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Sara Reynolds designed this image for Vet to Vet Peers. Please visit the following site if you’re interested in purchasing t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Calvin Murphy from Bear Lake, Michigan. I am a 66 year old 100% disable Viet Nam Veteran. I served in the United states Army from 1965 to 1967. In 1966 and 1967 I served in Viet Nam and served with the “”C”" Btry. 1st bn. 44th Arty. and we came under the command of the 1st Calvary Division. We served on the DMZ with the 3rd marine Division. One of the men that I served with that was from Lansing, Michigan was Spec. Arthur Wright. On Feb. 21st 1967 Arthur was captured by enemy forces and never found and is presumed dead. Over the years I found Arthur Wrights family and got to know them very well. Arthurs wife Uvah Wright is 82 years old and lives alone. It was brought to my attntion that her health is not good and she needed a handicap ramp built on her home. I started to try find some kind of help to get this ramp and all I found was close doors on local, state and federal outlets. Then my State Representatives Ray Franz”s office called and gave me a number for Habitat For Humanity in Lansing and in three days they were out there and built the ramp for Uvah Wright. Then I was told see had very bad leaks in her roof and I was back to square one. Went to Habitat For humanity again and they were low on funding and could not do the roof. Then the story takes a turn!!!!!!!
On Sept. 28th I was at a Memorial service with Rolling Thunder Honor Guard in Kingsley, Michigan for a Viet Nam veterans whose remains were found in Cambodia. He died in helicopter in 1970 and his remains returned to the U.S. . At this service I meant Col. Bruce Peterson (Ret.) who was also a Viet Nam veteran. I told him that I was so glad for the Burgess family that they were getting closure for there loved on after all these years. Then I said I served with a man whose family that has not gotten that closure yet and proceeded to tell him about Arthur Wright’s wife Uvah. He gave me his card and said call me Monday. I did and he said he belonged to the Allen J. Lynch Medal Of Honor Veterans Foundation and he talked with the board of Directors and they said it was OK to purchase materials to fix Mrs. Wright’s roof. My prayers were answered. I put out a call to other veterans to help me achieve this mission and some showed up.
One of these veterans was Eric Calley of Lansing, Michigan. Eric made the contact with MO-JO and the team from Q106 FM radio in Lansing. They heard what we were doing and called us right in to the station and put us on the air. They put the call out to veterans that we needed help to complete this project. The phones started ringing immediately. Then one of the team of Q106 said they knew a person with the Home Builders Association of Lansing and made the call. One Local One contractor was told about what we were doing from this phone call and he came out. We ran into some tough areas of this roof and for two days he donated his time and this job was completed with a high degree of quality. His name is Benjamin Cohoon of Lansing, Michigan. This would not have been completed the way it was if it had not been for this young man stepping up to the plate like he did. I am just in “AWE” of him. He owns the company of COHOON BUILDERS & ROOFERS. He was the only contractor to step up and would love to have people know about him. This man is a “TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOT”! He is truly grateful to those who have served.
For us Veterans we were just helping the family of a brother and it was nothing short of what we know Arthur Wright would have done if it was one of us. So we say HOO-AH mission complete. So for me to see people like MO-JO and the team from Q-106 FM Radio and a man who has never served in the military to step up to help like he did makes a veteran like me proud to say I served the people of America. When I see people like Mr.Ben Cohoon who is grateful for our service it also makes me proud. People like MO-JO and the Q106 team and Ben make you want to shout from the highest roof I am “PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN” and show what we can do when we work together. I salute MO-JO and the team of Q-106 and Ben Cohoon. God Bless You!!!
To view and download VA news release, please visit the following Internet address:
One Million Now Benefit from Post-9/11 GI Bill
Over $30 Billion in Benefits for Veterans, Servicemembers, Families
WASHINGTON (Nov. 8, 2013) – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that 1 million Veterans, Servicemembers, and family members have benefited from the Post-9/11 GI Bill since the program’s inception in August 2009.
