Thursday, December 20, 2018

Two Republican Senators scuttle BWN bill.

From our friends at the VVA:


"Washington, D.C.) -- “Despite the science and despite the support from both Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress, obstruction by two Senators, Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Mike Lee (R-UT), the Senate was prevented from voting on H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act,” said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America. “This bill, which would provide a measure of justice to several thousand sailors and Marines who served aboard ships in the waters off the former South Vietnam, had been passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 382-0 and would assuredly have passed in the Senate. 

"On Monday, December 10, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) brought up the Blue Water Navy bill on the floor of the Senate. When she asked for unanimous consent, it was the senior senator from Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, who objected, citing cost concerns and saying that it would cause “budgetary and operational pressures that would happen at the VA.

"“Contrary to the VA’s assertions, in both testimony before Congress and in a letter rife with inaccuracies, confused speculation, and outright lies, from VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to Senator Johnny Isakson, the Georgia Republican who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs,” said Rowan, “we have the science that shows the pathways of exposure to Agent Orange. The VA’s objections reversed a commitment by Wilkie’s predecessor, Dr. David Shulkin, to ‘do the right thing.’

"“It was déjà vu all over again, reminiscent of the VA’s actions in February 2002, when it abruptly terminated benefits to Navy, Coast Guard, and FMF Marine veterans, thereby limiting the scope of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to only those veterans who could provide proof of ‘boots on the ground.’ The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act would right this wrong, and partially restore coverage to those aggrieved veterans who suffer from illnesses considered presumptive to exposure to Agent Orange and other toxic herbicides.
“So, VVA and our colleagues in the other veterans and military service organization will begin this fight for justice all over again when the 116th Congress is seated.  And we will do so with renewed vigor,” Rowan added."

Shameful!  


VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2018: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Fourteenth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

Monday, December 17, 2018

A Visit from St. Nick and Sarah Hale


Although the tradition of decorating a Christmas Tree began in Latvia in the early 16th Century, it was the Germans who picked it up and developed the tradition on a national basis with their ‘Tannenbaum’.  In the United States it was slow to catch on, being a tradition brought to our shores by the German immigrants.  One need only read the wonderful American poem, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” published in 1823, to see that there is no mention of a tree, only that the stockings that '...were hung by the chimney with care...’ were the repositories of Santa’s gifts.
 

Enter the hero of Thanksgiving – Sarah Hale.  If you recall from an earlier post, Sarah Hale was a 19th Century writer, editor, poet, and political activist, strongly anti-slavery, and very much out in front of the women’s movement.  As editor of Godey’s Ladies Book magazine in Philadelphia, she worked with the likes of Washington Irving, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.


Hale campaigned persistently for decades by writing congress to establish Thanksgiving as a National Holiday.  As we know, Lincoln granted that wish in 1863 when he declared a National Day of Thanksgiving in November.
  

Now we find that Hale did not limit her activities to poetry [she wrote ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’], Thanksgiving, slavery and women’s issues.  


As the editress of Godey’s magazine, Hale published an issue in the decade before the Civil War with a cover depicting an American family around their decorated Christmas Tree.  As it turns out, the American family was neither typical nor American.
 

Christmas Trees, as noted above, were pretty much celebrated by Germans in Germany, and German-Americans in the U.S.  As it turns out, Prince Albert, Prince Consort and husband to Britain’s Queen Victoria, was a German.  He introduced the Christmas Tree to England.  The image used on the cover of Godey’s Ladies’ Book magazine was of Albert and Victoria with their Christmas Tree in England, but with their jewels and sashes and other royalty indicators erased from the image to make it look like it was an American family.  See the two images below for comparison. 


 

Then in 1860, Hale published a short story, a romance centering on a Christmas Tree, with a very detailed description of how to decorate it.  ‘The Christmas Tree’ apparently pushed the country over the edge and Christmas Trees were soon embraced by many American families.

So as you gather around the Christmas Tree in your home on Christmas day, a murmur of thanks is due to one exceptional woman.  Oh yes, the Latvians, the Germans, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria have something to do with it, but so did Sarah Josepha Hale.

Merry Christmas! 

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2018: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Fourteenth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Urge Your Senators to Support the Blue Water Navy Bill Now

Urge Your Senators to Support the Blue Water Navy Bill Now

Take Action

Background: Congress is very close to passing H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018, which would end the injustice of denying Vietnam, Korean DMZ, and Thailand veterans who suffer from life-threatening health conditions the care and benefits they deserve.

Unfortunately, this important bill is now in jeopardy. Make sure your senators support its immediate passage and encourage their colleagues to do the same.

Take Action: Call your senators to demand support for immediate passage of H.R. 299. The Senate cannot continue to delay passage of this important bill while Blue Water Navy veterans sicken and die from diseases related to exposure to Agent Orange.




VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2018: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Fourteenth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.