Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:Please forgive me for this “shotgun” approach to e-mail. I just didn’t know who to contact.This message is for the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, and the 1st Cavalry Division Association.I am a fellow-Vietnam War veteran.I served with the US Air Force at Phan Rang AB, II Corps, RVN, from 1 May 1970 to 1 May 1971. My unit was the 35th Security Police Squadron (SPS), a subordinate unit of the 35th Combat Support Group. During that service “in country” I was initially assigned to “B Flight” Security, until September 1970, when I was reassigned to work in the Squadron Orderly Room.Following service in Vietnam and in California, I left active duty. I eventually enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Specialist Fourth Class (SP4) and later, earned a commission in the US Army and returned to active duty in 1980. I served in the US Army (Active Component, US Army Reserve and Army National Guard) until September 1993.Last week at a social function in Washington, DC, I met a man wearing the blue Army Service Uniform with black four-in-hand tie who claimed to be a Vietnam veteran. He wore a chevron of three stripes, indicating that he was a US Army Sergeant (E-5).The “Sergeant” was wearing miniature medals on his uniform, which were inappropriate. (He ought to have either been wearing ribbons or full size service medals.) Instead of wearing the Bronze Star Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, he was wearing four of them in a row. They were “his” highest awards, he told me, but he wore them on the bottomrow. Similarly, he was wearing a marksmanship medal, with no tab. (Soldiers will know what I mean.)He was wearing other skill devices I could not see, as well as the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB).I asked him what unit he was in, and he said, “Echo Company, 2d Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.”“I was a mortar man,” he said.I asked him what Regiment he served with, and he merely repeated “Echo Company, 2d Battalion.” Thus, he did not know the number of his Regiment, nor its Branch (Armor, Field Artillery, Infantry, Cavalry).This man has even written a book about his experiences. It is entitled, “Forgotten Soldier.” He visits airports to sell copies, and last week he was trying to interest a producer in making a movie about his book. Here is the website:http://www.
He gave me his card. His name is Carroll Durham.
I am a white man. He is black. It would be easy for the present-day news media to merely brush me aside as “a racist.”
Many of us Vietnam War veterans had very bad experiences when we returned “to the world.” I encountered problems with the VA (who didn’t?), in a job interview, and even in a college classroom with a professor. Eventually, it became “cool” to pass one’s self off as a Vietnam veteran. Some of you have probably seen it first hand.
If this fellow’s conduct bothers you as much as it bothers me, please let me know. We can discuss it over the telephone, in person, or exchange e-mail messages. You could reply to all, so everyone else knows who is taking the lead.
I’m just searching for the best way to proceed. I am not contacting you for the sake of publicity for myself. Either he is a very confused Vietnam veteran who has completely forgotten how to wear a uniform, and has forgotten his unit, or a complete fake. I believe he is a fake and a phony.
If I don’t hear from anyone in a couple of days I’ll contact Senator Jim Webb, another fellow-Vietnam War veteran.
Thank you all for your brave and selfless service to our country!
Mr. Robin M. Cathcart
THE WARRIOR’S CODE OF HONOR
The “Warriors Code of Honor” has come to the attention of the Idaho Department of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Its author wishes to remain anonymous. We know this about him though – his experiences as an 18 year-old rifleman in an infantry rifle platoon of the U.S Army 7th Infantry Division in Korea and his experiences coming home led him to write this Code. He is also a Purple Heart Medal recipient and a life time member of both the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
The reason the Warrior’s Code of Honor is so important is because it needs to get out to as many Veterans as possible – especially those suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Currently 25 Purple Heart Medal Recipients (11 Army, 13 Marine, 1 Navy), plus PTSD experts, testify that it helps combat veterans, Warrior’s currently serving, and their loved ones to read it. Currently the Code is now being routinely handed out by the Veterans Administration in the greater Augusta Georgia area to Vets diagnosed with PTSD, with the National VA being petitioned to do so nation-wide. The same is true for the Augusta Wounded Warrior’s Care Project. At Fort Gordon near Augusta the Code is being handed out to those awaiting discharge and to new recruits etc. with the Department of Defense (DOD) being petitioned to adopt it world-wide.
