USNA Class of 1963
photos courtesy: USS WASP (LHD 1)
The next Class Luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 11:30am in the Arlington Room of Army Navy Country Club. The cost will be $27.50 which includes tax, coffee and water. Drinks (wine, beer, sodas) are extra.
Please reserve the date.
The schedule for Virgil Donald Markus' Memorial Service is at the Naval Academy Cemetery Columbarius on 8 May 2015. The service starts at 0930 with a reception at the Alumni House immediately following. There is a special DVD created in Memorial that features 4 Internationally known Singing Groups and a funeral procession created by Jimmy Moore for this occasion.
My name is Ron Wilson (not our '63 Ron Wilson) and I am the author of an ongoing series of books- Heroes Lost and Now Found- which focuses on graduates of the USNA who died during World War II. All the books are in a large 9 x 12 format (similar to a yearbook) and include numerous photographs and illustrations, as well as excerpts from historical Lucky Bags, Logs, and Tridents.
The purpose of the book is to ensure that future generations do not forget the sacrifice these graduates made in service to their country, and the books paint an intimate portrait of their lives, including their time at the Academy. The first book, which was released in January of this year, focuses on graduates from the classes of 1900-1919. I am including a link to my website, which provides more information on the series- USNavalAcademyHeritage.com
I am contacting you because I would like to offer complimentary copies of my book to any interested USNA alumni. Both Superintendent Carter and Senator John McCain ('58) read the book and lauded it, and I would like to share it with any graduates who are interested. Please direct any interested alumni to contact me via the email address: USNavalAcademyHeritage@gmail.com
I wanted to send a reminder that there will be several funerals for Classmates in the next two months. Art Clark - There will be a Committal Service at the Columbarium on Monday, 30 March 2015 @ 1130 for CAPT Arthur Doron Clark, USN (Ret), Class of 1963 (DOB 20 April 1941, DOD 19 January 2015) and his late wife, Mrs. Merle Arnold Clark (DOB 23 September 1941, DOD 12 January 2014).
Richard Bachman - The Naval Memorial Affairs Coordinator has confirmed that Richard's interment at the Naval Academy columbarium will take place on Monday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m.
Birney Pease - In April there will be a full Military Mass and funeral at Arlington cemetery in Washington D.C. as well as a Memorial service in the summer up in Burlington, Vermont.
Joe Lederhaas - Joe, who passed away April 3, 2014 Will be interred at Arlington Cemetery on 7 May 2015 at 1200 at the Old Post Chapel. Reception to follow at Ft. Meyer O Club. If you plan to attend Joe's funeral please send a note to Mario Fiori firstname.lastname@example.org if you are tentatively planning to attend. This would help organize the reception.
I will provide additional details as I receive them.
(Click Here) for the interview as Harlan Ullman, author of "A Handfull of Bullets," discusses how the first World War affects us today.
(Click Here) for the interview as Retired Navy Rear Adm. Dave Oliver, author of "Against the Tide," discusses what we can learn from Adm. Hyman Rickover, the "Father of the Nuclear Navy."
Dear friends of Bill Pawlyk,
Bill has asked me to forward his handwritten letter (Click Here) to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I have included a photo of Denny Vaughan , Bill and myself which we took while visiting him in October.
I would also like to thank you for supporting Bill over the years. You may recall that in 2004 we appealed to the Clemency Board to release Bill. They were impressed by him but voted against clemency because society "had not gotten sufficient retribution." They did suggest we apply again in the future. Now (2015) eleven years later we will make another attempt.
Unfortunately the mail system at Monroe is a bit slow and thus I am late putting this out to you. Nonetheless, I know he would be delighted to hear from you.
His mailing address is:
Mr. William Pawlyk, 982921
PO Box 777
Monroe, WA 98272-0777
I join Bill in wishing all of you a joyous Christmas and very Happy 2015.
