All posts by Angel

Veterans only Food Bank in Central Maricopa County April and May Dates

Attached pdf document contains as herein:

Veterans only Food Bank in Central Maricopa County

Food for Vets Veterans and their families needing assistance can pre -register to attend a veterans only food bank cosponsored by Harvest Community Food Bank on the following dates and time:

Friday, April 24, May 1 2020

9:00am-11:30pm

HCC North Phoenix

4744 E. Thunderbird Rd. Suite #9

Phoenix, AZ 85032

Phone: 602.788.2444

Thursday, April 30, May 7, 2020

9:00am—11:30pm

HCC Maryvale

4002 N. 67th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85033

Phone: 623-247-0039

Limited to first 100 /day

PROOF OF VETERAN STATUS REQUIRED:

• AMERICAN LEGION FAMILY MEMBERSHIP CARD– 2020

• VETERAN ID

• SERVICE ID

Call Bobbie Kimelton District 11 Adjutant at 623 738 9755 for additional information!

American Legion Posts from District 11 and District 12 present:

#spreadjoynotgerms If your Post, District or Area is doing uplifting work like this in your community, please forward your advertisement of such as well as after action reports of project successes. Please remember to include COVID-19 safe practices in deed and on your reporting. Thank you for all that you do.

Food for vets flyer 4.4.20 v 3.pdf

American Legion Daily News Clips 4.6.20

Good morning my fellow non-essential quarantiners today is Monday, April 6, 2020 which is someday I can’t look up because the link is on my computer at work.

Your inspirational quote for the day…

Must be getting early clocks are running late
Faint light of the morning sky looks so phony
Dawn is breaking everywhere
Light a candle curse the glare
Draw the curtains I don’t care ’cause it’s alright

I will get by I will get by
I will get by I will survive

Little known fact: I used to follow the Grateful Dead during the summer. Was probably the only military member and gun owner at the shows, but so it goes.

Weird facts for today...

Your fingernails grow faster on your dominant hand.

Dragonflies have six legs but can’t walk.
Golf balls tend to have 336 "dimples."*

* I’d be willing to bet my next paycheck that there’s a National Judge Advocate of a veterans organization out there that knew this last fact.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Military Times: VA staffers sound alarm over shortages in staffing, equipment
***Military.com: New Veteran Jobless Data Reveals First Impacts of Pandemic

Military Times: Fired Theodore Roosevelt skipper tests positive for COVID-19

Military Times: Defense Secretary insists Trump didn’t order firing of Theodore Roosevelt commander

Stripes: Leader of ISIS in Afghanistan arrested, security officials say

Bryan McGrath: A thread on the firing of the CO of USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71)

*** Contains a quote from The American Legion

If you wish to be removed from this email list, kindly email me at mseavey with “Remove from Daily Clips” in the subject line. If you have received this from someone who forwarded it and would like to be added, email me at mseavey and I will promptly add you to the list, that you might get the daily American Legion News.

Military Times: VA staffers sound alarm over shortages in staffing, equipment

Leo Shane III

2 days ago

Nurse Irma Westmoreland said the Veterans Affairs hospital where she works has already run out of paper gowns and is warning staffers to ration their use of linens out of concerns the facility may run out of protective equipment for use on a daily basis.

The site — the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga. — has only had five confirmed cases of coronavirus so far.

“When we get a surge of cases, where will we be?” said Westmoreland, a 30-year employee at VA and vice president of National Nurses United, which represents 12,000 nurses at 23 different VA sites across the country. “I’m afraid for my co-workers and I’m afraid for my family.”

Union officials are raising concerns this week about what they see as significant deficiencies in VA readiness to respond to the coronavirus epidemic, which has already killed more than 6,000 Americans.

On Monday, NNU members from the Brooklyn VA facility in New York City are planning a between-shifts protest of conditions there, promising no disruption in care but also more public awareness of the problems staff are facing.

The move comes as VA leaders work to assure patients and the public that they are prepared not only for the demands of veterans during the fast-spreading outbreak, but also for the potential responsibility of taking in non-veteran patients to help with overwhelmed community health centers.

In a statement Friday, VA press secretary Christina Noel said that “all VA facilities are equipped with essential items and supplies, and we are continually monitoring the status of those items to ensure a robust supply chain.”

Nationwide, VA officials have reported nearly 2,000 coronavirus cases among patients in the last month and 68 deaths connected to the illness.

On Friday, the Detroit Free Press reported that a nurse at the John D. Dingell Medical Center in Detroit died as a result of coronavirus complications, the first known casualty among VA staffers. At least 185 employees have tested positive for the illness in recent weeks.

A Reuters report last week detailed concerns of staffers at the Brooklyn and Bronx VA hospitals in New York City — one of the areas of the country worst hit by the pandemic so far — including mask shortages and inadequate staffing.