To verify the truth of these statements you are invited to visit the FEEDBACK FROM COMBAT VETERANS section immediately following the Warrior’s Code at www.militarycodeofhonor.com.
The author’s reasons for writing the Code are as follows and in his own words and ought to sound very familiar to those of us who are Combat Veterans no matter what war we fought in. His reasons for writing it are as pertinent as the Code itself.
“I wrote it because my coming home expectation that things would be more or less the same was so unrealistic that it crashed and burned, along with my heart. This happened because:
I had no idea that I was so emotionally numbed-up/shut down that I could not feel my feelings (how do you know you are emotionally damaged if you cannot feel your emotions?);
I had no idea that I had changed so much that my High School friends would now be merely acquaintances;
I had no idea that I came home an adrenaline junkie, which made me consider those who were not willing to engage in dangerous but thrilling activities, not OK people;
The only people I wanted to relate to were other combat vets. It is a fact of life, however, that in virtually every social circle, the numbers of authentic combat veterans are few and none. This was true in my case; consequently there was nobody I wanted to talk to. The feeling of isolation, of being apart from anyone, of being alone in a crowd, made me consider myself deficient for being that way. I had no idea that my way of being was not unusual for a combat vet, but the usual. And so on. In short, coming home was hell for me.
Thanks to the G.I. Bill and multiple, simultaneous part-time jobs, I graduated from university and became a successful professional by day, and alcoholic and junkie by night. I was so happy burning the candle of my life at both ends that it was a real shock to discover – in a rare moment of self-honesty/self-awareness – I covertly contemplated suicide. I was stunned. I suddenly realized that I had to change my life or die.
I abandoned my profession and went native. I spent a year alone in the wilderness of Honey Island Swamp, vowing to stop stumbling thru life happy on the outside, but inside bowed over with guilt for living while friends died. I kicked “cold turkey” alcohol and drugs, and came out clean as a whistle. I have been that way ever since.
Over the years I often wished that I had read something like the Code to forewarn me what coming home might REALLY be like. So I sat down and tortuously, tearfully allowed the painful repressed coming home and the repressed combat memories hiding in the darkness of my gut, to come out into the sunlight of awareness and be re-lived/suffered thru.
Each time I accomplished this dreaded act, something wondrous slowly, imperceptibly, happened to me. Calmness and tranquility grew inside, inversely proportional to the decrease in emotional pain. The less pain, the more serenity earned.
In sum, my self-inflicted pain and suffering enabled me to not only write the Code, but also to earn an ever-increasing degree of peace of mind. This increase is still going on to this day, thus I can testify from personal experience that there is no top to the mountain of serenity.
It is my life desire that my words will forewarn combat veterans about the danger of coming home with un-realistic expectations. If they return with realistic expectations, all will be well. If they do not, they will be in hell.
Ancient wisdom teaches that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. I came home un-forewarned, was thus unarmed, in hell, and bleeding – shot thru the heart by un-realistic expectations. And on that bloody hook, thereby hangs this tale.”
THE WARRIOR’S CODE OF HONOR
As a combat veteran wounded in one of America’s wars, I offer to speak for those who cannot. Were the mouths of my fallen front-line friends not stopped with dust, they would testify that life revolves around honor.
In war, it is understood that you give your word of honor to do your duty – that is – stand and fight instead of running away and deserting your friends.
When you keep your word despite desperately desiring to flee the screaming hell all around, you earn honor.
Earning honor under fire changes who you are.
The blast furnace of battle burns away impurities encrusting your soul.
The white-hot forge of combat hammers you into a hardened, purified warrior willing to die rather than break your word to friends – your honor.
Combat is scary but exciting.
You never feel so alive as when being shot at without result
You never feel so triumphant as when shooting back – with result.
You never feel love so pure as that burned into your heart by friends willing to die to keep their word to you.
And they do.
The biggest sadness of your life is to see friends falling.
The biggest surprise of your life is to survive the war.
Although still alive on the outside, you are dead inside – shot thru the heart with nonsensical guilt for living while friends died.
The biggest lie of your life torments you that you could have done something more, different, to save them.
Their faces are the tombstones in your weeping eyes, their souls shine the true camaraderie you search for the rest of your life but never find.
You live a different world now. You always will.
