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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Welcome Home Military Veterans

Military Veterans (THANK YOU)

There are some survivors of the Vietnam War that have medals to show for it. There are those that have received Honorable Discharge. We want to always remember our veterans, because they gave their lives for our country.

Veterans Day Appreciation

Military veterans can be honored any time throughout the year. Saying thank you to a military veteran can mean so much to them. I am so proud to say that I am in a military family which include nieces, nephews, brother-in-laws, sister-in-law, my pastor, and most important of all my husband. My husband is a proud soldier. Although, my husband is a very private person, he perks right up when there is discussion about the military. He shared a few things that I am sharing with you.

Herbicidal Warfare

Unfortunately many of the Vietnam Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange while in Vietnam. It contained dioxin, an extremely toxic chemical.

Agent Orange

Agent Orange is the code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of it's herbicidal warfare from 1961-1971. A defoliant is any chemical sprayed or dusted on plants to cause it's leaves to fall off. It was used to destroy Vietnam's forest cover and food supply. Unfortunately  many Veterans were exposed to this as the government sprayed.  There was no umbrella for the Vets to cover themselves.  Up to 200,000 Vietnam veterans could be eligible for disability compensation for disease now associated with Agent Orange.

According to Wikipedia.com studies have shown that veterans who served in the South during the Vietnam War have increased rates of cancer, nerve, digestion, skin and respiratory disorders, and many more illnesses and diseases, as a result of exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin. They are eligible for compensation and treatment.  

According the Departmentof Veterans Affair as of October 30, 2010, eligible Vietnam-era Veterans exposed to herbicides and disabled by chronic b-cell, leukemia's, Parkinson's disease, Diabetes Mellitus (Type2) or ischemic heart disease, may begin receiving disability and health care benefits on approved claims. These are just a few of the diseases resulting from being exposed to Agent Orange. Veterans may do so by applying at the Veterans Administration's Fast Track Claims Processing System. 

Agent Orange Exposure

Herbicides were sprayed in all 4 military zones of Vietnam.More than 19 million gallons of various herbicide combinations were used between 1961 and 1971. 

These Veterans do not need to show that they were exposed to Agent Orange to receive the disability compensation for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure. Veterans Administration has already recognized certain cancers and other health problems that military personnel incurred while in Vietnam.

American and Vietnam plaintiff's have filed numerous lawsuits in the United States courts seeking compensation for exposure to Agent Orange. Some lawsuits have accused chemical companies of war crimes for selling Agent Orange to the military.

Women Veterans

Women veterans can also receive health care services. At each Veterans Administration Medical Center nationwide, a Women Veterans Program Manager is available to assist women Veterans. Health services may include mental health, sexual abuse counseling, military sexual trauma, and much more.

Honoring Veterans Today

There are those that are honoring veterans. On Veterans Day veterans have the opportunity to eat FREE at numerous restaurants. Veterans are also honored with parades, flag-folding ceremonies and much more. Iraq, Afghanistan, and World War veterans are honored also. It is just great to see the camaraderie not just in Michigan, but in numerous states. Although Veterans Day is highly recognized, there are homeless organizations that are ongoing to care for the homeless veterans. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 47% of Vietnam veterans are homeless. 

Disability compensation benefits

Veterans exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam may be eligible for a monthly payment, a cost-free examination with no requirement for a co-payment. Veterans can expect a face-to-face consultation to discus the results and a follow-up letter.

To Contact Veterans Administration about benefits you can call the following listed below:

Toll-free Helpline: 1-800-749-8387, Press 3

Agent Orange Registry Health Exam: 1-877-222-8387 (Ask to speak to the Environmental Health Coordinator or Patient Care Advocate)

Compensation and Other Benefits: 1-800-827-1000

To Go In person for compensation and other benefits, go to the site listed below to find an office near you.


I had never heard the term Points-man until now. A points-man in the army goes out ahead of his men to scout out any danger such as booby traps set by the enemy. My husband recalls leading a four-company battalion of about 500 soldiers. He noted that his company was the first of the battalion to go into battle that particular day. I can only imagine what it was like.

Tunnel Rat

This is pretty much like it sounds. Just like rats may have tunnels, there are human tunnels that the soldiers will crawl into and check for hidden weapons or hidden enemies. The tunnel rat will carry a 45 pistol and a flashlight while doing this.

DD-214 Form

The DD-214 Form is a form that contains all of your military history including all of the awards that you have received.

I applaud those women veterans that have left their families to join the military. I was amazed that during my previous employment, I was working with previous military employers from the military both men and women. It was an awesome experience. I could note the discipline, organization, and other great qualities that they possessed.

You will always see the American Flag raised at our home outdoors. They are always replaced when they become worn. In addition, I am proud to say that my husband has received all of the following medals:

Bronze Star Medal

This is one of the Honorable awards that any army soldier can receive. This award is for Meritorious Achievement in Grand Operations Against Hostile Forces.

National Defense Service Medal

This medal is for honorable active duty for soldiers during 1950-54, 1961-74, 1990-95,2001-TB.

US. Vietnam Service Medal

Soldiers that served in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia or Thailand between 1965-73 received this award.

Vietnam Campaign Medal

A soldier that served 6 months in the Republic of Vietnam between 1965-73, or was wounded, captured or killed in action during that time period receives that award.

Combat Infantry Badge

Soldiers that are expert riflemen in the army receive this award.

I recall one day going into a store. My husband wore his military cap with all of his badges. As he opened the door for myself and the lady behind me to walk through, this lady opened the opposite door and told him to go in first and she thanked him for the service to our country. These types of attitudes are really appreciated by war veterans. It definitely was a welcome surprise for me. In addition, I have observed those that will tell veterans "Welcome Home." I have even seen others say to veterans, "Thank you for all you have done for our country." In fact, a lady just recently did that. The most memorable time was when my husband and I were at an event. This man thanked my husband for his military service and gave him $100.00, then added, “You and your wife go out to dinner.” That was a time that we both were smiling. Our veterans need to be recognized and not forgotten. So just remember that the next time you see a military veteran.

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