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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University of Florida
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VOL. 2/ISSUE 11 FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 201435 cents Some victims of military sexual trauma may surprise 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 will examine this issue in three parts. Part I was dedicated to an overview of the issue, to include how Florida has been affected and will be expect ed to contribute to eradicating the crime. Part II will break down the anatomy of sexual assault crimes, especially by gender, and examine some of the many factors that complicate the issue even more for military victims. Part III will explore what progress has been made toward eliminating the crime throughout the Department of Defense and in central Florida. Part I was published Jan. 10. Fol lowing is Part II. Kori Cioca was raped and beat en so badly by her Coast Guard was shattered. It took seven long years before the Veterans Administration accepted her claim for medical care. She contemplated suicide, at one point. To date, she can only eat soft foods. Cioca is one of 70 women whose stories of military sexual trauma have been documented in the Academy Award-nominated The Kirby Dick, released in 2012. It is a frank and harrowing account and many believe it directly led to military sexual trauma receiving so much attention in 2013, along with a string of allegations against commanders who abused subordinates. It is a crime that cuts across all social boundar ies, civil ian and military. It is a crime believed primarily directed against women, and it is seen less as a an exercise of power. While wom en remain the primary victims, evidence is beginning to emerge that more men than previously thought are also victims, adding to the crimes complexity. And it has become evident that the military structure, if not its culture, looms large as an extra hurdle for victims to overcome. The national numbers are sobering. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, an average of 237,868 reported incidents are reported every year. Up to 44 percent of victims are younger than 18; 80 percent are under the age of 30. Two-thirds of assaults are committed by some one the victim knows. A stagger ing 90 percent of accused rapists will never see trial. In a Dec. 27, 2013, report by Associated Press reporter Lolita C. Baldor, there were more than 5,000 reports of (military) sexual that ended Sept. 30, compared to the 3,374 in 2012. Of those 2013 reports, about 10 percent involved incidents that occurred before the victim got into the mil a year ago. Broken down by service, Baldor reported, according to the latest numbers, the increase in reports across the services ranges from a low of about 45 percent for the Air Force to a high of 86 percent for the Marines, the smallest ser vice. The Navy had an increase of 46 percent and the Army, by far the largest military service, had a The crime has been vastly underreported a fact that became earlier this year that an anony mous survey had revealed that about 26,000 service members reported some type of unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault. In central Florida, the rates are smaller than national ones, but Mary KemperSTAFF WRITERmkemper@veteranvoiceweekly.comSee VICTIMS page 5 8315How do you, as a veteran, feel about the worsening situation in IraqSend your thoughts


2 JANUARY 17, 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 N UMBERS ... 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 or mailing your comments to us at 1919 S.W. South Macedo Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34984.OUR MISSION STATEMENTAND OUR OBJECTIVE8316 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


VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE JANUARY 17, 2014 3Hard work key to business success FORT PIERCE Joey Miller, the founder of St. Lucie Battery & Tire, was only 5 when his family moved from Flatbush, Brooklyn to Fort Pierce. They came, as so many did, for a warmer climate. Millers father began selling eggs at 5500 Orange Ave. His son took over the small grocery business and a few years later, in 1967, began repairing batteries, It was a grocery store that sold used batteries and eggs, Miller said. Back then, it was dead in the summer time. I had the opportunity to get into some thing year-round to supplement the farming. If you listen to your custom er, theyll tell you when and where to grow. It evolved from where it was to where it is. Today, St. Lucie Battery & Tires is a business that recently opened its 13th store, has more than 140 employees and was ranked in the top 100 independent U.S. tire retailers by Tire Business Magazine. The company operates in St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, Okeechobee and Palm Beach counties, selling more the 8,000 tires a month and performing more than 2,000 oil changes monthly. Miller said that the path to success wasnt an easy one. It was about servicing the customer and a lot of hard work. I never went to college, and I felt like if I wanted to be successful, I had to outperform my competition. I always tried to treat ev ery customer like Id want to be treat ed and give every customer a dollars worth of value for a dollar. Nowadays, Millers son, Doug, is the company president and runs the business on a day-to day basis. His other son, Mickey, is a veteran of Desert Storm, and the company is trying to hire more veterans. Right now, they employ eight, but Joey Miller would like that number to grow. Im very proud to be an American, he said. I think the people need to take their hats off to the people that serve this country. Thats why were free. When they come back, they often get overlooked. Were working hard (to hire more vets.) If a vet came with the Shelley KoppelSTAFF WRITERskoppel@YourVoiceW Photo courtsey of Gorilla MagicSt. Lucie Battery & Tire has eight veterans currently on staff, and inviting more to applySee BATTERY page 10 8322