A nurse from the Brooklyn site (who asked her identity to be withheld to protect her job) said that some medical personnel are being asked to care for two or three times their normal patient workload.

“This is just so unsafe,” she told Military Times. “We’re all barely making it to the end of our shifts.”

Despite that, the hospital took on several non-veteran patients in the last week, as other local hospitals are overwhelmed.

Earlier this week, officials from the National Federation of Federal Employees said that staff at the East Orange VA hospital in New Jersey have similarly complained about the lack of personal protective equipment. That facility already has 54 confirmed coronavirus cases, and has reported two deaths.

“Our members, who are bravely fighting to protect and care for our veterans, cannot continue to put their lives at risk without even the most basic safety precautions,” the group said in a statement.

But VA officials disputed the NFFE claims.

“VA New Jersey Health Care System has a plan in place to ensure the safety of patients, staff and their families,” spokeswoman Christine Betros Farrell said in a statement.

“(The campus) is equipped with the essential items needed to handle COVID-19 cases, and we are continually monitoring the status of those items to ensure a robust supply chain. VANJHCS provides PPE for all employees who are working in patient care or screening areas. (Leadership) is following all CDC guidelines for the use of masks and protective equipment.”

The East Orange site is also expected to take in non-veteran patients in coming days.

Last week, in an interview with Military Times, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said he is in routine contact with regional officials to ensure that specific needs are being met. While he acknowledged some “gaps” in supplies were inevitable, he expressed confidence in the VA system’s ability to react to those problems.

Westmoreland said the Augusta VA hospital had an adequate supply of personal protective equipment at the start of the month, but much of that has been shipped to nearby sites like the Atlanta VA medical campus because of increased needs there.

Personnel she has spoken with at other sites around the country said many administrators allowed their reserves to dwindle or expire, creating shortages today.

“So even at places where supplies may be OK for now, we’re all worried,” she said.

Westmoreland, who has worked at VA facilities for more than 30 years, has done mostly administrative work in the recent past but said she is shifting now to direct-patient care as all staffers shift to the emergency response. Much of her training has been online classes and paperwork, instead of the hands-on experience she would prefer.

Last week, VA officials took to social media to reach out to retired VA clinicians and other federal healthcare providers to consider returning to the workforce to help with the national emergency.

“VA has a comprehensive training plan in place to ensure our clinical teams have an understanding of COVID-19 and how to use PPE to ensure the safety of their patients and themselves,” Noel said. “VA health care workers have performed amazingly well during these challenging times, and will continue to do so.”

But NNU officials called that irresponsible given the VA leadership’s lack of response to existing staff concerns. Corey Lanham, mid-Atlantic collective bargaining director, in a statement said he fears “unnecessary deaths of both veterans and civilian patients who are being treated at the VA” if adjustments aren’t made soon.

Westmoreland said she expects to start seeing a sharp increase in her facility’s coronavirus numbers any day.

“I love VA and I love our mission,” she said. “We’d all be happy to do the work, if we just had enough supplies and training to do it.”

***Military.com: New Veteran Jobless Data Reveals First Impacts of Pandemic

3 Apr 2020

Military.com | By Richard Sisk

The unemployment rate for all veterans rose to 4.1% in March, less than the national rate of 4.4% for the month, according to a report Thursday. However, the Labor Department cautioned that it reflects only the early effects of the novel coronavirus epidemic on the jobs market.

The unemployment rate for "Gulf War-era II," or post-9/11 veterans, usually the hardest hit by economic downturns, was also 4.1%, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

The 4.1% rate for all veterans represents a 0.5% increase from the 3.6% increase rate in February. The 4.1% rate for post-9/11 veterans is actually a decrease from the 4.5% recorded in February, BLS added.

In its cautionary note, BLS said that the unemployment rates reported, as always, were based on surveys conducted in the first two weeks of March, before the huge increases in claims for unemployment insurance benefits were recorded.

For the week ending March 28, an unprecedented 6.6 million claims were recorded, BLS said.

As a result, the data for March "predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures that occurred in the second half of the month," it explained.

In March, the overall national unemployment rate, including veterans, increased by 0.9 percentage point to 4.4 percent. "This is the largest over-the-month increase in the rate since January 1975, when the increase was also 0.9 percentage point," BLS said.

It noted that the data from the first weeks of March "reflect some of the early effects of the coronavirus [COVID-19) pandemic on the labor market."

"We cannot precisely quantify the effects of the pandemic on the job market in March," BLS said. "However, it is clear that the decrease in employment and hours and the increase in unemployment can be
ascribed to effects of the illness and efforts to contain the virus."

