Monthly Archives: July 2012

Change the Date

Please note that we have officially moved the date of the 7th Annual Golf Tournament from October 8th to October 15th. The tournament will still be held at Cherokee Ridge (4000 Cherokee Ridge Drive  Union Grove, AL 35175) and the shotgun start will still be at 9:00 am.

Also, if you have registered for the event or have already become a sponsor there is no need to worry, you still retain your spot on the green.

If you have any further questions please contact Lupi Rodriguez through email or call (256) 883-7035.

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Upcoming Events Late July

It’s that time again! Take a look here and see what’s coming up. If you would like to participate in any of the events please email Lupi Rodriguez at Also, please consider joining our mailing list – just click “Join Email List” at the top of the screen.

Camp Cha-La-Kee

Huntsville’s YMCA is offering a FREE 3-day/3-night resident camp from August 5-8, to children ages 7-13 of active and/or deployed military parents. Though it is provided at no cost for active military families, the program is open to all others at a reasonable price.

Camp Cha-La-Kee has been the camp experience of a lifetime for many previous campers. They have an excited, dedicated, experienced, and trained staff of counselors who will be spending every minute with the campers during their stay at Camp Cha-La-Kee off of Lake Guntersville as they participate in a variety of outdoor activities that only a secluded and beautiful location as Camp Cha-La-Kee can offer, to include horseback riding, ropes course, archery and riflery, games, arts and crafts, campfire, songs and skits, music and dancing, and endless pool-side and lake-side swimming.

Their popular waterfront activities continue to capture the excitement of campers, like canoeing, boating, and tubing. The Blob, however, is, hands down, the most popular and thrilling lakefront activity at Camp Cha-La-Kee, in which campers are shot high into the air from an oversized inflatable into the refreshing water of Lake Guntersville. It’s so popular, they now crown a Blob King and Queen each summer!

YMCA wants to show their support for our local military community by offering this FREE program.  Interested families can visit either the Hogan YMCA in Madison or the Southeast YMCA in Huntsville to pick up a registration form and parent packet. Timing is essential as an updated physical is required, so appointments will need to be made soon if there are interested families. Families are not required to be members of the YMCA to participate. Those who are not active military will receive a discount if they are members of the Y and/or if they pay in full at registration.

Camp Cha-La-Kee Flyer

Asbestos-Related Diseases are a Concern for Veterans

Until the late 1970s, the United States military used significant amounts of asbestos. These carcinogenic fibers contaminated many military-owned shipyards, hangars and bases. The government stopped using asbestos-containing products around the end of the Vietnam War, but they had already exposed thousands of men and women to the carcinogenic fibers.

Service-connected asbestos exposure has led a disproportionately high number of veterans to develop asbestos-related diseases. Up to 30 percent of all mesothelioma patients are veterans, and numerous veterans have developed different asbestos-related diseases. Veterans who worked as pipefitters, laggers, boiler operators or demolition specialists were especially likely to develop these conditions.

The military rarely uses asbestos products today. The Department of Defense authorized the disposal of 9,770 tons of chrysotile asbestos, 30,900 tons of amosite asbestos and 33 tons of crocidolite asbestos from their stockpile. They also implemented special handling procedures for asbestos-containing materials. However, asbestos-related diseases are still a concern for current armed forces members.

If old asbestos products that still remain in place become friable, they pose an exposure risk. Because of this risk, the military instructs veterans to be careful with older products and to report any asbestos threats to their supervising officer.

Where the Military Used Asbestos

Each branch of the military used asbestos. The Navy was the heaviest consumer of the fibers. They required asbestos insulation on all of their newly commissioned ships. However, the Army, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard also used asbestos in several different applications.

Military aircraft often contained asbestos parts in their cooling systems, while tanks and other vehicles contained asbestos brakes and friction products. The military also used asbestos-reinforced packings, gaskets, lagging cloth, cement and plastics.

Military bases were also home to asbestos. Many bases contained asbestos tiles, adhesives, shingles and wallboard. Facilities outside of the U.S. also contained asbestos. For example, several Army facilities in Germany contained crocidolite-contaminated corrugated roofing products.

These asbestos-containing products did not pose exposure threats when they were in good condition, but combat or construction may have disturbed the product and released asbestos fibers into the air. If anybody inhaled or ingested these airborne fibers, they then faced an elevated risk for several asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos-Related Diseases that Veterans Face

The most common asbestos-related illnesses include mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestos cancer. However, asbestos can cause several other illnesses, such as:

  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural effusions
  • Pleural scarring

These diseases typically arise several decades after exposure occurs. Once the disease is fully formed within the body, it may take several more months for symptoms such as chest pain, coughing or difficulty breathing to appear. That means that veterans who came into contact with asbestos during the 1960s and ‘70s may just now be noticing symptoms of asbestos-related diseases.

How Veterans can Alleviate these Asbestos-Related Disease Concerns

Veterans who already inhaled asbestos cannot undo the damage that has already occurred inside their body. However, veterans can use their knowledge of asbestos-related diseases to carefully monitor their health for signs of these conditions.

