive processing therapy after PTSD was formally recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manu el of Mental Disorders, DSM, as a primary condition. That was in 1980. Gamble said its similar to the well-known Socratic method used for decision making. In CPT, through writing and talking, a client learns to become aware of his or her beliefs, thoughts and feelings connected to one or more traumatic events, and to chal lenge those that are maladaptive through questions. The worksheet leads them to identify what we call the stuck point, Gamble said. The stuck point is nothing but the raw core of the belief associated with the trauma. Thats what haunts them. Thats what brings on the nightmares. This belief, this stuck point they cant get over. He added, After identifying the stuck point, you use Socratic dialog. If an individual is recalling this stuff and writing it down on paper, it can be disturbing. At times it can be disturbing. But, Gamble said, once the mal adaptive beliefs and stuck points are exposed, a client and therapist can construct a fuller picture of what happened that will help adjust beliefs. Thats when emo tional healing begins. While its not exclusive to com bat veterans, theyre one of the highest risk groups to develop PTSD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people are wired to detect and respond generally serves us well. PTSD, essentially, is when a person remains in the alert state long after danger has passed to the point that its negatively affecting his or her daily life. The institute reports that about 7.7 million American adults have PTSD. Gamble said that the VA PTSD clinic in St. Lucie West has two counselors, including himself, and two psychiatrists who pre scribe and monitor medications when theyre needed. The center is in the process of hiring two more counselors, and is specif ically seeking to hire a woman veteran. Some seeking counseling prefer same-gender therapists. He said about 65 percent of the patients are Vietnam-era veter ans. About 25 to 30 percent of the patients are younger; they mostly served in operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Theres also a handful of World War II and Korean War veterans who are just now seeking help for symptoms that go back sometimes seven decades. Veterans cant just walk in and get services at the PTSD outpa tient program. Gamble said ad mission into the program starts with doctors checking for medical conditions with symptoms similar to PTSD, such as traumatic brain injury. Gamble said PTSD is a complex, nuanced condition and healing from it isnt a do-it-yourself proj ect. Changing beliefs, changing lives FOR VETERAN VOICEpatrick.mccallister@yahoo.comWhile its not exclusive to combat veterans, theyre one of the highest risk groups to develop PTSD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people are wired to detect and re that generally serves us well. PTSD, essentially, is when a person remains in the alert state long after danger has passed to the point that its negatively affecting his or her daily life. The insti tute reports that about 7.7 million American adults have PTSD.


VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE OCTOBER 02, 2014 7 home in Stuart to temporarily house home less veterans, too. Weve helped about a dozen veterans and their spouses, mostly widowed spouses, Donahue said. Weve done some simple maintenance, like (repair) a leaky toilet for a woman. But its done some major projects, too. veteran with disabilities, for a veteran who couldnt get out of the house, Donahue said. Peter Ellis of Palm City is one of the regular volunteers. The Air Force veteran said he feels very fortunate that good housing isnt and has never been an issue for him, and volunteering for House A Vet is a way of showing his appreciation. It was just a matter of hearing stories about paying it forward, he said. Me, I can have someone else do (repairs). Ellis said a project that lingers with him is when House A Vet installed grab bars in a home for someone with balance and mobility concerns. Theres nobody else to do it for some of these folks, he said. They dont have the money to have someone do it for them. Donahue said Home Depot and other sponsors have helped the upstart organization. Its raised about $8,000 in less than a year, and is lined up for about $20,000 in grants. Margot Graff, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Martin County, said House A Vet has inspired the affordable-housing program to seek veteran-headed families to house. The group is on the hunt for one now. The veterans are very interested in us and come out and build with us, she said. Theyre always giving back to the communi ty, so were in search of a veteran. The Habitat chapter has built 112 homes since it started about 25 years ago. Graff said it has ongoing projects in Indiantown, Hobe Sound and Stuart. She said the organization gets about 500 applicants a year. About a dozen of those applicants will eventually get into Habitat housing. Graff said that qualifying for a Habitat home requires 500 sweat equity hours, attend ing 12 classes, and lots of other work. And perseverance. Prospective Habitat homeown ers friends, family and other volunteers can help them build up sweat equity, time spent building homes, or in other volunteer jobs. She said House A Vet volunteers are making sweat equity down payments for fellow veter ans they may never meet. Even with that help, Graff said qualifying for a Habitat home is rigorous. She said Habitat is convinced that veterans are great candi dates, because theyre accustomed to hard work, following guidelines and exercising patience. Sometimes our veterans come home and dont get into a job position that theyre ownership program. Prospective Habitat homeowners must be able to qualify for the programs 30-year in terest-free mortgages. Its an affordable home ownership, not a homelessness-prevention, program. Habitat for Humanity International has a program called Veterans Build. The orga nization reports that about a million veter an-headed families pay more than half their income for housing, which keeps them from being able to save in order to take advantage of low-interest mortgage assistance programs run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The organization reports that about 7 percent of veterans live in poverty. Donahue, who retired after a career in pool service, said he was inspired to suggest House A Vet to his VFW post after a night of inspiring television. I was sitting and watching one of those real ity shows and they did a home for a disabled veteran, he said. They worked with Habitat to house a veteran. www. Its Even with that help, Graff said qualifying for a Habitat home is rigorous. She said Habitat is convinced that veterans are great candidates, because theyre accustomed to hard work, following guidelines and exercising patience. Sometimes our veterans come home and dont get into a job position that theyre our home ownership program. HOUSE from page 5 13836


8 OCTOBER 02, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE Youre part of us, is how AM VETS Post 92, Rio, commander Bruce Hudson described the group of women he and his post honored Sept. 27. If it wasnt for you, we wouldnt have a home, said JoAnn Maitland, president of the State of Florida and Puerto Rico Gold Star Mothers. The Treasure Coast chapter of the Gold Star Mothers meets monthly at the post home, and has done so for many years. The post and the Mothers have had a close relationship, and the post paid tribute to the ladies with dinner. Becoming a bit emotional in his opening remarks, Hudson said, We are proud to host the Gold Star Mothers with this apprecia tion dinner. Its a small way to thank them Roy Brewer, of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 566, repre senting commander Joe Lusardi, presented a statuette of the Bat staff, to Kathy and Gene Sandburg, whose son, Brendan, died while serving in the U.S. during the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. It is the intention of Chapter 566 to eventually present all the mothers with this memorial as they are crafted, Brewer said, noting that there are two more mothers to go. Its important to show our grat itude to those who have given the Maitland presented the Sandburgs with gold pins from the Department of Defense, explain ing that solid gold pins are given to parents whose son or daughter died in the U.S., while gold pins bordered with purple denote chil dren who have died overseas. In her remarks, Maitland noted that the city of Stuart issued a proclamation designating Sept. 28 as American Gold Star Moth ers Day by Mayor Troy A. McDon ald. The proclamation reads, in part: Whereas, the American mother is the greatest source of strength and inspiration and for the moral and spiritual uplift of the people of the United States for the good of humanity; and Whereas, the American Gold Star Mothers suffered the ul losing their sons and daughters who died in the line of duty while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Maitland also made mention of the Gold Star Mothers Memorial, which she designed, and which she and the other Mothers hope will be in place by Veterans Day. It will consist of a granite boul der with a sitting garden, located just behind the main memorial, at Veterans Memorial Park, Port St. Lucie. Fund-raising efforts are currently under way. Lureen Conte, president of the Treasure Coast chapter, received a $100 donation on the spot at the tribute dinner. Im issuing a challenge to every one, to meet or exceed this amount, she said. Conte said that down the road, a bench will be added to allow memorial. Though at times the tribute had its moments of tears, there were moments of laughter as well. ladies, in case you didnt know, Hudson said with a smile, as large bouquets for each of the Mothers in attendance were handed to them. Oh, Bruce, youre our favorite jarhead, Maitland teased the Marine veteran. Its clear the Treasure Coast Gold Star Mothers and AMVETS Post 92 will continue to share laughter and hardships alike, for many years to come. Editors note:Veteran Voice AMVETS post pays tribute to its sisters the Gold Star MothersIts a small way to thank them for making Bruce Hudson, commander, AMVETS Post 92, on why the post gave a tribute dinner to the Treasure Coast Gold Star Mothers STAFF


VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE OCTOBER 02, 2014 9 The Wounded Warriors of Martin County is holding a barbecue fundraiser on Oct. 12, from 1 to 5 p.m., to help wounded troops rebuild their lives. It is being sponsored by the Wounded Warriors of Martin County, through VFW Post 10132, Hobe Sound. It is not af Project. Live music will be provided by the T&T Band. The $12 cost will cover all-youcan-eat. The post is located on Old Dixie Highway.Enjoy BBQ and help wounded warriors FOR VETERAN VOICE Those of you planning to attend Mens Slow-pitch Softball Tournament at Historic Dodgertown Oct. 3-4, will have to wait a bit longer to enjoy this event. Due to team moved to May 15-17, 2015. Funds raised from the event will help increase awareness and provide assistance to disabled veterans residing in Indian River County through the Boots 2 Hooks organization. Proceeds will also be shared with the Veterans Council of Indian River County. Thanks to those who offered to sponsor the Tournament: Boots 2 Hooks, Ameron Pest Control, Bob Walsh, and Capt. Hirams of Sebastian. We look forward to working with you again in the spring. Boots 2 Hooks is a newly dedicated to helping veterans in the healthy management of post traumatic stress disorder and hopes to soon offer off-shore personnel free of charge. Boots2Hooks@gmail.comVeterans Classic softball tournament rescheduled for May FOR VETERAN VOICE VA to make Phoenix whistleblowers whole WASHINGTON Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald today announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs, working closely with the U.S. successfully resolved whis tleblower retaliation complaints Phoenix. At VA, we take whistleblower complaints seriously and will not tolerate retaliation against those who raise issues which may enable VA to better serve veterans, said McDonald. We depend on VA employees and leaders to put the needs of core values of Integrity, Com mitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence. Based on the validity of their claims of retaliation, each whistleblower has settled their complaint with VA and two have accepted new positions within the Department. cial Counsel, the VA has tak en several steps to strengthen whistleblower protection and enhance accountability within the organization. VA leadership has sent a message to all VA employees regarding the importance of whistleblower protection, has emphasized that managers and supervisors bear a special responsibility for en forcing whistleblower protection laws and has met with em ployees at VA Medical Centers across the country to reemphasize that message. Additionally, VA is committed to achieving compliance with of Accountability Review with a direct reporting line to the Sec retary. Its charter is to ensure leadership accountability for improprieties related to patient scheduling and access to care, whistleblower retaliation and re lated matters that impact public trust in VA. FOR VETERAN VOICE 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 AD13802 13982 The Nutcrackerat the Lyric theatreFriday, December 5th 2pm Matinee $25 Adults $20 Groups 10 or more Call 772.288.4150 Saturday December 6th 2pm Matinee $25 Adults $20 Groups 10 or more 772.286.7827 For sponsorship opportunities, please call FADC at 772.288.4150FADC is a 501c3 not for prot cultural arts organization.


10 OCTOBER 02, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE 13800 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 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 Super visor 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 1-800669-8477 VA Regional Office 1-800-827-1000 VA Medical Ctr, W. Palm Beach 1-800972-8262 Pharmacy, VA Medical Center 1-800317-8387 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 Veter ans 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 Clinic1901 South 25th Street., Fort Pierce, FL 34947 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 Veter ans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Vietnam Veterans of America and many other groups with a nar row 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 ad dress 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 or mailing your comments to us at 1919 S.W. South Macedo Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34984.OUR MISSION STATEMENTAND OUR OBJECTIVE13801




















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