The Fourth of July can be good or Bad for a Veteran

(Sorry this is so long! So much news, and important information.)

Very busy news day. Read to get caught up with the VA, and other news. You can click on the underlined words, and it will take you to more news pertaining to that subject:

Virtual July Fourth Celebrations: Celebrate the Fourth of July with the 40th annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth which will air on PBS on Saturday, July 4, 2020, from 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. ET. This year’s concert performance was pre-taped without live audiences, as the concert will not be held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. You can also celebrate with the National Archives’ first-ever virtual Fourth of July celebration. This year’s festivities will include a reading of the Declaration of Independence, as well as other family-friendly programming.

House Holds Hearing on VA Reproductive Health: On Wednesday, members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee and Women Veterans Task Force conducted a hearing on veterans’ access to reproductive health care. Chief Officer of Women’s Health Services Dr. Patricia Hayes and Deputy Director of Reproductive Health Dr. Alicia Christy responded to questions regarding VA’s policies and procedures on in vitro fertilization, maternity care, contraceptive care, termination of pregnancy under extreme circumstances, and research on the reproductive health of both men and women. In a statement submitted for the record, the VFW cited results from a VFW survey of women veterans on gender-specific services, expanding teleradiology to include mammography, extending newborn care coverage, and ensuring VA prioritizes veterans’ reproductive health. Watch the hearingRead the VFW’s testimony.

 Legislation Introduced to Recognize Early Vietnam Veterans: Sens. John Boozman (R-AR) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced VFW-supported S. 4086, the Forgotten Vietnam Veterans Act. This important legislation is the Senate companion bill to H.R. 6082, and would allow veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955, to Feb. 27, 1961, to receive wartime benefits. “More than 3,000 veterans served in Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955, to Feb. 27, 1961, 10 of whom were killed in action,” said VFW National Legislative Service Deputy Director Matthew Doyle. The VFW thanks Sens. Boozman and Tester for their efforts to expand benefits for veterans

VA Simplifies Travel Reimbursement System: VA is implementing a new system for veterans and eligible beneficiaries to submit and track transportation reimbursement claims using VA’s secure web-based portal, Access VA. The Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS), which is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year, will simplify how eligible veterans and beneficiaries claim mileage reimbursement for travel and travel-related expenses. The roll out of this system is scheduled from July through November 2020. While BTSSS will replace the use of kiosks, in-person claims and hard-copy submissions will still be an option.

DPAA Returns Remains of South Korean Service Members:The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) repatriated the remains of 147 South Korean service members who died during the Korean War. The DPAA and South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification worked together in a joint review of the remains. This is the largest repatriation of South Korean service members to date

 VA Launches COVID-19 Screening Tool: On Monday, VA announced the launch of a digital COVID-19 screening tool to streamline veteran access to medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Veterans, their caregivers, and VA health care employees can use this tool on their mobile phones before entering facilities. It takes less than a minute to complete and ideally will help to reduce wait times. “This screening tool emphasizes the ongoing importance of VA’s investment in digital modernization, as it went from initial concept to national availability in less than two weeks,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “In addition to providing a broad range of innovations and improvements that significantly benefit the veterans we serve; our culture of innovation allows us to respond quickly to urgent and evolving needs.”


With the 4th of July coming up this week end, I urge you to take care and not let the noise bother you. Just last night at 11:39pm, a very loud firecracker went off right by my bedroom window. It was the neighbor behind me. Took me a long time to be able to go back to sleep.


I want to tell you about a vital phone conference program that is going on right now. It is called Warriors for Life. There is a person in charge who shares the thoughts of the day and then those who want to speak can share. It is a great way to listen and learn. You do not have to talk, just listen to other veterans and how they handle things. Here is the information to join in:

Here are the Warriors for Life (WFL) Meeting days and times.  Veterans, First Responders, Service Members, and Caregivers are welcome to join the private Facebook Page as well by sending me a request a to join the page:
Here are the days and meeting times:

WFL Virtual Meetings Line-Up – TIMES Each Night:

4:30 PM PT, 5:30 PM MT, 6:30 PM CT, & 7:30 PM ET

**Saturday Nights – Host & Founder COL (Ret) Mikel Burroughs) – :

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:

**Sunday Nights – Host Veteran & Therapist PO3 Christopher St. John

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:

** Monday Nights – Host Reiki Master Kirk Poe

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:

**Tuesday Nights (Healing Through Faith) – Host Veteran SGT Steve McFarland

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:

** Wednesday Nights – (Looking for a new Facilitator)

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:

**Thursday Nights – Host Veteran Derrick Iozzio

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:

Here is a link to the Victory for Veterans, Inc website and information about the Warriors for Life (WFL) program and through this link they can send me a private message:


How are You doing? Do you feel lost and wander around in a fog? You certainly aren’t alone. There are 8,425 fellow veterans here and have your six. If you are overwhelmed, please get help!! Yes, there are those who think that since we are veterans we should tough it out. That is a lie.

