Tag Archives: support our troops

Go, Jim, go!💙💙🎻🌺 … and … O Canada!🍀🌸🌹🌷💐

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Congressman Jim McGovern

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Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Increase Veterans Service Dog Program Funding By $2 Million

editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved last week a bipartisan measure from Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Martha McSally (R-AZ) to increase funding for the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Program by $2 million.

The measure was passed as part of the FY 2018 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill and was also led by Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ).

“With so many veterans returning from war bearing both physical and emotional scars, we must do all we can to provide treatment that works. The Wounded Warrior Service Dog program has helped countless veterans and military families. Providing grant opportunities for groups professionally engaged in this field is critical to ensuring that our military and veterans receive the care they deserve,” Rep. McGovern said. “I am proud to join with Republicans and Democrats on this bipartisan measure to increase funding for this program and continue to support our veterans as they come home from serving our country.”

“Those who know and love animals like I do understand that they have a unique ability to bring service and healing to our wounded warriors,” Rep. McSally said. “Therapeutic service dog training program is an important program, and by increasing funding more service dogs will be placed with veterans. I was pleased to support this amendment.”

“For many service members suffering from PTSD and TBI, training service dogs to help other service members and veterans can be an effective, non-pharmaceutical therapy that gives comfort and purpose,” said Rep. Shea-Porter. “I am happy our bipartisan work has secured $2 million to expand this and other programs, which are having a positive impact on so many lives.”

“Our men and women in uniform deserve the best care when they return home from service,” said Rep. Jones. “By individually training service dogs for the physical or emotional needs of an individual veteran, the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Program has helped countless service members and military families with their transition and healing process – I could not think of a better program to support. Thank you to all of my colleagues for backing this exceptional program that helps our nation’s heroes.”

“Service dogs have a proven therapeutic role in helping wounded warriors heal. As a representative of military communities in South Jersey and proud dog owner, I applaud this bipartisan effort to fund a program that provides our heroes access to the care they deserve and the treatments they need,” Rep. LoBiondo said.

Administered by the Department of Defense, the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Grant Program supports non-profit organizations whose mission is to address physical and mental health needs of service members and veterans with assistance from service dogs. This program was funded at $1 million in Fiscal Year 2015, $5 million in Fiscal Year 2016, and $5 million in Fiscal Year 2017. With the passage of this amendment, the House bill aims to fund this program at $7 million for Fiscal Year 2018.

Many of our service members and veterans return home from the battlefield suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), blindness or impaired vision, the loss of a limb, paralysis, impaired mobility, loss of hearing, and other mental and physical disabilities. Sadly, too many also struggle with suicidal thoughts and the inability to reintegrate into the social framework of their families and communities. Working with a trained service dog is a promising form of therapy and assistance for these veterans and service members, one that has already been proven to help civilians who confront similar mental and physical disabilities.

Through a highly technical regimen that can take up to two years, non-profit organizations customize the training of each dog to assist its future owner. Depending on the owner’s needs, these dogs can be trained to retrieve medicine from a refrigerator, turn the lights on and scan an empty house before the owner enters, guard an owner’s back in a public setting, and even wake an owner up from a nightmare.

In its three years of existence, the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Program has allowed non-profit organizations to train and pair over 250 highly sophisticated service dogs with veterans in need. The additional $2 million would help place an additional 45 to 60 service dogs with veterans industry wide.

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Make America great: follow Canada’s recommendations!

By Heather Moore

Know what would really make America great? If we followed in Canada’s footsteps and revised our national food guidelines to favor plant-based over animal-based protein.

Our neighbor to the north’s new dietary recommendations, which will likely be issued by Health Canada next year, are expected to specify plant-based foods as the preferred source of protein and to call for the regular consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and other vegan foods.

At least one news outlet has speculated that — because Canada is so culturally diverse, much like the U.S., and because many ethnic groups can’t digest cow’s milk — dairy products won’t be included in the new recommendations at all.

While it remains to be seen if the Canadian government will officially urge citizens to eat beans not beef, many media outlets have already reported on one anticipated — and sensible — guideline: Don’t eat foods that contain mostly saturated fat (i.e., meat, eggs and dairy products) and opt instead for healthy plant-based foods, which also tend to be more environmentally friendly.

That’s sound, science-based advice — not industry-pandering. Canada is one of the world’s largest beef producers, and ranchers and feedlot operators likely didn’t break into a chorus of “O Canada” when they heard that government officials were planning to promote plant-based foods. But it’s the right thing to do, and hopefully Health Canada will hold firm to its mission.