Your world is about waking up night after night silently screaming, back in battle.
Your world is about your best friend bleeding to death in your arms, howling in pain for you to kill him.
Your world is about shooting so many enemies the gun turns red and jams, letting the enemy grab you.
Your world is about struggling hand-to-hand for one more breath of life.
You never speak of your world.
Those who have seen combat do not talk about it.
Those who talk about it have not seen combat.
You come home but a grim ghost of he who so lightheartedly went off to war.
But home no longer exists
That world shattered like a mirror the first time you were shot at.
The splintering glass of everything you knew fell at your feet, revealing what was standing behind it – grinning death – and you are face to face, nose to nose with it!
The shock was so great that the boy you were died of fright.
He was replaced by a stranger who slipped into your body, a MAN from the Warrior’s World.
In that savage place, you give your word of honor to dance with death instead of run away from it.
This suicidal waltz is known as: “doing your duty.”
You did your duty, survived the dance, and returned home. But not all of you came back to the civilian world.
Your heart and mind are still in the Warrior’s World, far beyond the Sun. They will always be in the Warrior’s World. They will never leave, they are buried there.
In that hallowed home of honor, life is about keeping your word.
People in the civilian world, however, have no idea that life is about keeping your word.
They think life is about ballgames, backyards, barbecues, babies and business.
The distance between the two worlds is as far as Mars from Earth.
This is why, when you come home, you fell like an outsider, a visitor from another planet.
Friends try to bridge the gaping gap.
It is useless. They may as well look up at the sky and try to talk to a Martian as talk to you. Words fall like bricks between you.
Serving with Warriors who died proving their word has made prewar friends seem too un-tested to be trusted – thus they are now mere acquaintances.
The hard truth is that earning honor under fire makes you a stranger in your own home town, an alien visitor from a different world, alone in a crowd.
The only time you are not alone is when with another combat veteran.
Only he understands that keeping your word, your honor, whilst standing face to face with death gives meaning and purpose to life.
Only he understands that your terrifying – but thrilling – dance with death has made your old world of backyards, barbecues and ballgames seem deadly dull.
Only he understands that your way of being due to combat damaged emotions is not the un-usual, but the usual, and you are OK.
A common consequence of combat is adrenaline addiction.
Many combat veterans – including this writer – feel that war was the high point of our lives, and emotionally, life has been downhill ever since.
This is because we came home adrenaline junkies. We got that way doing our duty in combat situations such as:
crouching in a foxhole waiting for attacking enemy soldiers to get close enough for you to start shooting;
hugging the ground, waiting for the signal to leap up and attack the enemy;
sneaking along on a combat patrol out in no man’s land, seeking a gunfight;
suddenly realizing that you are walking in the middle of a mine field.
Circumstances like these skyrocket your feelings of aliveness far, far above and beyond anything you experienced in civilian life:
never have you felt so terrified – yet so thrilled;
never have you seen sky so blue, grass so green, breathed air so sweet, etc.; because dancing with death makes you feel stratospheric – nay – intergalactic aliveness.
Then you come home, where the addictive, euphoric rush of aliveness/adrenaline hardly ever happens – naturally, that is.
Then what often occurs? “Quick, pass me the motorcycle” (and /or fast car, drag race, speedboat, airplane, parachute, big game hunt, extreme sport, fist fight, gun fight, etc.)
Another reason Warriors may find the rush of adrenaline attractive is because it lets them feel something rather than nothing. The dirty little secret no one talks about is that many combat veterans come home unable to feel their feelings. It works like this.
In battle, it is understood that you give your word of honor to not let your fear stop you from doing your duty. To keep your word, you must numb up/shut down your fear.
But the numb-up/shut-down mechanism does not work like a tight, narrow rifle shot; it works like a broad, spreading shot gun blast. Thus when you numb up your fear, you numb up virtually all your other feelings as well.
The more combat, the more fear you must “not feel.” You may become so numbed up/shut down inside that you cannot feel much of anything. You become what is know as “battle-hardened,” meaning that you can feel hard feelings like hate and anger, but not soft, tender feelings (which is bad news for loved ones).
The reason that the rush of adrenaline, alcohol, drugs, dangerous life style, etc. is so attractive is because you get to feelsomething, which is a step up from the awful deadness of feeling nothing.