Here is the connection for help. It is a 24/7 emergency help line.:



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You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

If You Are A Veteran and Struggling, Get Help!

What a ride!!! The last few days things have been hopping. Many new followers. I told you in my last post that we had just passed 8,000 followers. Well, just today alone there are 23 new followers and the day is only half over.

I know why it is happening, and with your help it will grow even faster.

There are far too many veterans, and current service members who are hurting.

This statistic is for real: There are 22 veterans who take their own lives EVERY day. Not every year or month, EVERY day!

That is why so many fellow veterans are coming here. They are searching for help and hope, two very important four letter words. I am hope to provide that here.


I will be sharing a short interview excerpt today. I have many in my book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of life.”

The book has many endorsements from many levels of ranks in the military, from Sargeants. through Generals. They all know this book is much needed to help our veterans.


This interview was done will stopping to eat lunch. I was driving along and decided to stop at a Carl’s Jr. I went in a got my order. As I was walking to my table I passed a Vietnam veteran. I knew he was in that war by the hat he was wearing. I thanked him for his service and sat down.

As I watched him I could see he was in pain. He had a cane, and looked like he had some battle scars.

When he was finished, he struggled to get to the garbage can to throw his waste away. He had to come right by me and I asked him if he wanted to sit and talk. He looked like he didn’t want to do that until I told him I was a veteran like him. He sat down and we exchanged some idle talk, and I asked him if would share some of his experiences.

He was able to do that and here is his story. I will not do this in a question and answer format like I may in the book, here is his testimony:

He told me he was a crewmember on a battleship that was stationed off of the coast of Vietnam. They were there to send helicopters to shore to rescue men, and to get much needed food and supplies to the villages.

This was a 24/7 operation. One of the days his very best friend, who was a helicopter pilot, was taking off from the ship with a load of supplies. His helicopter sputtered ; the blades stopped working and he and his co pilot crashed into the ocean right after take off. The helicopter sank very quickly sending both men to their death. They couldn’t even get them, because the water was too deep.

My friend had lost his very best friend.

I asked him what was the worst moment other than his friends death. He said it was when he had to walk through the terminal at the airport. People were screaming at him, spitting on him, and calling him a killer.

He felt like he had said enough because he was getting very emotional. We exchanged email addresses, and he left. I could see him struggling through the window and he walked to his hotel.

There is more to this interview in the book.

How about you? Are you struggling like my friend here? Have you lost a buddy? Were you wounded and are still suffering from it.

You are not alone!

There are many who are suffering each day from PTSD, TBI, anxiety, depression, etc.

I you need help get it!! Do not think you are weak to seek help. Help is availabe and they are good at helping.

Here s a help line to get the help you need:


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You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

Never Forget Our Service Members

Wow! We just passed 8,000 followers this morning. Welcome to all the new followers.

This last weekend was Memorial Day weekend. We honored all our brothers and sisters who have served, and are serving.

I got to thinking about that. It is great to honor them, but what about the ones who are sitting in trenches.? How about those who are in hospitals all over the world? Many are alone. Many are battling depression, anxiety, fear, and are wondering what tomorrow will bring.

We can’t forget them. They are our heroes too.

I also thought of the loved ones at home who are praying that their son or daughter may be kept from harm, or will recover from their wounds.

One thing I always remembered as a service member, was how important my family was to me while I was in South Korea. Talk about lonely! Yes, I was surrounded with many other service members, but they were not family.

I wished I could have seen them just for a moment. There wasn’t any Skype, or Zoom back then. No cell phones. Just letters from home, and those were very few.

It was hard at best to be content.

If you have loved ones in harm’s way. May God bless them and keep them safe.


It seems to me that many may just take the weekend as an extra tme to play. Too many don’t even know what the day means. Yes, it good to show recognition to family who have passed, but it is also for those who helped you have a comfortable life, and have freedom.

I am a die heart, old veteran, who always cries when I hear Taps. I heard it several times this weekend, and it tore me up. Taps is the final call for many. May they rest in peace.


Here’s hoping that you had a fabulous weekend with loved ones either on the phone, or through Zoom, etc.

I really enjoy sharing with you through these posts!!

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You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!