Asbestos-related disease screenings are highly recommended for veterans. These tests can detect abnormal changes in the body before they develop into a full-blown illness. For many veterans, these tests are included as part of their health care benefits.

Veterans can also apply for additional benefits if they develop an asbestos-related condition. The government offers pension and disability pay programs for veterans who become ill from service-connected exposure. While these resources can help alleviate financial concerns, the paperwork can be daunting. The retired veterans who work with The Mesothelioma Center’s Veterans Assistance Program can help simplify the application process.

The Mesothelioma Center can also help veterans schedule appointments with leading specialists across the nation. They can even help connect patients with renowned doctors from VA hospitals, such as Dr. Avi Leventhal at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

For more information please visit the Mesothelioma Center’s website.

Author bio: Faith Franz researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer.

Hiring Our Heroes Career Fair

Join us August 23, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, for a job fair for veteran job seekers, active duty military members, Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses, at the Huntsville Marriott, 5 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35805. This event will be a one-of-a-kind FREE hiring fair for both employers and job seekers.
This hiring event is being conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, Office of the Mayor, Huntsville AL, the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), the Alabama Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Still Serving Veterans Alabama, NBC News, and other local partners.
Hiring Our Heroes has launched an online partnership with to complement our face to face hiring fair efforts across the country. Veterans can get help writing resumes and interview tips; translating military skills, experience, and training into related civilian careers; and finding current lists of employment opportunities with military-friendly employers. Go to to get the tools you need to find your next career.

Warrior & Family Support News from the Pentagon

Warrior & Family Support News

“Keeping Faith with the Military Family”

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Office of the Chairman

Warrior & Family Support

Use of these news items does not reflect official endorsement.

Reproduction for private use or gain is subject to original copyright restrictions.



Vet offers online help for those with PTSD
Ottawa Citizen
When Afghan veteran Cpl. Chris Dupee decided to record and upload his grim experiences with post-traumatic.

UTHealth Researchers to Study Trauma Patients for Insights Into PTSD
Newswise (press release)
Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) are investigating whether post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a brain disorder that can affect multiple parts of the body and cause lifelong illnesses.

VA Deploys New Processing Model for Compensation Claims
MarketWatch (press release)
WASHINGTON, Jul 11, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Department ofVeterans Affairs (VA) announced today it is deploying a new model for processing compensation benefits claims at 16 VA regional offices. The new model is part of a comprehensive …

VA promises results on claims process fixes
Veterans Affairs Department officials pledged Wednesday that its backlog of benefits claims will begin to shrink, with hopes for a modest 5 percent improvement by the end of the year and a more significant drop in 2013 as changes in claims handling and …



Monmouth College seeks veterans to enroll this fall ‘tuition-free’
Monmouth Daily Review Atlas
A provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, the Yellow Ribbon program covers the cost of tuition beyond the cost of the most expensive public undergraduate tuition and fee rate in the state. Qualifying veterans enrolling …

Thousands of veterans sign up for job education
The Associated Press
Officials at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs say there has been an enormous response to a new skills-based program that pays for up to a year of education toward an associate degree or a non-college-degree or certificate. In fewer than seven …

Historic Railroad Station Turns Veterans Center
The center is devoted to connecting men and women who served in the military with employment opportunities, education benefits, counseling and on-site job training in partnership with WORKFORCE plus. On a daily basis, Leon County Veteran Services …



Nueces County Sheriff’s Office, Army team up to find veterans jobs
Corpus Christi Caller Times
Program links businesses and government offices looking to hire withveterans seeking work.

Governor Pat Quinn signs law to increase hiring of Illinois veterans
Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law that will help more Illinois Veterans findemployment following their service to our country, an important measure he propos.

US Chamber of Commerce helping veterans return to work
Finding a job can be tough in this economy and even tougher for warveterans returning home.



G.I. Go program looks to save Newark’s homeless veterans from infamous …
The Star-Ledger –
The initiative has reached thousands of New Jersey veterans, including about 2000 who sleep on local streets.

Army’s huge culture shift: No shame in mental health help
The scars of battle are visible in suicides, wrecked families and hauntedcommunities. So the Army brought healing to the war zone. … The answer may lie at his post in Colorado, Fort Carson, where a behavioral health strategy representing a huge …

Help available for area veterans
Plattsburgh Press Republican
PLATTSBURGH — After serving in the military for 18 years, Steven Bowman can speak firsthand about the difficulties veterans face when reintegratinginto their communities after war. “When you think about young men and women serving today, they’re a …

Fayetteville panel discusses blueprint for getting help to war-scarred …
Fayetteville Observer
Speaking at a community forum Tuesday evening at the Cameo Art House Theatre, Van Dahlen said improving communication among groups that helpmilitary families is one of the issues that keeps her up at night. Her organization, Give an Hour, is leading a …

Upcoming Events

Below you will find a link to our Events Release. We will be sending out updated Event Releases bi-monthly in order to keep you in the know. If you would like to participate in any of the events please email Lupi Rodriguez at Also, please consider joining our mailing list – just click “Join Email List” at the top of the screen.