Holiday Gift Campaign for Hospitalized Veterans

Southern California Wheelchair Veterans Association was founded in 2002. Although our primary focus has been to help those disabled veterans confined in wheelchairs, our organization’s charter states that we are able to help any disabled, ill or hospitalized veteran. Now, according to a study conducted by the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, approximately one in five soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. The goal of our campaign this holiday season is to raise funds in order to ease some of the despair many of our veterans are facing through the hardest portion of the year by delivering them gift baskets full of the comforts from home. Statistics show that a veteran commits suicide every 81 minutes (that’s about 500 a month) here in the States. The holiday season is notoriously stressful for those veterans who are hospitalized and we (with your help) would like to ease that burden by giving something back to those who have served and suffered.

Each and every dollar contributed to this campaign will help out with the creation of holiday baskets for those veterans which are hospitalized and in dire need of cheering up through this season and will also go to Veterans Canteen Services (VCS) at our Local VA hospitals.

Since 2002 we have been bringing hope and comfort to hundreds of hospitalized veterans in our area. Each holiday we gather our resources and head out to the local hospitals to physically hand out gift boxes while supplying the Veterans Canteen Service with your combined donations which can only be used by veterans in those hospitals for items such as phone cards, books, haircuts, and many more daily essentials. Please click on the link below to show your support to our local hospitalized veterans.

Restrepo’ Director Killed In Libya

Tim Hetherington, the conflict photographer who was a director and producer of the film “Restrepo,” was killed in the besieged city of Misurata on Wednesday, and three photographers working beside him were wounded.

The wounds to two of the photographers — Chris Hondros and Guy Martin — were severe, according to Andre Liohn, a colleague at the triage center where they were being treated Wednesday night.

Mr. Hondros, an American working for the Getty photo agency, suffered a severe brain injury and was in extremely critical condition, according to Mr. Liohn. He had been revived and was clinging to life in the evening. A later update from Mr. Liohn said that Mr. Hondros was in a coma at the medical center, which is located near the front lines.

Mr. Martin, a British citizen working for the Panos photo agency, had shrapnel wounds and was undergoing vascular surgery Wednesday night, according to the same account. As the night progressed, Mr. Liohn said that Mr. Martin’s bleeding had been stopped and that his prospects had improved.

The fourth photographer, Michael Christopher Brown, suffered shrapnel injuries to his left shoulder, but his life was not in danger. He was resting Wednesday night.

Misurata, Libya’s third-largest city, has been cut off by land from the rest of the country by military forces loyal to Col.Muammar el-Qaddafi. It has been the scene of intensive, close-quarters fighting for weeks. Hundreds of Libyans have been confirmed killed.

The photographers had reached the city by sea from Benghazi, the rebel capital. The early reports said they had been working together near the front lines when they were struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.

As doctors worked on the wounded men, it was not immediately clear how they might be evacuated.

The Ionian Spirit, a vessel chartered by the International Organization for Migration, was in port in Misurata to evacuate migrant workers, having just completed a third relief trip from Benghazi.

Human Rights Watch, the New York-based organization, whose staff members know the photographers, contacted the vessel and found it was prepared to evacuate them back to Benghazi. But Mr. Martin and Mr. Hondros were not deemed fit for travel, especially on a voyage that could last 20 or more hours.

The loss of Mr. Hetherington reverberated in many circles, including among the journalists, aid workers, soldiers and victims of war he had befriended in a distinguished career.

A British citizen who lived in New York, he had covered conflicts with sensitivity in Liberia, Afghanistan Darfur and, in recent weeks, Libya. Condolences streamed in as news spread of his death.

“This is a devastating loss to many of us personally,” said Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, which was examining options to recover his remains. “But it is also a devastating loss to the human rights community. His work has raised the visibility of many of the world’s forgotten conflicts. May the legacy of his exceptional photographs serve to inspire future generations.”

Online VA Application For Benefits Adds Features

VA Adds Chat Feature to Online Application for Health Benefits

WASHINGTON – Veterans will find it easier and faster to apply for their health care benefits now that the Department of Veterans Affairs has enhanced and streamlined its online Form 10-10EZ, “Application for Health Benefits.”

“VA is committed to tapping into the best that technology has to offer to ensure Veterans receive the benefits they have earned,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We continue to look for new ways to improve access to care and benefits and engage Veterans.”

This revised online application now features a chat function which will allow Veterans to receive live assistance while they are filling out the form. Additional enhancements to the process include simplification of questions relating to military service in Southeast Asia during the Gulf and in the Vietnam wars. Several additional minor enhancements make the application easier and faster for Veterans to complete.

The 10-10EZ application is divided into six different sets of information, including personal information, insurance information, employment, military service, and a financial assessment. Since November 2000, nearly 400,000 Veterans have already used the online 10-10EZ to start receiving health care benefits from VA.

Future enhancements to the online application will include a 10-10 EZR Health Benefits Renewal Form for Veterans to update their personal information and a special 10-10EZ designed specifically for demobilizing military service members.

Veterans may complete or download the 10-10EZ form at the VA health eligibility Web site at www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez.

Veterans may also contact VA at 1 (877) 222-8387 (VETS), visit the VA health eligibility Web site at www.va.gov/healtheligibility or apply for health care benefits at any VA medical center at http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp with the help of a VA health care eligibility specialist.

Disabled Veterans Havasu Trip

Seeking Disabled Veterans For Our Upcoming Trip

If you’re a veteran who has paid the price by losing a limb we want to give something back to you. Here at Southern California Wheelchair Veterans Association we help disabled servicemen and women with many different programs. Right now we are offering few disabled veterans the opportunity to join us in Havasu for an all expense paid trip to enjoy what will soon become our resort and refuge out by the river.

We will cover your room and board along with some spending money all we are asking in return is that you have a great time . Come join us on our private houseboat where you can relax and enjoy some fishing, barbequing, televised football games, and many more activities.

So if you’re a veteran local to the Inland Empire please contact us for more details, or if you know someone who may benefit from this opportunity feel free to pass this message along. Space is limited so act fast to secure one of a handful of spots by contacting us here at Southern California Wheelchair Veterans Association for more details. We’ll see you on the boat soon.