4 JANUARY 17, 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 Eric Macon Phil Galdys Donna Marinak SUBSCRIBE TODAY (772) 204-2409 info@VeteranVoiceWeekly.comVeteran Voice is a newspaper for veterans, POSTAL STATEMENT POSTMASTER: e Voice of Experience Painful, infuriating movie a must see It hurts to watch Lone Sur vivor. No, really. It physically hurts at times. It emotionally hurts. Its infuriating, too, be cause its based on events that occurred. Theres almost nothing pleasant about Lone Survivor. Navy SEALs. Theyre humans who make mistakes, feel phys ical pain, get emotionally over whelmed, and die like anybody else would. Youve got to see this movie. Yeah, you read that right. First, you must know a little bit about the story behind it. On June 28, 2005, Lt. Michael Murphy made a call for help. For that call he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Murphy moved out from cover and got shot several times while begging for support. According to a Navy Special Warfare narrative, Murphy and three other SEALs including Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell were seeking a Taliban leader in the mountains near Asadabad, Afghanistan, as part of Operation Red Wings. They terrain on their side. Murphy was shot multiple times when he ex posed himself in order to call for assistance. By the time the battle was over, 11 Navy SEALs died alongside eight Army soldiers. Among things that went terribly wrong a MH-47 with SEALs heading to rescue Murphys team was shot down. Luttrell, the only survivor, wrote a book about the battle. It was appropriately named, Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. That book was the basis for the movie, Lone Survivor. The movie has plenty of hot lead Lots of those. None of it fun to portrayal of war. Its no hero SEAL worship either. Most of all, Frankly, I was a bit concerned going into Lone Survivor. The last SEAL movie I watched was Act of Valor. That movie had two-dimensional characters mechanically marching through 110 minutes of superhero SEALs status. If that 2012 movie gave me one more stoic warrior facing death with wide eyes, a smile and fearless steely resolve, I was going to scream. Lone Survivor doesnt give the viewer that superhero SEAL. It shows men who were outnumbered, outgunned, and scared. Very, very scared. Its portrayal of war is along the lines of 2001s Black Hawk Down. It shows war as a messy affair that doesnt let heroes die very heroically. In other words, its honest. The 121-minute movie is lined with numerous subtle political statements easy to miss if your minds not in 2005 and what was happening in American military operations around that time. Why was there a shortage of AH-64 Apache helicopters to escort the MH-47s? Movie doesnt say, but The movie was released on Jan. 10. Its in numerous area theaters. Patrick McCallister is staff writer for Veteran Voices sister publica tion, Your Voice News & Views, and contributes weekly to Veteran Voice.


VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE JANUARY 17, 2014 5 equally as discouraging. Mindi Fetterman, founder and executive director of the Inner which assists survivors of do mestic abuse, including sexual trauma, there are at least 20 to 30 people we treat per month, is to provide personal and group counseling and other related services to help women get their lives back together and to heal, not only themselves and their families, Fetterman said. cial situation doesnt allow for us to treat men, but we certainly see welcoming them down the road when we can. Just what is it about sexual trauma that makes it such a par ticularly heinous crime? It cuts to the core of a persons identity, rather than simply being medical professionals. As such, it can leave lasting ill effects. If left untreated, the physical and psychological effects of sexu al assault and rape can be devastating, sometimes even deadly, said Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards of Causes of death as the result of sexual violence include suicide, murder, and infection with the Murder of sexual assault and rape victims may be perpetrat ed by the rapist or as part of an honor killing by family members of the victim. A victim of a rape or other sex ual assault might become preg nant as a result of the rape. He or she could have trouble sleeping, changes in their appetite, or develop full-blown emotional problems, including post traumatic stress disorder, depression, substance abuse, or dependence. Individuals who have experienced sexual assault are at risk for other day-to-day problems, including arguing with family members and having problems at work, Dryden-Edwards stated. Why do people commit these ter rible crimes? The use of sex is not Janet Meyer, who holds a master of arts in psychology, published a paper on the root cases of sexual assault. She said that while underlying biological causes mostly in brain orientation may contrib ute, it is a minor factor. Biological facts may set the stage for learning, providing limits and possibilities rather than determining outcomes, she wrote. Developmental and envi ronmental factors likely play the larger role. Meyer goes on to identify