Mario P. Fiori
Combative, provocative and searingly blunt, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover was a flamboyant maverick, a unique American hero. When few thought it possible, then-Captain Rickover undertook to harness the power of the atom to drive the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, whose trip under the polar ice pack was one of the great adventure stories of the 1950s. Later, Rickover built the world's first commercial nuclear power plant at Shippingport, PA. Rickover's achievements made him into a national celebrity, and he appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Many questioned Rickover's goal of an all nuclear navy, and others questioned his creation of a technocratic elite, his own navy within the Navy. However, few contested that he had transformed the Navy and changed the course of America's technological development.
Today, questions about nuclear power have arisen again, in the wake of the disaster in Japan, yet nuclear power remains one of the main alternatives to fossil fuels. Many wonder whether America can maintain its technological pre-eminence and whether we can still build and manage large-scale projects. To understand these issues, we would do well to consider the story of the man who created the nuclear navy as well as the civilian nuclear power industry: Hyman G. Rickover.
RICKOVER: The Birth of Nuclear Power won Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 GI Film Festival.
I received this today in an interesting email from Randy Orlowski concerning the below entry about the USS Jeannette:
I've started reading the book. My wife, Sandy, has a genealogical connection to the leader of this polar expedition, LCDR. George DeLong. I mention it in my class bio as well as some information about her dad, Col. Earl "Pappy" DeLong USMC who went into WWII as a eighteen year old private and retired as a full bird. It's interesting to note that he is the only Marine that was awarded the Silver Star in all three wars in which he fought. Thanks again for the recommendation.
In the USNA Cemetery is a large cross overlooking the Severn. I seem to recall seeing it across the river although I've never set foot in the cemetery. It is the USS Jeannette Monument. Per the USNA Cemetery web page:The Jeannette Monument was erected in memory of the men who perished in the Jeannette Arctic Expedition in October 1881. Its design is based on a cairn that a recovery crew built to mark the remains of the explorers in the arctic. The plaque on the monument reads: Commemorative of the heroic officers and men of the United States Navy who perished in the Jeannette Arctic Exploring Expedition. 1881. The ice on the cross is a reminder of the frigid environment in which they were lost. This is the largest monument at the Cemetery.I just finished a book about the story behind this monument. It is "In the Kingdom of Ice-The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette" by Hampton Sides. I highly recommend this book to all of our sailors. In my ignorance I did not realize that even in the late 1800's the prevailing thought was that just beyond the Arctic icepack was open sea over the North Pole. The USS Jeannette expedition pretty much put a rest to that theory at a very high cost in heroism, privation and human suffering.
Steve Coester '63
Gordon Peterson '68 is compiling a list of USNA alumni who served in the Seawolves of Helicopter Attack (Light) Three (HAL-3) during the Vietnam War. He has identified 61 alumni so far, dating to the Class of 1949.
HAL-3 is one of the Navy's most highly decorated aviation squadrons. It was commissioned and entered service in RVN in 1966 and was decommissioned there in 1972.
Eli Dabich (18th Co.) has set up a cruise on the Columbia and Snake rivers for August 8-16, 2015. Click Here for the web page.
Eli wrote the following for your Company Webmasters:
I have met with the Alumni Assoc and they have helped us get a better deal on the Northwest River cruise starting Aug 8, 2015. The following information should be helpful to you. Note the Sept 16 booking date for the cost savings of $300 per passenger.
Eli here is the info I promised you for your travelers. Please let me know if I forgot anything.
Below are the current rates on the American Empress for the Aug, 8, 2015 sailing. If rates are ever lowered by American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) prior to the sailing and you have booked with Go Next the lower rates are always honored. Even if your booking is paid in full and it is 30 days prior to sailing, if AQSC lowers their rates you will be refunded if you book through Go Next. There is no paid in full clause for early booking discounts (EBD) if booked thought Go Next.
My comments or suggestions on cabin categories
E - Great cabin for those travelers looking for the least expensive cabin. The room is small and the balcony is not private but there is a fence between your balcony and the walk way - approximately 150 SQ feet
D - I would not sell this cabin to a traveler unless it was the last cabin available and this is the only date the travelers could travel - no balcony (170 SQ feet)
C - Nice cabin with a private balcony - this cabin category is 85% of the boat. I stay in this cabin every time I travel and really enjoy it. (approximately 177 SQ feet)
B - I am not a fan of the location of these cabins, the cabins are either all the way aft (over the paddlewheel) or far forward - Although they do provide a little extra room Approximately 220 SQ feet.
