Ways to honor our fallen over Memorial Day
Many communities across Michigan are having parades and other activities over the Memorial Day weekend to honor U.S. military personnel who died fighting for our country.From the Saturday parade in Mackinaw City -- which bills itself as the state's largest -- to a host of local parades in Oakland County, there are plenty of parades to choose from, along with 5Ks, barbecues and other events.In addition, after two years without gatherings, VA national cemeteries will host public Memorial Day weekend ceremonies this year. The list includes two ceremonies in Michigan on Sunday, May 29 -- at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta (2 p.m.) and at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly (11 a.m.). Read more in VA's VAntage Point blog.Check out what your community has to offer. And happy early Memorial Day. May we never forget the ultimate sacrifice that so many American service members gave for our freedom.
VETERAN SERVICE ORGANIZATION SPOTLIGHT: Michigan's Disabled American Veterans (MI DAV)With more than 1.2 million members nationwide, the DAV is an organization of veterans helping veterans. The DAV receives no government funding and is proud of its 90-plus-year history of helping American veterans, proud of its record of fighting for their rights and proud of working alongside other nonprofits and advocacy organizations to make sure that we fulfill our promises to the men and women who have served.Among its services, the DAV:
- Helps returning veterans transition back to civilian life by linking them with services that address their physical, emotional and financial needs.
- Provides free, professional assistance to veterans of all generations in obtaining VA and other government benefits earned through service.
- Fights for veterans' rights on Capitol Hill.
- Links veterans to job training and job assistance programs.
- Funds rehabilitation programs for veterans with severe disabilities, such as blindness or amputation.The DAV is open to any man or woman who served in the armed forces during a period of war or under conditions simulating war; was wounded, disabled to any degree, or left with long-term illness as a result of military service; and was discharged or retired from military service under honorable conditions. To learn more, visit the MI DAV contact page, fill out a membership application or call (586) 415-8610.
How to be a participant, supporter or vendor at the MVAA's first-ever Women Veterans ConferenceThe MVAA's first Women Veterans Conference is not only a great opportunity for women veterans to connect with one another, but for organizations and companies to engage with women veterans as well.
- The conference, June 10-11 at the Lansing Center, is for women veterans. Registration is just $60 and is available at Eventbrite. Registration ends at noon on Friday, May 27.
- You can support women veterans in your organization by sharing the conference information and/or sending them to the conference and paying for registration or hotel or both.
- You can participate as a vendor and are encouraged to do so if you are not a woman who served in the military.
- Vendor booth space is available at the Lansing Center on Friday, June 10. Booths need to be set up by 7 a.m.; the day ends at 4 p.m.
- Cost is $25 per person staffing the table.
- Vendors are welcome to eat breakfast and lunch at the event.
- Connect, generate leads and follow up with participants through the Whova app before, during and after conference.
- To be a vendor, contact Katy Golden at GoldenK1@michigan.gov.
Researchers: We've found the cause of Gulf War IllnessAfter nearly 30 years of trying to prove a theory -- that an environmental toxin was responsible for sickening roughly 250,000 U.S. troops who served in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War -- Dr. Robert Haley says new research confirms that sarin nerve gas caused Gulf War Illness.Following the Gulf War, nearly one-third of all who deployed reported unexplained chronic symptoms such as rashes, fatigue, gastrointestinal and digestive issues, brain "fog," neuropathy, and muscle and joint pain. Federal agencies spent years broadly dismissing the idea that troops may have been suffering from exposure to chemical agents, with many veterans experiencing symptoms sent to mental health providers.But a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives used genetic research and survey data to determine that U.S. service members exposed to sarin were more likely to develop Gulf War Illness, and those who were exposed and had a weaker variant of a gene that helps digest pesticides were nine times more likely to have symptoms."Quite simply, our findings prove that Gulf War illness was caused by sarin, which was released when we bombed Iraqi chemical weapons storage and production facilities," said Haley, director of the Division of Epidemiology in the Internal Medicine Department at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center."There are still more than 100,000 Gulf War veterans who are not getting help for this illness and our hope is that these findings will accelerate the search for better treatment," Haley said.Read the full story in Military.com.
Army veteran volunteers with bomb tech crews in UkraineRetired Army Lt. Col. John Culp walks the streets of Kyiv wearing body armor and looking for unexploded ordnance left behind from Russian assaults on the city. He picks up and moves shells and removes fuses, working alongside bomb technicians from the explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, team of the National Police of Ukraine.When Culp arrived in Ukraine in early April, he expected to initially assist from behind the scenes, but he was prepared to put his EOD background to use. After all, that background is what brought him the more than 5,000 miles away from home to a war zone. The retired special forces officer and EOD tech is volunteering with the organization Bomb Techs Without Borders, or BTWOB, a 501(c)(3) founded in 2018 "to prevent casualties caused by landmines, IEDs, and other explosive remnants of war.""Can you imagine being shelled day and night and probably 20% of the ordnance not exploding?" Culp said. "That's exactly the situation they have here [in Ukraine]."Read more in Military Times.
Careers in law enforcement, corrections and security are focus of InvestVets' virtual event this weekInterested in a position in law enforcement, corrections or security? InvestVets focuses on the most significant barrier to veteran employment: the military and civilian cultural gap. They connect employers with military/veteran talent by offering activities that reduce the high expectations and stress that are common with traditional job fairs.
InvestVets hosts a virtual networking event each Thursday at 2 p.m. EST.
This week's event focuses on careers in law enforcement, corrections and security. Register for the May 26 virtual networking event at InvestVets' Zoom link.
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