the when committing sexual assault: Men who have been convicted of rape have been diagnosed with a wide variety of psychiatric and personality disorders, most often antisocial personality disorder. Sexually aggressive men are said to differ from other men in anti social tendencies, nonconformity, impulsivity and hypermasculinity. Yet, personality testing of con victed rapists has found no significant differences between sexual offenders and those incarcerated for nonsexual offenses. When research examines the personality characteristics of admitted sexu ally aggressive men who have not been arrested for sexual assault, the differences between these men and the general population are more subtle. Researchers consistently college-age males report being involved in a wide spectrum of sexually coercive behaviors. The degree of involvement in sexually coercive behavior appears to be related to personality measures of irresponsibility, a lack of social conscience, and a value orientation legitimizing aggression, particularly against women. When Meyer refers to hyper masculinity in her report, some may infer that military men may show this behavior more than others. The research into military versus civilian behavior is still in early stages, however. Women in general are primarily the victims of sexual trauma, and women suffer a higher percentage of victims in the military. What is surprising, however, is the number of men who anonymously reported assaults in the Pentagons 2012 survey, which showed unreported assaults vastly outnumbering reported ones. In its latest report on sexual assault, the Pentagon estimated that 26,000 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010. Of those cases, the Pen tagon says, 53 percent involved attacks on men, mostly by other men, according to James Dao in a report for The New York Times. Its easy for some people to sin gle out women and say: Theres VICTIMS from page 1 See VICTIMS page 7 Its easy for some people to single out women and say: Theres a small percentage of the force having this problem, said First Lt. Adam Cohen, who said he was raped by a superior this problem affects everyone. Both genders, of all ranks. Its a cultural problem, Dao reported. 8370


6 JANUARY 17, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE Dan Dellinger, national commander of the American Legion, paid a visit to the Brevard Veterans Council and Veterans Memorial Center last week as part of his duties to oversee Legion activities and initiatives around the nation. He was direct and vocal about how he, and the Legion, see their way forward in assisting veterans and active-duty military members in todays political climate. On the 2013 budget agreement in Congress: We are on top of revisions coming in the next two weeks that would rescind the reduction in COLA (cost of living er measures, Dellinger said. The other measures include a number of government initiatives, which have propelled the American Legion into the political theater, including closing military base commissary stores. I am totally against that, Dellinger said. Im taking up the battle on it. Too many service members cant make ends meet without the help of the commisfend our great nation if theyre not On what he sees as a training problem: There are only 26 active training brigades left, and theyre seen Marines driving around in golf carts. I mean, simulation can only go so far. On the state of VA medical facilities: I will go to VA hospitals and look into every corner. There are too many reports of dirty instruments, patients not getting the right treatment for every ones, and that is unacceptable. He was echoed emphatically by Art Schwabe, department commander the state head of Floridas American Legion. We want to expand the veterans voice in Congress, he said. There is strength in numbers. In his commanders testimony report to Congress in March, he said, he made it clear that troops veterans as a line item? Thats not right. Battle lines have been drawn, both commanders made clear. Veterans, and troops, are at risk of suffering under bad legislation. The Legion has made it clear that, in addition to its usual duties, taking action in national legislation will be a priority. According to The Daily Caller ( ), the House (of Representatives) voted 332-94 on Dec. 12 to approve its two-year budget deal, which slashes the eran retirees by 1 percent per year until the veterans turn 62 years of tion of America calculated that a veteran who retired at the E-7 pay Photo courtesy of Ted Wilson Legion head visits state; strong words for government Mary KemperSTAFF WRITERmkemper@veteranvoiceweekly.comSee COMMANDER page 9 Indian River Colony Club Toll free: 877-484-6178 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 8391


VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE JANUARY 17, 2014 7 a small percentage of the force having this problem, said First Lt. Adam Cohen, who said he was one wants to admit this problem affects everyone. Both genders, of all ranks. Its a cultural prob lem, Dao reported. Rick Lawson said that while he was in the Army National Guard in Washington in 2003 and 2004, he was repeatedly sexually bullied by a group of soldiers, including a sergeant who rubbed his groin into Mr. Lawsons bunk and pretended to cuddle with him. Later, during prepara tions for deployment to Iraq, one sergeant handcuffed him and put him in a headlock while another pretended to sodomize him, Mr. Lawson said, Dao reported. Several months after his unit arrived in Iraq in 2004, Mr. Law son decided to report the bully ing. His assailants were punished with reduced rank, Army