A - Wonderful rooms - Large approximately 312 AQ feet. These rooms have a sitting area and a large balcony. Balcony is not private but there is a fence between your balcony and the walk way
LS - 2 room suite - bedroom and sitting room are separate with a wet bar in the sitting room - they also have a private veranda - (approximately 400 SQ feet)
All rooms bathrooms only have a shower, no tubs on board the American Empress. All rooms have a safe, refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker and TV.
Our contact is Jean Haggenmiller
Her contact info:
Thank you and I hope you can join us.
To contact Eli: email@example.com
As most of you have heard, my wife, Sandy, broke her hip while in Spain, was flown by air ambulance back to the states, has had replacement hip surgery, and is on the mend. Today a copy of the invoice was sent to her by email. The total, most of which was for the flight, was over 100K! She had purchased medical insurance for the trip for a grand total of $41. Medicare doesn't cover most of the stuff overseas, so buy insurance for any overseas trips!!
See Click Here for "Flag Flying Places" including the Naval Academy. To expand on the process for USNA, GySgt Eric E. Salcedo, Brigade Drill Master sent the following: Click Here
I would like to share with you the ABC News - Second Tour story entitled "Veteran-Owned Wall Street Firm Employs Disabled Vets" and interview with Lawrence Doll, the Chairman of Drexel Hamilton, detailing his leadership in founding the firm, a service disabled veteran owned institutional broker-dealer.
The story was produced by Angel Canales of ABC News - Second Tour; it is the lead story on their blog at http://abcnews.go.com/us/second_tour. It is the banner headline on ABC News - Second Tour blog for one week; thereafter, the story will remain in the order listed on the blog.
The story is posted on ABC News' Facebook page and Drexel Hamilton's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DrexelHamiltonLLC.
The ABC News main website will periodically show the banner to access the ABC News - Second Tour blog at http://abcnews.go.com.
The story is embedded on the Drexel Hamilton website http://www.drexelhamilton.com/ with the video and story http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/03/veteran-owned-wall-street-firm-employs-disabled-vets/.
Thank you for your consideration of Drexel Hamilton's mission as we work to build a successful firm owned and operated by service-disabled veterans.
Jack and I welcome your comments as we work to expand Drexel Hamilton's multi-faceted business. firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Here for the request from Col. Wm Preston McLaughlin, USMC (Ret.) for any information about LCol. Leftwich.
I'm sure all of you have received numerous email hackings and some may have been victims. Dick Kuntz received one supposedly from a classmate in financial distress overseas and asked me to remind all of you to not respond to these emails.
Silver Dollar That Was To Be Flipped By Kennedy At The ’63 Army-Navy Game Will Be Used 50 Years Later
ANNAPOLIS, Md.—The silver dollar that was to be flipped by President John F. Kennedy at the 1963 Army-Navy game in Philadelphia will be used for the coin toss 50 years later at the 2013 Army-Navy game on Saturday in Philadelphia.
Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963, eight days before he was scheduled to participate in the ceremonial coin toss on Nov. 30 in Philadelphia at the Army-Navy game.
Though fans had been anticipating the Army-Navy game for months, it would have been cancelled had it not been for the late president's family insisting that President Kennedy would have wanted it played and on Nov. 26 the Pentagon announced that following a one-week postponement, Army-Navy would take place on Dec. 7.
The game was a classic with Navy (9-1) edging Army (7-3), 21-15, thanks to three touchdowns by Navy fullback Pat Donnelly. Army had the ball at the Navy two-yard line when time ran out.
A week after the win, an envelope showed up in the mailbox of Navy captain Tom Lynch. When he opened it, he found a silver dollar. Accompanying the coin was a letter from Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance.< Attached is the letter and coin sent by Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance to 1963 Navy football team captain Tom Lynch.