I also hope the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will implement strong guidelines favoring plant-based foods. America’s fruited plains and amber waves of grain are overrun with animal factories and slaughterhouses, and we’ll all be healthier if we stop eating animal-based foods.

We know this. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Chicago — the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals — has pointed out that people who eat mostly plant-based foods are less likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

A 2016 position statement by the academy revealed that people can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 62 percent, suffering from heart disease by 29 percent and succumbing to any form of cancer by 18 percent just by going vegan. Vegan men reduce their likelihood of developing prostate cancer by 35 percent.

The U.S. advisory committee has acknowledged that a diet high in plant-based foods is “more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact.”

But meat industry groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting to keep “eat less meat” from appearing in the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans — that’s why they allow fatty, cholesterol-laden animal-based foods.

Other countries have already taken steps to promote more nutritious, vegan foods. Last year, for example, the Netherlands began advising people to eat a lot less meat — no more than two servings per week — and to replace it with plant foods. The United Kingdom also encourages residents to cut back on animal protein. Brazil puts an emphasis on native plants and minimally processed foods.

The U.S. will have to consider similar guidelines as public-health problems — and Americans’ waistlines — continue to expand. Let’s all avoid the “red tape” and opt for vegan foods well before our dietary guidelines are scheduled to be revised.

Doing so will help local farmers who grow flavorful, health-promoting fruits and vegetables — like red delicious apples, sweet white corn and juicy blueberries. It will also support innovative vegan businesses, such as Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and Memphis Meats, three California companies that have made headlines for producing mouthwatering plant-based meats. Most of all, it will benefit our health, the environment and animals — and that will help make America a truly great nation.

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TRADER JOE’S GROCERY STORE ON ROUTE 9 IN SHREWSBURY – just over the bridge – is a GREAT PLACE TO BEGIN YOUR VEGGIE ADVENTURES! Organic fruits and vegetables, nondairy icecream and yogurt that is SO TASTY💙, frozen dinners, sauces, mock meats, spices, cakes, cookies … ALL SO INEXPENSIVE and yummy! Love shopping here! – Rose T.

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Trader Joe crackers – $1.39 – a staple at Rose’s shack. Center: Vintage thermos David C. gave Rose. She’s made a centerpiece of it so Davey is always hanging out in her kitchen☕☕! pics: R.T.

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You can order these cute undies at PETA.ORG!😉

BE THERE!

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You are invited to
Veteran Homestead’s
MISSION POSSIBLE!

A fundraising event to
reclaim lives and revitalize futures for our veterans.

When: Sunday, 4 October

Where: Great Wolf Lodge
Fitchburg

Time: 4 PM – 7 PM

Cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and silent auction

Please attend this inspirational early evening of cocktails,
hors d’oeuvres, music and silent auction.

All to help support Veteran Homestead’s effort to transition soldiers back to civilian life, so they can reclaim their lives and revitalize their futures!

$10 minimum donation at the door

For more information and to RSVP, please contact:
Cindy Correll
cindy@veteranhomestead.org

Proceeds from this event will benefit Veteran Homestead, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Central Massachusetts that has been providing housing and care to U.S. Armed Services Veterans since 1993 who are disabled from wars past and present.

Created by a veteran and staffed with experts who share the compassion and commitment to treat and accommodate wounded heroes in their transition to civilian life, Veteran Homestead, Inc., operates six unique programs located in Fitchburg, Leominster, and Gardner, Massachusetts, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, and Caguas, Puerto Rico.

For more information about Veteran Homestead, Inc., CLICK HERE 

veteranhomestead.org

Those who say “I Support the Troops” should just stop, out of respect for the troops

Illegal Military Foreclosures

By Michael Moore, filmmaker

I don’t support the troops, America, and neither do you. I am writing this as I have just learned of the suicides of two more of our active duty reservists who live here in the Traverse City, Michigan area. That brings the total number of soldier suicides (that I know of) in the past year, in this rural area, to four.

I am tired of the ruse we are playing on these brave citizens in our armed forces. And guess what — a lot of these soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines see right through the bull**** of those words, “I support the troops!,” spoken by Americans with such false sincerity — false because our actions don’t match our words. These young men and women sign up to risk their very lives to protect us — and this is what they get in return:

1. They get sent off to wars that have NOTHING to do with defending America or saving our lives. They are used as pawns so that the military-industrial complex can make billions of dollars and the rich here can expand their empire. By “supporting the troops,” that means I’m supposed to shut up, don’t ask questions, do nothing to stop the madness, and sit by and watch thousands of them die? Well, I’ve done an awful lot to try and end this. But the only way you can honestly say you support the troops is to work night and day to get them out of these hell holes they’ve been sent to. And what have I done this week to bring the troops home? Nothing. So if I say “I support the troops,” don’t believe me — I clearly don’t support the troops because I’ve got more important things to do today, like return an iPhone that doesn’t work and take my car in for a tune up.

