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Veteran Intel

Has the U.S. Army gone bonkers?, Part 2

Chuck Yarling

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Over the last four years, news reports have revealed the U.S. Army is not in tune with the rest of the U.S. The following stories add to those listed in Part 1 all of which substantiate this statement and indicate that the Army has indeed gone bonkers.

4.  West Point Investigating Photo Of Black Cadets With Raised Fists

The Army Times printed an article on May 5, 2016, that showed a picture of a sixteen Black Cadets with their fists raised as they posed in front of a barracks located at U.S. Military Academy, known as West Point. The picture was part of their actions of “recreating “old corps” photos, or the black-and-white photos of graduates past.”

However, the raised fist has been in the news for months now as being associated with Black Lives Matter, “an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people.“

Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker, West Point’s director of public affairs, released a statement via email saying, “We can confirm that the cadets in this photo are members of the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2016.”

John Burk, an Army veteran who served in the Iraq War, said in his blog, “This overt display of the black lives matter movement is not, in itself wrong, but to do so while in uniform is completely unprofessional and not in keeping with what the USMA stands for, and as well as violating the DOD directive 1344.10 which states:

“-A member of the Armed Forces on active duty may:
4.1.1.3. Join a partisan or nonpartisan political club and attend its meetings when NOT iN uniform, subject to the restrictions of subparagraph 4.1.2.4. (See DoD Instruction 1334.1 (Reference (c).)

“-A member of the Armed forces shall not:
-4.1.2.12. Display a partisan political sign, poster, banner, or similar device visible to the public at one’s residence on a military installation, even if that residence is part of a privatized housing development.”

Sue Fulton, a graduate of West Point and former captain, now serves as the first female West Point graduate to be the chairman of the academy’s Board of Visitors.

Fulton has admitted she knows some of the women personally. “I would not have re-tweeted the raised-fist photo because I am well aware that our culture views a black fist very differently from a white fist…Unfortunately, in their youth and exuberance, it appears they didn’t stop to think that it might have any political context, or any meaning other than their own feeling of triumph.”

And she criticized Burk: “I am sorry that someone with a blog chose to display this one photo out of context, and to call them racists.”

The question is: “Is it really out of context?” If the sole purpose of these photographs by the cadets were indeed to pose for an “Old Corps photo, a long-held tradition at the Academy”, then this particular photo would never have been taken in the first place.

Jeff Edwards, a Marine veteran and now blogger, said in his article entitled, These Officers and Leaders Will Regret This Picture 20 Years From Now, “Ladies, what if rather than a fist in the air you had a hand extended outwards saying come join me?” And he concluded with, “Are you an activist college student or a leader of men and women in uniform?  The mattering of lives depends on it and I pray that you choose wisely.  The older version of yourself may not treat the younger version so kindly othewise.”

It should be noted that as of May 11, 2016, no charges have been made against these sixteen graduating cadets, although “making such a highly charged political statement while in uniform is a clear violation of the United States Code of Military Justice, and they should have been brought up on charges.”

And Burk ended his comments with very appropriate words to the rest of us: “Are these the type of “leaders” you want moving down to the line and leading your sons and daughters, graduates with an agenda?”

Hooah!

5. Army forces ROTC cadets to wear high heels.

In April, 2014, Army ROTC cadets at Arizona State University participated in an optional “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes”. Unfortunately, it became manditory in 2015. The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate their disapproval of “rape culture”. And this was no April Fools joke.

As one pundit stated charitably, it’s “freaking insane!”

To make matters worse, cadets knew that if they didn’t participate, their efficiency rating wound be dinged, thereby preventing them “from being selected to go on active duty rather than receiving a 90-day active duty for training billet and moved into the Guard or Reserve.”

In addition, the cadets had to purchase their “new shoes”. However, it’s against “Army Regulations to require soldiers to buy items of clothing for wear while on duty.” In other words, the whole thing should never happened in the first place since it violated army regs.

Go figure!