On November 14, I was interviewed in connection with my new book Only the Most Able: Moving Beyond Politics in the Selection of National Security Leaders. The Podcast interview was conducted by Dr. Mark Stout, Director of the Global Security Studies graduate program at Johns Hopkins University, where I teach. The interview is available on the web site of the program and may also be accessed via the following link: http://advanced.jhu.edu/blog/podcast-moving-beyond-politics-in-the-selection-of-national-security-leaders/
I welcome the critical comments of those of you who listen to the Podcast and/or read the book. email@example.com
Classmates, it is an honor for me to pass on the news that Vern VonSydow has been honored by the AARP Educator Community for his continued service in the San Diego community to help at-risk youths. He was one of only 3 individuals so recognized this year. You can find the citation below.
Vern's self-less efforts on behalf of these youths have gone on for many years and truly represents a sterling example of the highest ideals of public service. I am proud to be his classmate and consider him to be one of our Class's "Distinguished Graduates".
NRTA: AARP's Educator Community is committed to learning, voluntary service and civic participation. More than a decade ago, the organization formed the With Our Youth! program to provide volunteer opportunities for community service projects with youth. For the first three years of the program, NRTA made a pledge to serve 1.5 million youth in 2,000 communities with a total of 45 million service hours through its affiliated state retired educators associations (REAs). The goal was exceeded.
The recipients of NRTA's 14th Annual With Our Youth! awards were chosen for outstanding service to youth in the state, local, individual and impact categories by an independent selection panel. Award recipients include:
California - Vernon Von Sydow Vern Von Sydow has touched the lives of literally thousands of at-risk high school students. His math tutoring has helped turn dropouts into college students, and teachers credit working one on one with him as one of the key interventions to move students ahead. Years ago, he reached out to his Naval Academy class alumni network and asked for donations to start the Palomar Scholarship Foundation, which awards more than 20 scholarships per year to deserving young people. That seed money along with fundraising and donations has supported young people going to college for over 20 years. He is a role model to all teachers for his selflessness in retiring to save the jobs of younger teachers and in his work ethic. Despite being retired, he still comes to school every day to tutor at-risk kids in math. In particular he works with teen mothers to help them achieve their graduation goals. He comes in early and stays late yet always has time to devote to a student who needs him whether it be to teach them how to tie a tie for a job interview or just to listen to them when they are feeling down. He never fails to remind that mistakes are just another step in the direction of perfection. The scholarship fund is a fully functioning 501(c)(3) charity registered with the state of California, and he serves as the foundation's president. He is also on the Sweetwater Union School District's Superintendent's Advisory Committee helping to shape new education policy. During his teaching years, he established an internship program where at-risk teens work in jobs on the local naval base learning career skills and building relationships with naval mentors. The Navy Internship Training Program has served thousands of young men and women and has been recognized with a Golden Bell award from the governor of California.
Certain events in history burn themselves into our memories. All Americans of a certain age, and certainly all members of the Class of 1963, can recall exactly where they were when first they heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated - 22 Nov 1963. Michael Blackledge suggested we create a new page with classmates' memories of where they were that fateful day. If interested in contributing send to Mike Blackledge your name, USNA company and a short description like:"Ron Walters (6th Co): I remember that day. I was on the USS Cromwell (DE-1014) off the coast of Brazil when President Kennedy was assassinated." If you have a poignant story to tell include that also. Send to Mike@Blackledge.com.
Please get your email input to Mike ASAP and no later than 12/1/2013. do it today.
Yesterday while doing some research I came upon a most interesting book. It contains the complete Class of 1963 statistical data including class make up, attrition and class standing. Click Here to read it online.
At the 50th Reunion, the Memorial Service to honor our deceased classmates will be a big part of the reunion. While none of us likes to consider the inevitable, planning is important, including ensuring wills and trusts are up to date. One option for burial or inurnment is the USNA Cemetery and Columbarium.So far we have four classmates or dependents buried and 21 whose cremains are inurned there. In general all graduates and their spouses are eligible for inurnment but only admirals,general officers or similar high offices can be buried. No advanced reservations may be made. I suggest you take a look at www.usna.edu/Cemetery/ if this option interests you.
Jim reports that we now have NO cummerbunds or four-in-hand ties.
We do have bow ties and ladies scarves. $63 each or 2 of anything for $100.