Although you walk thru life alone, you are not lonely.
You have a constant companion from combat – Death.
It stands close behind, a little to the left.
Death whispers in your ear; “Nothing matters outside my touch, and I have not touched you…YET!”
Death never leaves you – it is your best friend, your most trusted advisor, your wisest teacher.
Death teaches you that every day above ground is a fine day.
Death teaches you to feel fortunate on good days, and bad days…well, they do not exist.
Death teaches you that merely seeing one more sunrise is enough to fill your cup of life to the
brim – pressed down and running over!
Death teaches you that you can postpone its touch by earning serenity.
Serenity is earned by a lot of prayer and acceptance.
Acceptance is taking one step out of denial and accepting/allowing your repressed, painful combat memories to be re-lived/suffered thru/shared with other combat vets – and thus de-fused.
Each time you accomplish this dreaded act of courage/desperation:
the pain gets less;
more tormenting combat demons hiding in the darkness of your gut –
which you can feel but cannot language because they are out of sight down below the level of your awareness
— are thrown out into the healing sunlight of awareness, thereby disappearing them;
the less bedeviling combat demons, the more serenity earned.
Serenity is, regretfully, rather an indistinct quality, but it manifests as an immense feeling of fulfillment/satisfaction:
from having proven your honor under fire;
from having demonstrated to be a fact that you did your duty no matter what;
and from being grateful to Higher Power/your Creator for sparing you.
It is an iron law of nature that such serenity lengthens life span to the max.
Down thru the dusty centuries it has always been thus.
It always will be, for what is seared into a man’s soul who stands face to face with death never changes.
WRITER’S NOTE (1)
This work attempts to describe the world as seen thru the eyes of a combat veteran. It is a world virtually unknown to the public because few veterans can talk about it.
This is unfortunate since people who are trying to understand, and make meaningful contact with combat veterans, are kept in the dark.
How do you establish a rapport with a combat veteran? It is very simple. Demonstrate to him out in the open in front of God and everybody that you too have a Code of Honor – that is, you also keep your word – no matter what!
Do it and you will forge a bond between you.
Do it not and you will not.
End of story. Case closed.
I offer these poor, inadequate words – bought not taught – in the hope that they may shed some small light on why combat veterans are like they are, and how they can fix it.
It is my life desire that this tortured work, despite its many defects, may yet still provide some tiny sliver of understanding which may blossom into tolerance – nay, acceptance – of a Warrior’s perhaps unconventional way of being due to combat-damaged emotions from doing his duty under fire.
Signed, a Purple Heart Medal recipient who wishes to remain anonymous.
Dedicated to absent friends in unmarked graves.
Respectfully written and submitted by;
Pete Oakander, Purple Heart Medal recipient [email@example.com]
Commander of Chief Joseph Chapter 509 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart – Boise, Idaho
Charter Member of American Legion Post 39 – Middleton, Idaho
Yours in Patriotism. You are invited to help spread the word about the Warrior’s Code of Honor
The writer of the Warriors Code welcomes comments/feedback. They may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am writing to you today to ask for your help. I am a Combat Infantryman that earned my Combat Infantry Badge in during my tour to Iraq in 2005-2006. I am a disabled veteran with a rating of 80%, due to my injuries suffered during multiple engagements. I have an 11 year old son who is permanently disabled with a rare and severe form of Down Syndrome. He also suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder, epileptic seizures, and severe sleep apnea. Caleb is such a blessing to my wife Keri and our children. He is the picture of innocence. Caleb is unable to communicate, walk, feed or groom himself. He is still in diapers and needs 24 hour a day supervision and care due to his aggressive outburst. Caleb needs everything in life done for him. He is in a sense, an 11 year old 90 pound toddler. The problem is, my wife and I are at the point that we are physically unable to lift and carry him up and down the stairs in our home. We are unable to get him down the stairs and the driveway and onto the bus. We are having serious trouble getting him in and out of the bath tub. He is what you would call “dead weight.” I work approximately 55 hours a week and commute another 2 hours a day to a job that has very good insurance. Caleb spends countless days and weeks in and out of hospitals every year. I work a job that hasn’t seen a pay raise in over four years and a constant rise for my health insurance premiums. My wife is unable to work, due to the fact that she is Caleb’s primary care taker. With as hard as I work, we just barely make paying