6. Documents Reveal US Army Indoctrinated Soldiers on Dangers of ‘White Privilege’.

Judicial Watch (JW) is a “conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.”

On March 9, 2016, JW released a report revealing in April 2015, that “400 soldiers in the 67th Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia, were subjected to a “white privilege” briefing, including a PowerPoint presentation instructing the attendees: “Our society attaches privilege to being white and male and heterosexual …”. In other words, they learned “it doesn’t matter what social class you come from.”

Yes, it seems that instead of being trained to hate our enemies, our soldiers were being taught to hate the different races with whom they serve!

In a news release, Tom Fitton, president of JW, said, “Outrageous — that is the only word to describe this type of raw racist indoctrination…the Obama administration undermines the morale of our military with morally repugnant ‘equal opportunity training’ that makes many soldiers feel unwelcome because they are the wrong sex, race, religion or aren’t part of a politically correct group.”

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said in the August 2015 presidential debate,
“The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things. It’s not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some people think would make us a different country and more diverse.”

Most active duty military and veterans will wholeheartedly agree with the governor’s statement!

And, yes, perhaps the Army really is going bonkers. And that’s a shame!!!

Chuck Yarling has had many titles in his career thus far: veteran, engineer, math teacher, consultant, technical writer, book author and publisher, and triathlete. He was a member the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Bugles Across America, which plays Taps at military funerals and special events. Spec. 5 Chuck Yarling served with the 26th Combat Engineering Battalion in Vietnam as an awards clerk. His service with the U.S. Army resulted in being awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Medal. You may reach Chuck at [email protected]

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Politics

President Trump Signs An Executive Order To Combat Veteran Suicide

Chuck Yarling

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On January 9, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled, “Presidential Executive Order on Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life” This EO is designed to combat veterans suicide that is prevalent among servicemembers during the time they are adjusting to a new life outside the military.

Here are five important attributes of this EO.

• #1: It identified that the largest number of suicides of our military personnel occur within the first year during their transition from military to civilian life.

• #2: It is during this time that the rate of veterans suicide is two times higher than the overall rate for service members.

• #3 Care may be provided at VA or by a private facility, depending on wait times where you live. This section re-enforces the Veteran’s Choice Act of 2017 which allows

Any veteran who lives 40 miles or more from the closest VA medical facility, or who faces a 30-day or more wait time, can seek out treatment from a private facility and the VA will handle the payment.

• #4: All service members leaving the military will receive screening for mental health issues for one year.

and

• #5: Implementation of the EO is being made at the highest levels of the administration via the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.At the meeting, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, remarked,

“Currently, 40 percent of those servicemembers had coverage in the VA to get mental health. Now 100 percent will have that coverage, and it’s the full array of services that the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs will be able to provide in terms of mental health coverage.”

This EO is excellent news for transitioning servicemembers. Indeed, it will help make their future in the civilian workforce a success.

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Veteran Intel

Heads-up: Veterans Own Businesses Too

You may have bought from one & not known it!

Chuck Yarling

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Christmas shopping is now over. But an interesting question is this: did you shop at any businesses owned by veterans? Yes, indeed, veterans do own businesses and it may be surprising that you most likely indeed shopped or used services provided by one or more companies this past Christmas.

Why? The National Veteran-Owned Business Association estimates there are 3 million veteran-owned businesses in the country. For example, here are ten large companies that were founded by veterans:

• Federal Express (FedEx) was founded by Fred Smith, a Marine Corps veteran who served for four years. FedEx acquired Kinko’s in 2004, which is now called FedEx Office.

• Walmart. Yes, the world’s largest company has 11,695 stores in 28 countries. It was founded by Sam and Bud Walton in 1962. Both brothers are veterans: Sam served in the Army and Bud in the Navy.

• Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company began in 1957 and was started by Jack Taylor, a decorated WW II Navy pilot.

• Nike is the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoe and apparel. It was founded in 1964 by co-founder Phil Knight, who served in the Army and Army Reserve.