Way down this page are pictures of each item and ordering information. Scroll down.
I found this link today to a 1965 film about USNA called "Ring of Valor" narrated by Robert Taylor. I remember an earlier version, but this one includes scenes from our four years at USNA including a spectacular three seconds of me playing tennis with (I think) Dick Danhoff. So if you have thirty minutes to spare see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBbZn8epT-Y. A good prelude to our 50th Reunion!
Michael Blackledge suggest I post this story about my recent heart problem in hope that you will listen to your body better than I did. This all just happened last week and hopefully all is well, except I'm coping with some drug reactions at the moment. It was originally posted on Facebook where Blackie saw it.
Steve C. '63I had a bit of a health scare but all is well. For the past four weeks I had several instances of severe middle back pain while playing tennis or other strenuous activity. A few times it almost buckled my knees. Finally on Friday 8/2/13 afer three or four "attacks", I quit tennis mid-match and went to my doctor who took an EKG which was normal, but he insisted that I have a nuclear stress test, which I had this past Tuesday 8/13. It showed blockage in my heart and the next morning I was directed to go straight to Wuesthoff Hospital for an angiogram. That procedure confirmed almost total blockage of the main artery to the left ventricle.
Two stents were installed.
After an overnight stay I was discharged on Thursday. I am feeling fine, have already walked several miles and ridden my bike several more without pain over the five days since the procedure.
The scary part is that other than the severe pain while exercising which I initially thought was muscular, I had almost no discomfort or difficulty breathing. The doctors were flabbergasted that I could play tennis with that blockage. They indicated that total blockage was imminent which would have caused heart failure and damage or much worse. They said that I was very lucky to be alive.
So the lesson for all of you is to do what I say, not what I did.....If you have unusual pain anywhere see your doctor. It may save your life.
In "Recently Changed Pages" you'll note there are several new Deceased Data pages for our classmates. They have minimal data and in some cases photos of the tombstones.
If you have any further information on any of our deceased send to firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll include it on their page(s).
Several months ago, in anticipation of our 50th Reunion, we put out a request for new or updated current biographies to be published on this website. Response has been good and we're now up to 393 bios (and obituaries). That means over half of our graduating class has still not provided a biography. See /Current Bios/ for the list of those who have submitted bios and for examples of how to write one. No special format is required and you can include a current photo or two if you desire.
Send your new or updated bio to email@example.com and he'll take care of the formatting and publishing.
I (your webmaster) received the following in an email. I checked out Lisa Lark and she's for real. Our class has so many that served with great valor and distinction in the Vietnam War including our thirteen killed, our two POW, four Navy or Army Crosses, fifteen Silver Stars and innumerable other awards for valor. Hundreds served in theater and have stories to tell. If you want to share your experiences, contact Lisa Lark at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is primarily looking for photos as described below but also personal stories. Here's her letter to me:
For those of you who don't know me, I have been working to honor and remember Vietnam veterans for the last 3 years. I have volunteered with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund on their Call for Photos project, and have located more than 1,500 photographs of men and women who lost their lives in Vietnam. I am also the author of All They Left Behind: Legacies of the Men and Women on The Wall.
I am honored to be able to say that I have begun work on my 2nd book project. This project, scheduled for release in late 2014, will be a photographic history of the Vietnam War as told through the words and photographs of the men and women who served there. I want to make sure that all branches of service, all service responsibilities, and all moments of a tour are covered, from training to the flight home. This project will require nearly 500 photographs and thousands of words. That's where you come in.
I would like this project to be veteran driven, and to do that I will need volunteers. If you have photographs from your time in the military, whether in training, on leave, or in Vietnam and would be willing to donate them for use in this project, please let me know and I will send you specifications for photos. If you would be willing to fill out a survey about your time in the military let me know and I will send the survey to you.
I will consider every photograph sent in, and will use as many as I can in this project. There are certain visual specifications that must be met, and certain guidelines that we have to follow. Sending in a photo does not guarantee that it will be used in the project.
Please contact me if you have any questions, or if you would like information on how to participate in the project. Please feel free to forward this information along to others who may be interested in contributing.