records ployment while living near them on the same base. The Bay Pines VA Medical Cen ter near Tampa has a residential treatment program for sexual ly abused veterans. Dr. Carol OBrien, the chief of post trau matic stress disorder programs, said, Men dont acknowledge being victims of sexual assault, according to Daos report. And in yet another underreported twist, there does exist a small number of men being assaulted by women, according to Daos report. Richard H. Ruffert, 50, said his boss in an Army reserve unit in Texas forced him to have sex with her by threatening to give him poor reviews. He said the sex continued for about two months in the late 1990s, until he at tempted suicide. He then told a commander and, after a lengthy investigation, his boss was trans ferred. But he believes that she was never punished. He retired from the military in 2004 and spent several years struggling with nightmares, drug addiction and homelessness, which he blames on the sexual assault. Therapy and working with veterans have helped him, he said. In addition to The Invisible War, another documentary, Justice Denied, concerned with the trauma experienced by male victims, was released in June 2013. Together, the two movies helped lead to Congressional scrutiny of the crime, and to underscore the fact that in the military, men and women both are suffering. And in the military, there are unique factors complicating the issue. Bar none, the biggest is the chain of command. (The) facts (of military sexual trauma) are horrifying enough, but when institutions like the military, closed systems that lack oversight, do not validate the experience of the rape survivor, the perpetrators get to continue their criminal behavior without consequence, wrote Michael F. Matthews, a former airman, for The New York Times. And from many who participat ed in the Pentagons anonymous survey, retaliation by command ers was a big factor in deciding not to report sexual trauma. From Daos report: Many experts believe that the repeal of dont ask, dont tell will cause many more men to report sexual assault. That was the case with Cohen, who says he was he had met in graduate school. At the time, Cohen was preparing to After initially remaining silent plaint with Air Force investigators in late 2011, after the ban was rescinded. But the investigation took a surprising turn: after Co tour in Afghanistan, he learned of the investigation and was no longer viewed as a victim. The lieutenant, 29, now faces a court martial trial on multiple charges, including conduct unbe gators apparently used information provided voluntarily by the lieutenant in bringing the charges against him, a possible violation of his rights. The military recently told Cohen that it was reopening the sexual assault case. In the meantime, he faces a trial in July that he views nal complaint against a superior The Air Force denies that. I think the attention to this is sue is absolutely needed, Cohen said. But its a little bit late. We still have attacks, and we still have retaliation, Dao reported. Another factor complicating sex ual trauma for service members is worry over how their families will survive if they are reduced in rank or discharged for reporting their crimes. And, for another, many fear losing not only rank, but all they worked hard for to a loss of prestige, which experts See VICTIMS page 8 VICTIMS from page 5 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 8339


8 JANUARY 17, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE point toward as one of the key components of a persons identity. In terms of gender, the military is a leveler many, if not most, women service members are ei ther the primary breadwinners or a necessary second-income earner, the same as men. In womens cases, however, it is more likely they will be the sole breadwin ner with children yet another unique complicating factor for military sexual trauma. And as for children who may have been traumatized by a service member, the numbers have not begun to be tabulated. Indeed, the whole issue of military sexual trauma is, itself, in the earliest stages of study. Right now, experts are correlat ing statistics from the general population to the military, but, given the unique factors affecting service members, more focused studies need to be done, some psychological and psychiatric experts are beginning to agree. If the scope of the problem is advocates for change say theyre encouraged by efforts in Washington. The legislation newly passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama is a big step in the right direction, according to the Service Womens Action Network, a key player in getting legislation enacted. Anu Bhagwati, executive di rector and former Marine Corps captain, said in a press release, Chief among our policy goals going forward is moving sexual assault case disposition authority into the hands of military prose cutors and opening civil courts to service members who are victims of sexual violence. We will also continue to apply pressure on VA to reform the disability claims process for victims of military sexual trauma. Thanks to Bhagwatis organization and many others, the legis lation contains the following key changes, according to its release: Prohibiting the military from recruiting anyone convicted of a sex offense Mandatory separation of convicted sex offenders Insurance coverage for abortions in cases of rape or incest for service women and military family members Retention of restricted report documentation for 50 years if so desired by the victim The creation of Special Vic tims Units to improve investi