The Veterans Benefits Administration, which administers the program, has distributed over $30 billion in the form of tuition and other education-related payments to Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families; and to the universities, colleges, and trade schools they attend.
“This is one of the most important programs helping our Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans reach their educational goals and find a good job,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We’re proud this important benefit is making such a big difference in the lives of so many Veterans and their families.”
“Over the next few years, as more than a million service men and women end their military careers and return to civilian life, education will be at the forefront of that transition,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “As a community college teacher, I have seen firsthand the qualities our veterans bring to the classroom – dedication, a sense of teamwork, and a commitment to their work. Helping our veterans succeed in the classroom so they can go on to find good jobs to support their families is one important way we can thank them for their service.”
Today, VA announced that Steven Ferraro, who is currently attending Middlesex County College, a public community college in Edison, N.J., has been identified as the 1 millionth Post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiary. Ferraro served in the Army from 2003-2013 and deployed to Iraq in 2008 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is the father of three and is majoring in communications.
“I thought it was a great privilege to be the one millionth recipient of the GI Bill,” said Ferraro. “Coming back to college after leaving the military, it was a great stepping stone for me and my family.”
“We are pleased that the Post-9/11 generation of Veterans is taking advantage of this significant benefit program,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “The scope of the program we’ve administered thus far would fund the undergraduate student bodies of Virginia Tech, Ohio State University, West Virginia University, and University of Florida combined – for eight years.”
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit created by Congress in 2008. In general, Veterans and Servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible. On average, VA processes the initial claims for Post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits in 23 days.
VA’s new automated processing system, called the Long-Term Solution, uses more than 1,600 business rules to support end-to-end automation of Post-9/11 GI Bill claims, ensuring accurate payments without the need for manual handling, also resulting in quicker processing of education claims.
Servicemembers have the opportunity to transfer the benefit to immediate family members. Legally, GI Bill benefits are tiered based on the number of days served on active duty, giving activated National Guard and Reserve members the same benefits as all other active duty members. These benefits include:
· Up to the full amount of tuition and fees for a state-operated college or university. The Yellow Ribbon Program may provide additional assistance for students attending private institutions or who are charged out-of-state tuition and fees;
· Monthly housing allowance, which is based upon the location of the school; and
· Annual books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill also provides work-study programs, tutorial assistance and license and certification test reimbursement.
Enacted in 1944, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, known as the “GI Bill of Rights;” recognized that military service was an inherently selfless act which demanded a certain amount of compensation. As a result of the bill, nearly half of the 16 million Veterans of World War II went to school and received an education – helping to rejuvenate the post-war economy and transform not only the lives of Veterans, but the fabric of the nation.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill builds on the same great legacy of the original GI Bill, giving Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families a chance to improve their lives and invest in their future through higher education. For more information on VA education benefits go to http://www.gibill.va.gov/
Just wanted to update, everyone on “The Fight Continues” path forward into the future. We have set up a way to get Veterans, who have made a successful transition back into civilian life, nationally certified as a Peer Mentor. Then assist the veterans on setting up their Fire Team of Help/ Volunteers to start finding our struggling veterans. Each Peer Mentor is given the “Fire-Team Plan” to help them form their team. Then they can track down there fellow brother and sister down to get them into a week long Transitional Program at no cost to them. At these programs they find themselves again. The change that occurs to these lucky few veterans that graduate one of the Transitional Programs is something hard to put into words. They have a sense of Hope Again! The lives of our Combat Veterans over the last 10+ years have been one of continued sacrifices. Please Donate Any amount of Money to Help us save our generation of War Heroes!, $5-$10-$1,000,000…….Anything.Donate to “The Fight Continues”
We don’t limit the scope of our help to our fellow Brothers and Sisters. We handle each Veteran’s transitional needs on a case by case basis. This helps us to make sure that we address all aspects in there difficult transition back to civilian life.