Additionally, I am available for in-person interviews and photo scanning on evenings and weekends. Currently, I will be attending several Vietnam veteran association reunions. If your group would be interested in having me attend to work with your members please contact me.
Thank you for your time.
Lisa A. Lark
Steve wrote: I am happy to report that my new book, Only the Most Able: Moving Beyond Politics in the Selection of National Security Leaders, has received favorable Customer Reviews on Amazon.com. But, on this Memorial Day, I am particularly pleased with the Review which is attached. I have just learned that it will appear in the June issue of CHOICE, the American Library Association's monthly book review for academic libraries. The publisher believes that the Review will generate wide interest.
I've just created a new page called Weddings. It will have our classmates' wedding photo and a current photo of the happy couple. Seems fitting as many of us near our 50th anniversary. See /classmates/Weddings/ for the new page that just has Yvonne and me on it right now.
Send your then and now photos along with bride's maiden name, place of wedding and date to email@example.com. If you got married in the USNA Chapel and remember the time include that because I'll try to put the photos in chronologically. And if you want to include more than one marriage, feel free.
"In Their Own Words: A New Look at the Naval War of 1812"
The emotions captured by the War of 1812: patriotic fervor, anxiety, the immediacy of the moment, the joy of peace… all and more abound in In Their Own Words. Whether encouraging peers, issuing orders to subordinates, lamenting a hero’s death or reporting a glorious frigate action, these emotions spring from the stirring contemporary letters, newspapers and broadsides of the War of 1812 assiduously assembled and presented by Vice Admiral George W. Emery, USN (Retired).
I was a member of the class of 63. Never quite graduated and went back into the Navy and served aboard the USS Tusk (SS-426). After I served my remaining enlistment (I came in through NAPS), I attended and graduated from Johns Hopkins in Engineering. I am now retired and am a member of the SubVets in Severn Maryland.
I am the Vice-Commander. We are looking to have speakers at our monthly meetings. We meet the third Saturday of each month. We don't meet in the summer months.
If someone from our class or other years that live in the Annapolis/Baltimore area would be interested in speaking please contact me. Of course having a sub background would be very interesting. We are all submarine veterans having served on subs from WW2 to the Nautilus and other more modern nuclear subs. But other areas of Naval service with a good story would be great also.
Please let me know what ideas you may have or who you could recommend. Many thanks. Richard Brooke Lynch
3102 Evergreen Way
Ellicott City, Md 21042
Items of Ongoing Interest
A Great Opportunity for Classmates
Click Here for the letter to the Class from Mario regarding Bill's situation and the status of his clemency effort. MS Word required.
The basic colors are blue and gold for the colors of the Naval Academy. We also added red for the Marine Corps, pale blue (sock-bag blue) for the Air Force and a small black stripe between the red and pale blue for the Army. This was done to recognize members of the Class of 1963 who upon commissioning served in the sister branches of the armed services. The main blue and gold stripes are six units wide and each of the three smaller stripes is one unit wide. That way you get a combination of 6 and 3, for the Class of 1963. There is then a 12-unit drop in Navy blue and the pattern repeats itself.
Class ties, both four-in-hand and bow, are available as well as scarves and cummerbunds. The price of each item is $63 or if you order any three items the discounted price is $163 and if you order all four the price is $200.
Orders can be placed with Ms. Jessi Crawford, % Lowe Enterprises, PO Box 12393, Aspen, CO 81812.
Here are photos of Cynthia DeFrancia and June and Chuck
modeling the items.
I added a brief note concerning the death of classmate Dick Bryant who died in an accident prior to graduation. Click here.
If you look at Last Call you'll note that we have no obituary or other remembrance for over half of our deceased classmates.
If you have any formal information for any of these classmates or just want to express your memories of them drop me a line at Steve C. and I'll publish a page for them.
- Put on a catered meal on weekday or weekend.. They will provide a room and tables. The rest is provided by the party putting on the catered meal including silverware. They would invite family members. Could be for 30 wounded and family members.