gation, prosecution and victim support in connection with child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault cases Allowing victims to return to active duty after separation to help prosecute sex offenders The creation of an independent review panel composed of civilian and military members that will closely examine the way that the Department of Defense investi cates sexual assaults Required sexual assault prevention training in pre-command Improved data collection and reporting by the military on sexu al assault and sexual harassment cases Annual command climate assessment surveys to track indi vidual attitudes toward sexual assault and sexual harassment A review of unrestricted sexual assault reports and the nature of any subsequent separations of victims who made those reports bers of the options available for the correction of military records due to any retaliatory personnel action after making a report of sexual assault or sexual harassment Requirement for the Depart ment of Defense to establish a comprehensive policy for sexual harassment prevention and response Language that will allow better oversight and tracking of the implementation of sexual assault provisions from prior Defense Authorizations in order to ensure they are being enforced properly Whether the legislative reforms will be effective remains to be seen. In the meantime, those in the trenches of helping those devastated by military sexual trauma continue to assist the survivors in any way they can. gave a showing of The Invisible War, shortly after its release, and hosted a panel from the Veterans Administration with guest veterans to tell their stories. She said it was very helpful for survi vors to hear they were not alone. As the issue continues to expand in scope, with more and more men and women coming forward to report their own assaults, Fetterman said shes hopeful her organization can help even more of those in need. Were beginning a group soon for partners of sexual trauma survivors, she said, which will be a big step forward for everyone who is involved. Small steps, it may seem but important ones, advocates say, sexual trauma. 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VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE JANUARY 17, 2014 9 grade, equivalent to a sergeant 1st class, at age 40 would lose $83,000 in post-retirement purchasing power, while an O-5 seAfter it passed the Senate, President Obama signed the bill into law on Dec. 26. A lot of members didnt bother reading it, especially in the House, said retired Col. Mike Barron, a spokesman for the organization. There was such a rush to get out of town, there was no heads-up. The staffs were not consulted. This was a backroom deal, and folks wanted the overall budget agreement to go through and not hold it up, Barron said. Republican Rep. Jeff Mill er (Pensacola), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Commit tee, has proposed two bills to reduce the impact of the cuts for veterans and also to repeal the provision, respectively. H.R. 3789 and H.R. 3790 have yet to be takMonday (Jan. 6). Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire) has also proposed a bill repealing the provision. While politics are at the forefront of the Legions activities currently, it remains a large and powerful force for assistance wherever its members see a need. Traditionally, the American Legion has assisted veterans and active-duty military members behind the scenes. Its programs are, well, legion. If you pay a visit to programs, youll soon be overwhelmed by what the Legion supports. Veterans youth are represented in a variety of areas, from baseball to scholarships to civic education to sports. Then theres scholarships. And Legion Riders. Legion College. Volunteering. Amateur Radio Club. Homeless Veterans. Honor Veterans. National Emergency Fund. Operation Comfort Warriors. The Legions motto seems to be: If we arent already helping on a particular issue, we will. The Legions usual missions are still in place. In todays climate, however, laws regarding troops have taken a more prominent place. The Legion, Dellinger said, is and will remain heavily investour troops and veterans have given so much to earn, he said. Dellinger is a personable man, direct, and focused. He cuts to the chase in conversation. He is of average height, brown-haired, with piercing blue eyes that seem to emphasize he means what he says. A resident of Vienna, Va., he was elected national commander of the 2.4 million member American Legion on Aug. 29, 2013, in Houston, during the Legions 95th annual convention. His military history ( commander/bio): He became an uating with a degree in criminol ogy from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He served at Fort Benning, Ga., during the Vietnam War and entered the U.S. Army Reserve in 1972, separating from the service in 1984 at the rank of captain. A member of the Dyer-Gunnell American Legion Post 180 in Vienna since 1982, Dellinger was made a life member in 1990. He has served as post, district and department commander and chaired numerous committees. At the national level, he chaired the Legislative, National Security and Economics commissions as well as the Aerospace Committee. He served as chairman of the Legislative Council and Membership and Post Activities Committee. He has been a member of the Foreign Relations Council, Policy Coordination, Veterans Planning and Coordinating committees as well as the Legislative Council. 