December 1 , 2009
Veterans News, By Edward G. Aulman

Wreath Laying Ceremony

On Saturday, December 12, 2009 veterans and Boy Scouts from the Farmingdale area will again be placing wreath on graves at the Long Island National Cemetery.  Some 2,700 wreaths will be placed between 9:00am and 12:00pm, followed by a service at noon.

Please consider sponsoring one or more wreaths to be laid on a veteran’s grave on December 12, 2009.  Please make all checks payable to: NY Wing Civil Air Patrol and send to: Maj. Louis P. Fenech, Jr., 196 N. Main St., Suite 1, Sayville, NY 11782. Individual Wreath Sponsorship is $15; Family Sponsorship 4 Wreaths is $60; Small Business Sponsorship 10 Wreaths is $150; and Corporate Sponsorships 100 Wreaths is $1500.

Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony

The Long Island Air Force Association will present a Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony on Monday, December 7, 2009 at 10:30am at The American Air Power Museum on New Highway at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY.   This is the 68th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  At 12 noon The Skytypers of New York will fly vintage WWII aircraft along with the Antique Airplane Club and Bayport Aerodrome Society from Republic Airport to New York Harbor.  The aircraft will drop sixty-eight American Beauty Roses over the Statue of Liberty at precisely 12:55pm, to commemorate the exact time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

New Count on Homeless

According to the latest numbers released through the office of Senator Charles E. Schumer there are 1,023 that could be homeless in Nassau County out of 71,559 veterans who live in the county.

New Law Makes it Easier to Vote

The Department of Defense authorization bill, which cleared the Senate last week on a vote of 68-29 in late October, was signed by President Obama.  The new law, sponsored by Senator Charles Schumer, will go a long way to see that the votes of all our military are counted.   A recent study showed that one in four ballots cast by our military was not counted.  The law requires states to provide ballots electronically and it beefs up the Federal Voting Assistance Program at the Department of Defense, the main source of election-related information and assistance for many members of the military.

Social Security and Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom

If you or someone you know were wounded while in the military, find out more about what Social Security can do for you by visiting our website designed for our wounded veterans:  There, you will find answers to a number of commonly asked questions, as well as other useful information about disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  Please pay special attention to the fact sheets available on that website, Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors and Expediting Disability Applications for Wounded Warriors, Everett M. Lo, Social Security Administration

Osteoporosis for Former Prisoners of War

Former POWs who also have a diagnosis of PTSD and whose osteoporosis is at least 10% disabling will find their osteoporosis presumed to be service-connected. Effective September 28, 2009, the amendment implements a decision by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish such a presumption based on scientific studies and as provided by Public Law 110-389.

Three New Agent Orange Diseases

Vietnam veterans have three new diseases to consider service-connected: Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, and B cell leukemia’s such as hairy cell leukemia. Word is not getting out about these diseases because the Veterans Service Agency is not seeing a significant increase in claims.  In practical terms, Veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and who have a “presumed’ illness don’t have to prove an association between their illness and their military service.  Thus “presumption” simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits.

The other “presumptive” conditions for Vietnam veterans are: Acute and Subacute  Transient Peripheral Neuropathy, AL Amyloidosis, Chloracne, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Diabetes Mellitus (type 2), Hodgkin’s Disease, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, Prostate Cancer, Respiratory Cancers, and Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or Mesothelioma).