- Provide funds
Semper Fi Fund. Provides every family with money to help them while here. Designated for Marines and NavyCorpsman. http://www.SemperFiFund.org
Yellow Ribbon Fund - Provides family members free taxis, rental cars. http://www.yellowribbonfund.com/yellowribbonfund/
- USO - USO hires caterers to provide catered meals. http://www.uso.org/
- Armed Forces Foundation - Meets the family members when they arrive in town. http://www.armedforcesfoundation.org/
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society - Pay bills of family members while here. http://www.nmcrs.org/index.html
I have had two types of cancer presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange from my in-country service in Vietnam. It would appear that the VA is now honoring claims for compensation from veterans who also served at sea in the areas near Vietnam. For example, the claim is successfully being made that water sprayed with the poison made its way into the ship's purification systems and into the drinking water.
Based on clinical research, the following diseases are on VA's Agent Orange list of presumptive disabilities: chloracne, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, porphyria cutanea tarda, respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx and trachea), soft-tissue sarcoma, acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy, and prostate cancer. A regulation is being developed to add diabetes mellitus.
In addition, monetary benefits, health care, and vocational rehabilitation services are provided to Vietnam veterans' offspring with spina bifida, a congenital birth defect of the spine. A new law authorizes health care and monetary benefits to children of female veterans who served in Vietnam for certain additional birth defects.
My advice, if you contract one of these diseases, is to work with an outside service organization, such as the American Legion. They will help with the paperwork and get you your compensation. Be patient - it takes forever. . The VA needs proof of service in Vietnam (DD214, etc) and proof that you have one of these diseases from your doctor or medical facility. My claim for the prostate cancer took six months. My claim for lung cancer was submitted in December and as of the end of March was just approved. I still have another hearing in June before it is considered permanent.
Be sure to also take advantage of the VA health care system. Although I have used my civilian doctors for the major procedures (more for convenience only), the VA doctors are real pro's and the benefit of zero co-pay for prescriptions is worth a lot. For example, after my latest surgery I was still losing weight. My doctor was concerned and told me to drink two cans of Ensure daily, costing about $2 per day. I called the VA and I now receive Ensure at no cost.
From Mike Cronin:
Until recently it was true that VA compensation was used as an offset to military retired pay. A retired vet who later received VA disability compensation had his military retired pay reduced by the amount of the VA compensation. Since VA compensation is not taxed, the veteran did receive a tax benefit, but the dollar amount of monthly income before taxes did not change.
That has now changed. Several years ago Congress agreed to phase out that offset provision over ten years. Bottom line: if you have any disability that might be service connected you should apply to the VA and let them decide if you are entitled to compensation. If they decide you are at least partially disabled you will come out dollars ahead even before taxes are considered. Apply now. Compensation is dated from the day you apply even though the VA decision process can take years.
One final note. Military retirees can use VA medical facilities without risking their military retired health care (Tricare) benefits.
From Ken Sanger:
Some who receive disability compensation can double dip.
The following is from the VA website at http://www.dod.mil/prhome/mppcrsc.html
"The Department of Defense has two programs designed to reduce the reduction in retired pay due to receipt of Veteran Administration compensation, for certain disabled retirees.
Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) provides a 10-year phase-out of the offset to military retired pay due to receipt of VA disability compensation for members whose combined disability rating is 50% or greater . Members retired under disability provisions must have 20 years of service.
Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) pays added benefits to retirees who receive VA disability compensation for combat-related disabilities and have 20 years of service ."
And this from a 2006 document found on the above site:
"The Department of Defense is currently receiving and processing applications for the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program. The CRSC program became effective May 31, 2003, for qualified retirees with combat-related disabilities. Payments are retroactive to June 1, 2003, for otherwise qualified members. The criteria of eligibility to receive CRSC payments have been expanded effective January 1, 2004, to include members with any percentage combat-related disability compensated by the VA.C"
Irish Pennants are loose threads that invite attention, or may need to be tied up or cut off. For the purpose of this web site, they represent miscellaneous thoughts, threads of discussion and points of view by classmates and colleagues. To submit [or respond] to Irish Pennants, just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org without objection from the Class Secretary, they will be published on this site, invite rebuttal or response, and eventually [perhaps] fade away.
Class of 1963 facts and lore, Cannonball recipe, satire, humor
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