• RE/MAX, short for Real Estate Maximums, was co-founded by the Linigers, Dave and his wife. Dave served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era.

• Amway North America was co-founded by Richard Devos. Devos was in the Army Air Corps during WW II.

• GoDaddy is an international Internet Domain Registar.and web hosting company. The company was founded by Bob Parson, a Vietnam Veteran who served in the Marine Corps.

• Universal Health Services is one of the largest hospital management companies in the United States. It was founded by Alan B. Miller who graduated from college as an officer after serving four years in the Army ROTC.

• Sperry Shoes was founded by inventor, businessman, and photographer, Paul Sperry. Sperry was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve.

• Sports Clips Haircuts was founded by Gordon Logan and his wife. Logan was an Aircraft Commander in the Air Force. Sports Clips is most widely known to us veterans because of their free haircuts on Veterans Day. In addition, they donate $1 from every haircut service on Veterans Day. The money is donated to scholarships for veterans.

So there you have it. Did you actually shop for Christmas presents at any of these veteran-owned companies? I did.

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Military

Here Are Three Shocking Reports On Veterans Suicide

Chuck Yarling

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The VA released an extensive report this past September which provided data on veterans suicide by states, age, gender, as well as the most common method of suicide. The data was extremely disturbing.

When faced with these statistics, VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin commented      

These findings are deeply concerning, which is why I made suicide prevention my top clinical priority. I am committed to reducing Veteran suicides through support and education. We know that of the 20 suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 are not under VA care. This is a national public health issue that requires a concerted, national approach.

In August 2017, the VA published a separate report entitled Facts About Suicide Among Women VeteransThe data here is disturbing as well:

From 2001 through 2014, the suicide rate among women Veterans increased to a greater degree (62.4 percent) than the suicide rate among male Veterans (29.7%).

From 2001 through 2014, the suicide rate among women Veterans increased to a greater degree (62.4 percent) than the suicide rate among male Veterans (29.7 percent).

The rate of suicide is higher among women who report having experienced military sexual trauma (MST) — that is, sexual assault or sexual harassment during military service — compared to those who have not experienced MST .

And finally, an older report cannot be ignored. In August. 2016, the Office of Suicide Prevention of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a report entitled, Suicide Among Veterans And Other Americans (2001-2014).

This investigation was one the most intensive ever completed and certainly the most comprehensive one on veterans suicides. Here are some of the shocking statistics:

More than 55 million records from 1979 to 2014 from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. were examined.

In 2014, Veterans accounted for 18% of all deaths by suicide among U.S. adults and constituted 8.5% of the U.S. adult population (ages 18 and older) .

In 2010, Veterans accounted for 20.1% of all deaths by suicide and represented 9.6% of the U.S. adult population.

The burden of suicide resulting from firearm injuries remains high. In 2014, about 67% of all Veteran deaths by suicide were the result of firearm injuries.

In 2014, about 65% of all Veterans who died by suicide were ages 50 and older.

After adjusting for differences in age and sex , risk for suicide was 22% higher among Veterans compared with U.S. civilian adults. (2014)

After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 19% higher among male Veterans compared with U.S. civilian adult men . (2014)

In 2014, rates of suicide were highest among younger Veterans (age s 18 – 29) and lowest among older Veterans (ages 60 and older ) .

And one final statistic: a firearm was the most common method of suicide for both men and women.

Important Notes

If you are aware of any serviceman member or veteran who may be at risk for suicide, here are four resources that you can use to help that person:

1. Any veteran or active duty military personnel having thoughts of suicide should call the VA Helpline: 800.273.8255 or log in to their website, Veterans Crisis Line.

2. You can also find a nearby Suicide Crisis Center by going to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8355 anytime 24/7.

3. Suicide Prevention for Military, Veterans and Support Group.

and

4. Hidden Wounds, a veterans suicide prevention network built by veterans.

Please don’t delay your actions. You may save a life!

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