VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, DAV, VFW Dist Four, Dept. of Oklahoma, PRO/Editor
President Obama Supports Requiring Women Registering for Selective Service
The Military Times reports that President Obama supports requiring women to register for Selective Service when they turn 18, becoming the first president to endorse universal draft registration since Jimmy Carter. The White House had previously expressed neutrality on the controversy, but took a position in a statement to USA TODAY. But the timing of Obama’s support makes it mostly symbolic, coming in the final weeks of his presidency and the day before the House will vote on a defense policy bill that strips a Senate-passed provision to add women to Selective Service. Instead, the compromise version now calls only for a commission to study two related issues: Whether women should be included in Selective Service, and whether the Selective Service system itself should be abolished. Obama believes adding women to the draft would serve two purposes: showing a commitment to gender equality throughout the armed services, and fostering a sense of public service that comes from requiring draft registration as a ritual of adulthood. The Pentagon also expressed its support for a universal draft.
(Editors note, no word yet from the Trump Administration on this issue).
Veterans in Congress
The following comes from Patriot Post, 11/17/2016. Veterans once filled the overwhelming majority of congressional seats. In fact, according to the American Enterprise Institute’s GarySchmitt and Rebecca Burgess, “In 1971, veterans made up 72 percent of the House of Representatives and 78 percent of the Senate. In 1991, the Congress that approved the use of force against Iraq in Operation Desert Storm had only slightly more veterans than non-veterans.” Fast forward to now, however, and the statistics are reversed: “In today’s Congress, veterans hold 20 percent of Senate seats, while 18 percent of House members are veterans.”
Schmitt and Burgess contend that today’s proportional number of veterans to general population doesn’t provide an adequate reason for the drop. “The decline of veterans in public office has been sharper than the decline of veterans within the general population,” they write. “Why? Perhaps the most significant reason is the current cost of running for Congress. The price tag for a Senate campaign stands near $10.5 million, the House near $1.6 million.”
Which makes the relatively recent electoral wins by veterans Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton and even Democrat Tammy Duckworth all the more remarkable, if not inspiring. Last week, another veteran was added to American governance — Republican and decorated ex-Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, who will succeed Jay Nixon as governor of Missouri. Do these gains portend even broader wins for veterans down the road?
There’s at least reason for optimism.
“Any reversal of the declining trend in veterans in the halls of Congress,” write Schmitt and Burgess, “will probably begin with the one tried-and-true way to gain legislative experience, build name recognition, and increase access to a fundraising network — election to a state legislature. State legislative office is a traditional steppingstone to federal office, with 50 percent of the 114th Congress, for example, composed of former state legislators. From this perspective, the good news is that no fewer than 1,039 out of 7,383 state legislators have military experience — 14 percent.”
The authors note that, because of military evolution and other circumstances, “veterans in American legislatures will not reach again the high levels of the 1970s.” In any case, a growing number of Patriots are taking up an important new endeavor — taking the fight from the battlefields to legislatures locally and on Capitol Hill.
Blood Pressure Study: Vietnam Era Veterans
VA researchers found a link between service-related occupational exposure to herbicides and high blood pressure (hypertension) risk among U.S. Army Chemical Corps (ACC) Veterans, a group of Veterans assigned to do chemical operations during the Vietnam War. Researchers also found an association between military service in Vietnam and hypertension risk among these Veterans.
Researchers at VA’s Post Deployment Health Services Epidemiology Program, Office of Patient Care Services, conducted the Army Chemical Corps Vietnam-Era Veterans Health Study, a three-phase study of nearly 4,000 Veterans who served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps between 1965 and 1973. The study included a survey that requested information on these Veterans’ exposure to herbicides, whether they were ever diagnosed with hypertension by a physician, and their health behaviors such as cigarette smoking and alcohol use. To confirm self-reported hypertension, researchers conducted in-home blood pressure measurements and a medical records review for a portion of study participants.
ACC Veterans were studied because of their documented occupational involvement with chemical distribution, storage, and maintenance while in military service. This study follows a request by former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki for VA to conduct research on the association between herbicide exposure and hypertension to learn more about if hypertension is related to military service in Vietnam. The research was originally designed and led by Han Kang, PhD., former director of VA’s Epidemiology Program (now retired). Yasmin Cypel, Ph.D., M.S., another researcher with VA’s Epidemiology Program, is currently the principal investigator on this study, which extends prior research on these Veterans.
“This study expands our knowledge of the relationship between hypertension risk and both herbicide exposure and service in Vietnam among Veterans who served during the War by focusing on a specific group of Vietnam era Veterans who were occupationally involved in chemical operations,” said Dr. Cypel.
Self-reported hypertension was the highest among Veterans who distributed or maintained herbicides (sprayers) in Vietnam (81.6%), followed by Veterans who sprayed herbicides and served during the Vietnam War but never in Southeast Asia (non-Vietnam Veterans) (77.4%), Veterans who served in Vietnam but did not spray herbicides (72.2%), and Veterans who did not spray herbicides and were non-Vietnam Veterans (64.6%).
The odds of hypertension among herbicide sprayers were estimated to be 1.74 times the odds among non-sprayers, whereas the odds of hypertension among those who served in Vietnam was 1.26 times the odds among non-Vietnam Veterans.
The researchers would like to extend their thanks to all those Army Chemical Corps Vietnam Era Veterans who participated in this study for their contribution to the research. Without their input there would be no findings to report and no additions to existing findings on the health consequences of military service during the Vietnam War.
VA will review the results from this research, along with findings from other similar studies and recommendations from the recent National Academies of Science report on Veterans and Agent Orange, when considering whether to add hypertension as a presumptive service condition for Vietnam Veterans.
To read more about the Army Chemical Corps Vietnam-Era Veterans Health Study, go to http://www.publichealth.va.gov/epidemiology/studies/vietnam-army-chemical-corps.asp.
What is hard is watching two Oklahoma Univ. Football games and not knowing who to root for (SE Okla State Univ Alumni).