the bills each month. Caleb requires thousands of dollars every year in extra expenditures that a “normal” child would not need. Caleb does not qualify for many government assistance programs, due to the fact that I have a job. It is a sad state that I work to provide insurance for him, but that also makes him ineligible for many programs or financial support provided on the local, state and national government levels. My wife and I are at a crossroads, we need to modify our home to make it handicap accessible. We need to turn our garage into a living space for Caleb, so that we will no longer have to negotiate the stairs with him. We also need to install a completely accessible bathroom in that area, so that we can bathe him appropriately. We have had several estimates to do this work and the cheapest is $20,000. I have looked at loans, but the payments are unaffordable. We can’t refinance, due to the value of our home drastically dropping due to the housing crisis. We have used up all of our savings over the past few years due to the rise in Caleb’s medical expenses. I come to you and the Combat Infantryman’s Association as a member, seeking our organizations help to make the improvements to Caleb’s living conditions. I don’t know if there is anyway you can help, but at this point, we are at the end of our rope. I feel awkward just having to ask for help, but I don’t know what else to do. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.
In today’s issue (Sun Jan 15) my hometown newspaper printed the attached story about an Army Captain, a chaplain, being awarded the Army’s fairly new Combat Action Badge. Please read the second sentence, second paragraph. Maybe I am over sensitive but that really galls my butt. The CAB is NOT THE EQUIVALENT OF THE CIB. Anyone who comes under fire – once – qualifies for the CAB. I know the article was written by some well-meaning but uninformed Public Affairs Officer but he needs to get it together. I did not earn my CIB and I’ll bet you didn’t either by defending an outpost one night, for one assault. I have already written a letter to the editor giving my view. I hope you will do the same. Please pass this on to any member you can and ask them to flood the Hickory Daily Record with letters making them aware that the CIB and CAB are not equals.
I really feel we need to make a statement on this.
Larry, Blue Badge Editor
It should be noted that the CIB is to worn on the left side of a jacket or shirt and that no medal or badge is to be worn above the CIB. The CIB when worn properly is the single most honorable decoration we Infantrymen can receive and no medal, to include the MOH, DSC, Silver Star, Bronze Star or badges, i.e., jump wings is to be worn above the CIB. When I attend military functions or gatherings and see someone wearing the CIB I always ask where they earned the CIB and what their MOS was. Surprisingly, I’ve encountered some individuals who were unaware of the requirement for properly wearing the CIB. And on two occasions I’ve met three individuals wearing the CIB improperly who were phonies and had not earned it, needless to say, I asked them to remove it.
If each of us would pause for a moment and recall what we endured to earn the CIB, I’m sure each of us would want to properly wear the CIB with due respect and honor in which we earned it. Even now as an Army retiree and old grunt, I still wear my CIB proudly and with full respect for those that remember what it means to be INFANTRY.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully this information can be passed on to my fellow Infantrymen who read The Blue Badge. Wear the CIB with pride, you’ve earned it the hard way.
To Old Friend, Long Gone, But Not Forgotten
Bryan E. Middleton LM 1146
U.S. Army Retired
ATTENTION NEW YORK STATE COMBAT INFANTRYMEN AWARDED THE PRESTIGIOUS COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PLACE THE ELITE NEW YORK STATE CIB PLATE ON YOUR AUTOMOBILE
Download the application and fill it out completely. Attach your DD-214 or orders showing award of the CIB. Include your check or money order and mail to: New York State CIA Division Commander,Mr. Perry Marchigiani, 221 Dunwoodie ST. Yonkers, NY 10704 Tele # 914-760-3670
Perry will approve the application if everything is correct and then forward on to the agency. (note-you are not required to be a member of our association in order to receive this plate however the New York Division Commander must approve the application before it is accepted by the agency)
Download Form Here
The links below are cover letters and flyers from a group in Delaware that hosts weekends for our wounded soldiers and Marines. They are looking for donations and funding to continue their noble efforts to assist our wounded military personnel.
warriorweekend.com (Their Web Site Home Page is also listed on the Links Page)
Subject: Kansas Bill HB 2132
My name is John Hien and I simply want to make you aware of Kansas bill HB 2132 making it’s way through the Kansas legislature. Please….take time to read……If you agree with what Kansas is doing, then do nothing. However, if you disagree, please do what you believe is appropriate…….