2013, Dillinger has already crisscrossed the country many times. Any doubts he is not committed to todays troops, in addition to the Legions traditional initiatives, are quickly dispelled. Indeed he tells you himself. Here in Florida, the Legion is on the same track. Schwabe, a stocky man with salt-and-pepper hair, is halfway into his one-year term as commander of the Florida American Legion. Each commander, he said, brings his own priority program to the table, and Schwabes is the Child Organ Transplant Association. He spoke of it while Dillinger was touring the museum and its grounds. need transplants right now, he said, adding that the Florida Legion has already helped at least two. Theres a little girl named Chloe (last name omitted for privacy), who was 1 years old when we were able to arrange her heart ror, Schwabe said, smiling. Parker, also 1, received a kidney transplant, and youd never know it was the same kid. He was quick to emphasize, however, that the hundreds the Legion oversees. In keeping with the theme of getting more involved with government, Schwabe spoke of Florida Legions Boys (and Girls) State Program, which takes place in Tallahassee each July. Some 500 boys and 300 girls from around the state stay at a dormitory at Florida State University free of charge, Schwabe said. There, they learn how government is run from the city to the state level. They form cities, colonies, state legislatures they pass laws the whole gamut, he said. Its all part of helping make kids good citizens. Going forward, Schwabe said he wants to get more veterans to understand what we can do for them. We want to expand their voice in Congress. And we want to COMMANDER from page 6 See COMMANDER page 10 @Home Tech Support Industry Certified IT Technician Port Saint Lucie, FL 34986 361-6880196 Home Networking Solutions File sharing Media sharing WIFI Setup and security Home Entertainment Center/Computer Integration Enjoy media/pictures, Netflix, Hulu, etc from your computer, on your TV Computer Optimization Services Virus/Spyware/Malware Detection and Removal Hardware and Soft ware Upgrades Backups/Restoration Tutoring services available: The internet: how to find and use what you need Windows: All Versions MS Office 2010 Flat, reasonable rate service. $45 per hour, 1 hour minimum Tech Support r d2 361 688 0196 SUPPORTHome Networking Solutions Computer Optimization Services 10% OFF First time customers. St. Lucie and Martin county ONLY. 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10 JANUARY 17, 2014 VETERAN VOICE THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE opportunity. The company is also involved in charitable work in the com munity. They are supporters of the Humane Society, 4-H, the Treasure Coast Food Bank and the St. Lucie County Fair Associ ation. Recently, they worked with the Philippine-American Society in Port St. Lucie to donate tarps, hammer and building supplies to victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. The company also likes to think green. We recycle cardboard, bottles and cans, he said. The less the better. The company also accepts waste oil and scrap batteries, which they will dispose of properly at no charge. We recycle batteries to bona one has some oil in their garage, we will dispose of it for free. For Joey Miller, it is about running a business the way he always has. Our philosophy has remained the same since our humble beginnings in Fort Pierce, he said. We provide honest and reliable service to everyone who walks through our doors. For more information, visit the website, www.slbt.comBATTERY from page 3help them in their daily lives. Dillinger echoed that sentiment in his parting remarks to Legion members, before heading back to national headquarters in Indianapolis. As I go around the country and see our vets, I want you to know that its extremely important what here. Thumbs up to everyone. COMMANDER from page 9 The Greatest Generation invited to gather in Venice The Inaugural Venice Veterans Gala will be held Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Venice Community Center located at 326 Nokomis Ave., South Venice, at 2 p.m. This event is a Salute to ALL United States active Military & Veterans with a Special Tribute to the Greatest Generation, ac cording to a press release issued by www.catholiccharitiesdov. org. The gala will feature a USO style s swing dance to the music of Lorri Hafer and the Ten Oclock Band, food and beverages, a silent auction, a display of military paraphernalia and classic cars and much more. If someone has a classic car or military vehicle to display, email for more information. Simultaneously, the Wings of Freedom Tour, featuring the B-17, B-24 and P-51 historic aircraft, will take place at the Venice Municipal Airport. Partic ipants are encouraged to attend both venues. Event planners are looking for World War II veterans who are interested in attending and participating in the special recognition. Any World War II veteran interested in being part of the celebration may contact Knights of Columbus member Dick Maier at (941) 496-8181 or Proceeds from the Venice VetHousing of Catholic Charities, a residence for needy veterans and his or her family, and Catholic Charities programs and services that assist veterans and their families. Proceeds from the gala also will support the Venice Museum and Archives. A small donation will go to the B-26 Marauder Historical Society and the American Rosie the Riveters Association. (Catholic Charities press re lease) FOR VETERAN VOICE 8314 All furnishings were designed for this home and are negotiableFor more information and pictures go to: 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 AD8317


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