2. While the troops we claim to “support” are serving their country, bankers who say they too “support the troops” foreclose on the actual homes of these soldiers and evict their families while they are overseas! Have I gone and stood in front of the sheriff’s deputy as he is throwing a military family out of their home? No. And there’s your proof that I don’t “support the troops,” because if I did, I would organize mass sit-ins to block the doors of these homes. Instead, I’m having Chilean sea bass tonight.

3. How many of you who say you “support the troops” have visited a VA hospital to bring aid and comfort to the sick and wounded? I haven’t. How many of you have any clue what it’s like to deal with the VA? I don’t. Therefore, you would be safe to say that I don’t “support the troops,” and neither do you.

4. Who amongst you big enthusiastic “supporters of the troops” can tell me the approximate number of service women who have been raped while in the military? Answer: 19,000 (mostly) female troops are raped or sexually assaulted every year by fellow American troops. What have you or I done to bring these criminals to justice? What’s that you say — out of sight, out of mind? These women have suffered, and I’ve done nothing. So don’t ever let me get away with telling you I “support the troops” because, sadly, I don’t. And neither do you.

5. Help a homeless vet today? How ’bout yesterday? Last week? Last year? Ever? But I thought you “support the troops!”? The number of homeless veterans is staggering — on any given night, at least 60,000 veterans are sleeping on the streets of the country that proudly “supports the troops.” This is disgraceful and shameful, isn’t it? And it exposes all those “troop supporters” who always vote against social programs that would help these veterans. Tonight there are at least 12,700 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans homeless and sleeping on the street. I’ve never lent a helping hand to one of the many vets I’ve seen sleeping on the street. I can’t bear to look, and I walk past them very quickly. That’s called not “supporting the troops,” which, I guess, I don’t — and neither do you.

6. And you know, the beautiful thing about all this “support” you and I have been giving the troops — they feel this love and support so much, a record number of them are killing themselves every single week. In fact, there are now more soldiers killing themselves than soldiers being killed in combat (323suicides in 2012 through November vs. about 210 combat deaths). Yes, you are more likely to die by your own hand in the United States military than by al Qaeda or the Taliban. And an estimated eighteen veterans kill themselves each day, or one in five of all U.S. suicides — though no one really knows because we don’t bother to keep track. Now, that’s what I call support! These troops are really feeling the love, people! Lemme hear you say it again: “I support the troops!” Louder! “I SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!” There, that’s better. I’m sure they heard us. Don’t forget to fly our flag, wear your flag lapel pin, and never, ever let a service member pass you by without saying, “Thank you for your service!” I’m sure that’s all they need to keep from putting a bullet in their heads. Do your best to keep your “support” up for the troops because, God knows, I certainly can’t any longer.

I don’t “support the troops” or any of those other hollow and hypocritical platitudes uttered by Republicans and frightened Democrats. Here’s what I do support: I support them coming home. I support them being treated well. I support peace, and I beg any young person reading this who’s thinking of joining the armed forces to please reconsider. Our war department has done little to show you they won’t recklessly put your young life in harm’s way for a cause that has nothing to do with what you signed up for. They will not help you once they’ve used you and spit you back into society. If you’re a woman, they will not protect you from rapists in their ranks. And because you have a conscience and you know right from wrong, you do not want yourself being used to kill civilians in other countries who never did anything to hurt us. We are currently involved in at least a half-dozen military actions around the world. Don’t become the next statistic so that General Electric can post another record profit — while paying no taxes — taxes that otherwise would be paying for the artificial leg that they’ve kept you waiting for months to receive.

I support you, and will try to do more to be there for you. And the best way you can support me — and the ideals our country says it believes in — is to get out of the military as soon as you can and never look back.

And please, next time some “supporter of the troops” says to you with that concerned look on their face, “I thank you for your service,” you have my permission to punch their lights out (figuratively speaking, of course).

(There is something I’ve done to support the troops — other than help lead the effort to stop these senseless wars. At the movie theater I run in Michigan, I became the first person in town to institute an affirmative action plan for hiring returning Iraq/Afghanistan vets. I am working to get more businesses in town to join with me in this effort to find jobs for these returning soldiers. I also let all service members in to the movies for free, every day.)