Who Am I?
I served in Vietnam from Jan. ’67 to Aug. ’68, for a total of 18 months, with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (11 ACR), mostly with H Co. on an M-48 tank. I was wounded early in my tour on Operation Junction City and received a Purple Heart. I, along with (2) other crewmen, extended our tour of duty an add’l 6 months because we became so close. Our tank commander, Ssgt. John Ortiz, was KIA while I was on leave for extending my tour of duty and I didn’t learn of his death until I returned.
What is Kansas bill HB 2132?
See attachments for reference…..
In the original version of HB 2132, dated 1/31/2011, passed by the Kansas House of Representatives, it provided ‘Gold Star Family’ license plates to immediate family members. However, a provision in the bill allowed ‘Next of Kin’ families to also obtain ‘Gold Star Family’ plates. As I’m sure you’re aware, ‘Gold Star’ status is traditionally awarded to a service person whose life is taken in combat. ‘Next of Kin’ status is awarded to any service person who dies while on active duty, regardless of circumstances. Kansas Representative Melanie Meier went so far as to testify “….those killed non-combat are also Gold Star…”, which I think is valid only if the death occurred in a combat zone. Ms. Diana Pitts, the President of the NE Kansas chapter of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. also testified, stating “DoD does not differentiate between KIA and Non-Combat deaths any longer”, which I’m sure you’re aware is false.
My interpretation of ‘Next of Kin’, since circumstances are not considered, would include a service person who died while on routine duty, in a training accident, and even due to irresponsible behavior…..cause of death is not a consideration for ‘Next of Kin’ status. Is this the legacy that should be attached to ‘Gold Star’?
I was quite upset when I learned ‘Gold Star’ and ‘Next of Kin’ would be lumped together. Another way of looking at it would be to add the names of all service persons who died while on active duty during the Vietnam war, regardless of circumstances or where served, to the Vietnam war memorial. This is not the legacy of what ‘Gold Star’ stands for.
Opponents of the original version of HB 2132 included:
….Judith Dietz (her father is Psgt. Glenn Nicholson, KIA May 5, 1968)
……..Judith can be reached at: email@example.com
….Antoinette Ortiz-Colon (her father, Sgt. John Ortiz, was KIA January 17, 1968…..Sgt. Ortiz was my Tank commander)
……..Antoinette can be reached at: ymtoni_C@hotmail.com
Judith and Antoinette traveled a long distance at their own expense to testify because they felt so strongly against HB 2132.
The original version of HB 2132 was revised 3/16/2011 by the Kansas Committee on Transportation. The bill will now provide ‘Families Of The Fallen’ license plates and will have a gold star design printed on the plate. This version of HB 2132 again lumps together ‘Gold Star’ and ‘Next of Kin’, significantly detracting ‘Gold Star’ legacy.
See instructions on ‘DD FORM 3 FEB 2000′ for ‘Gold Star Lapel Button’ qualification.
See ‘Federal Code of Regulations, Title 32, Volume 3, Chapter V, Part 578 – Medals, Ribbons, and Similar Devices’ for add’l info concerning ‘Gold Star’ and ‘Next of Kin’.
See website: http://www.goldstarmoms.com/Join/GoldStarPin/GettingYourGoldStarPin.htm for add’l info concerning ‘Gold Star’ and ‘Next of Kin’ status.
See website: http://h-co.freehomepage.com/index.htm
The home page shows Psgt. Glenn Nicholson speaking to (2) or (3) others near the rear of the tank. His sergeant strips are clearly visible.
I’m bending over on the rear deck of the tank.
‘Photo Album 2′ shows a picture of Sgt John Ortiz.
Photo Album 3′ are pictures I took.
Lastly, you can contact me at the info below under my name.