We also are having our Mentors going to Veteran Court, to help Mentor the Veterans that have got into legal trouble due to not been taught how to deal with there PTSD, or TBI. Also getting the court system to order the Veteran in legal trouble to attend one of the Transitional Programs. There is an estimated 200,000-240,000 GWOT Veterans in the Justice System. Also an estimated 24,000 GWOT Veterans are currently homeless.
We need your help to make sure that we are able to go save our fellow Brothers and Sisters lives. We are losing 22-26 Brothers and Sisters every single day.
On a Personal Note, I have had six brothers of mine choose suicide and one recently within the last ninety days. We are in desperate need of Donations so we can travel to these Veterans house as soon as we are alerted by the public. In the case of my last brother, who chose suicide to end the suffering he had endured for every American, he reached out to me a couple days before his death. We talked for a couple hours. I knew he was in a bad state, and needed his fellow brothers and sisters in arms to come to his rescue. He did not know any other Combat Veterans in his area, so he isolated himself in his apartment and reached out to me after he had spiraled down into a deep depression. If I would of had the money, to travel the 1,300 miles to pull him out of his suicidal mindset; save his life. I obviously would of done that. That facts are that we desperatly need your Help/Donations so we can save our Nation’s Heroes. Our two Veteran Volunteers/Founders have spent well over $40,000.00 of there own families money because they have faith that the American People will rally around us. Below is our Mission Statement. Thank You for Reading this letter all the way through. God Bless
The Fight Continues would like to thank the Okemos Home Depot for building and constructing a wheel chair accessible 8ft by 12ft deer blind to allow disabled Veterans to be able to enjoy hunting for Michigan’s finest Whitetail from Grand Ledge Michigan. They not only donated all the materials, but donated their time and effort to honor Veterans who have sacrificed so much and provided and adequate comfortable deer blind that will enhance the lives of many through recreational hunting. From the Oklahoma Tornado earlier this year to the deer blind, Home Depot and its employees ensure that Veterans and their Communities. Semper Fidelis, The Fight Continues
This Saturday, Oct. 26 2013, James is looking for volunteers to help hold military boots to collect donations that will go toward non-profits whom work with Veterans. There is a MMA event this Saturday at the Chaifetz Arena in St Louis. As a volunteer you will also receive free admission into this great event. If you are interested in volunteering your time please feel free to contact James at 618-402-4622
James Sperry will be speaking at the Brain Injury Association of Missouri 9th Annual Statewide Confrence Closing Keynote Session. This is going to be taking place on Friday October 18th, 2013 in the St Charles Convention Center in the Grand Ballroom B. For more information on this great speaking event please see the attached flyer located below.
This week we’ve also been asking veterans about their thoughts on a possible US strike in Syria.
James Sperry is a Marine and a veteran of the Iraq War.
He was wounded in 2004 in the Battle of Fallujah.
He now directs an organization called The Fight Continues helping support veterans with Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries.
Sperry responded to our question with a rather passionate plea on Syria.
To listen to this full interview please click here
fighting with our government to get the benefits that she deserves and has earned. This is a great article that was posted on the WLNS website
out of Michigan. Below is a small excerpt from the story and you can read the full story by clicking here. Also there is a cooresponding
video that goes with this article below.
information below about this incredible event.
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On Veterans Day (November 11, 2013), a group of disabled and able-bodied military veterans and civilians will make a bid for the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,895m). K2 Adventures Foundation will put together a diverse team of military veterans, active-duty soldiers and civilians to tackle Africa’s highest peak in celebration of those who have served and those who continue to serve. Click here to read more....
This is the video that goes along with the article featured on KSDK with Art Holiday “PTSD plagues many military members, but help is available” featuring James Sperry of The Fight Continues.
This is the corresponding video that went with the KSDK story tonight of “”
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The Things They Cannot Say