Thanks in advance,
4215 S. Burrell St.
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Home Ph: 414-744-6318
(formerly H/2/11 ACR)
Subject: VA OFFICE OF SECURITY & LAW ENFORCEMENT
The following is an advisory sent out by the National Guard Bureau (NGB) in reference to a group called “Veterans Affairs Services”.
An organization called Veterans Affairs Services (VAS) is providing benefit and general information VA and gathering personal information on veterans. This organization is not affiliated with the VA in any way. Websites with the name “VA services” immediately after with the “www” ARE NOT part of the Department of Veterans Affairs; the real VA website in .gov. If approached or called, do not offer them any information concerning yourself or data on other veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not randomly call veterans; no does it ask veterans for information which it does not already have. If you have not dealt with the VA previously and in person, then you receive a call from someone saying they are with the VA or something similar sounding, hang up the phone. Do not respond to emails which suggest that they are from the VA. The VA never conducts official business nor asks for personal information by email.
VAS may be gaining access to military personnel through their close resemblance to the VA name and seal. NGB legal Counsel has requested that the NGB Provost Marshal Office coordinate with DOD to inform military installations, particularly mobilization sites, of the group and their lack of affiliation or endorsement by the VA to provide any services.
This organization is not affiliated with VA in any way.
VAS may be gaining access to military personnel through their close resemblance to the VA name and seal. Our Legal Counsel has requested that we coordinate with DoD to inform military installations, particularly mobilization sites, of this group and their lack of affiliation or endorsement by VA to provide any services. In addition, GC requests that if you have any examples of VAS acts that violate chapter 59 of Title 38 United States Code, such as VAS employees assisting veterans in the preparation and presentation of claims for benefits, please pass any additional information to Mr.Daugherty at the address below.
Michael G. Daugherty
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of General Counsel (022G2
To all you soldiers, yeah its Rama. Well I am on Together We Served, and its a good soldier network. Great way to keep in touch. And just so you guys know its me, Stay Frosty, Rama ‘Toulon-Rouge’ ToulonEstablished in 2008 and now home to several hundred thousand Army Members, ATWS was specially created to enable Soldiers, of all eras, the opportunity to reconnect with those they served with, share in the camaraderie of other Soldiers and record their Army Service in the most comprehensive and accurate format available. Possibly the finest presentation of a military service available anywhere, a special “Shadow Box View” of your Army service is available to you as soon as you join.
Cell Phone Numbers Go Public. All cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS (depending on our provider and your plan) To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.
It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.
HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON. It takes about 20 seconds https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx
ONCE AGAIN FRAUD /SCAMS GET EXPOSED BY OUR MAN IN TEXAS
You need to know more about the American War Library (AWL), a long time fraud that has been circulating for years with all kinds of aliases used by Phill Coleman, the main man behind the AWL.
US Veterans be wary. When you come across The American War Library (AWL) http://www.amervets.com you see a long list of links and web resources. One of the items they provide is information to help you determine your military service authorized awards. How do they do this: By asking you to send them some confidential documents with all of your personal information. From this, they will send you a response.
But why would this private organization want this material? Do they sell it? Do they use it for marketing products or services? Are you at risk for identify theft if you deal with The American War Library?
The American War Library
16907 Brighton Avenue
Gardena CA 90247-5420
On their front page, there is a list of links, several of which are broken, not a good impression for their front page. A store front with a broken door off its hinges does not impress new customers or visitors.
Their email and contact information is to a dot com domain, and a local mailing address. No affiliation can be determined from that information. And just what exactly is a Form 201-A that I would want one, and then once I have it, staple it to the back of my DD-214?
What next? Why let’s call them on the phone, and ask the tough questions. What happens? They hang up. Several calls get the same response or an answer and hang up.
Why hang up when someone asks a simple question – “Can you verify my military record and help me get my DD-214?”
Of course the answer to that is no. Military records must be requested directly by the individual and by contacting the US Government. Not a private company selling replica certificates. Perhaps a few fixes to the website, a security statement, and someone who answers the phone who can verify the integrity of this operation would be helpful. Until then, I would be leery of this outfit. Too many questions in a society of people just itching to gather your personal information for an arms length list of reasons. Let alone sending a stranger your name, date of birth, social security number and previous and current home address.
The view expressed in this article are those of a concerned veteran; and are not necessarily that of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association