The unemployment rate for all male veterans was 4.0% in March, and 4.3% for female vets, BLS said. For post-9/11 veterans, the rate was 3.7% for men and 6.2% for women.

For Gulf War I-era veterans, those who served from August 1990 to August 2001, the unemployment rate in March was 3.2%. For World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans, it was 4.1%, BLS said.

The standout figure in the data was that the economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, ending a 10-year period of jobs growth as businesses shut down and Americans stayed home. It was the first decline in
payrolls since September 2010, according to BLS.

Think tanks and Wall Street are forecasting that the jobs situation will only get worse in the coming months in an economy likely to face a prolonged period of recovery once the pandemic is controlled.

Based on the stunning increase of unemployment insurance claims to 6.6 million in the week ending March 28, and 3.3 million the previous week, the Congressional Budget Office revised its estimates Thursday,
projecting a 7% decline in second-quarter Gross Domestic Product and continuing unemployment rates topping 10%.

"CBO expects that the economy will contract sharply during the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the continued disruption of commerce stemming from the spread of the novel coronavirus," CBO Director
Phil Swagel said in a posting.

In a release, the Economic Policy Institute projected that "nearly 20 million workers will be laid off or furloughed by July, with losses in every state."

Following its usual practice, the BLS will adjust its figures for March later this month to account for late-arriving data. It will likely report a higher unemployment rate.

The New York Times, based on its own calculations, estimated Friday that the unemployment rate for March was actually in the range of 13%.

From their own discussions with the Labor Department, American Legion officials said they had learned that as many as 10,000 recently separated service members had filed for unemployment
in the last two weeks of March.

"I hate to say it, [but] probably we don’t have the full scope of it yet," Ariel DeJesus, assistant employment director at the Legion, said of the pandemic’s impact on veterans’ job prospects.

"Anytime a veteran files for unemployment is concerning to us," said Joe Sharpe, the Legion’s employment director, stressing the need for more workshops, job fairs and other forms of assistance for veterans to navigate their way through the downturn.

DeJesus and Sharpe said they are encouraged that the Army last week joined the Navy in offering service members due to separate or retire the option of staying in longer to avoid entering a job market in free fall.

With their commanders’ permission, soldiers will be allowed the option of extending their service by three to 11 months, the Army said in statements March 28.

On March 20, in anticipation of a spike in unemployment rates, the Navy began offering six- to 12-month extensions to sailors planning to retire or leave the service.

One of the surprises in the BLS data for March was the decrease in the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans, said Thomas Porter, executive vice president of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

"We just don’t know what the reason for that is" based on the preliminary data, he said.

Porter added that projections for possible double-digit unemployment rates in the coming months point to the need for Congress to work up another relief package, on top of the recently passed $2 trillion stimulus bill.

Military Times: Fired Theodore Roosevelt skipper tests positive for COVID-19

Howard Altman and Leo Shane III

21 hours ago

Capt. Brett Crozier, hailed by his crew but fired as skipper of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt by Navy leadership following a leaked bombshell letter, has tested positive for COVID-19, the New York Times first reported.

The paper cited two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family.

A Navy spokesman declined to comment to the Times on Crozier’s COVID-19 status. Navy officials could not immediately respond to questions from Navy Times about Crozier’s health status or the New York Times report. The commander began exhibiting symptoms before he was removed from the warship on Thursday, two of his classmates said.

Crozier was fired Thursday following a leak to The San Francisco Chronicle of a letter he had emailed to Navy leaders that detailed the service’s failures to provide necessary resources to swiftly move sailors off the carrier and disinfect areas on board as the virus spread throughout the 4,800-person ship.

Crozier had proposed that the ship be mostly evacuated and the majority of his sailors moved into isolated quarantine in Guam.

Hundreds of sailors on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt applauded and chanted their captain’s name as Crozier left the ship Thursday.

On Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper insisted that the firing of Crozier was not prompted by White House complaints and that military leaders will conduct a full investigation into the incident.

In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Esper backed the decision by acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly to dismiss Crozier.

“I think Secretary Modly laid out very reasonably and very deliberately the reasons (for the firing),” he said. “And I think when all those facts come to bear, we’ll have a chance to understand why Secretary Modly did what he did.”

On Sunday, the Navy confirmed there have been 155 Roosevelt sailors — so far — who have tested positive for COVID-19. None have suffered any serious medical symptoms as a result of the illness, the Navy said. Approximately 55 percent of the ship’s crew is still awaiting testing.

Military Times: Defense Secretary insists Trump didn’t order firing of Theodore Roosevelt commander

[Editor’s Note: For more context on this situation, read the last story in the clips today which is actually an opinion piece written by a former Navy officer on Twitter.]

Leo Shane III

23 hours ago

Defense Secretary Mark Esper insisted on Sunday that the firing of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer was not prompted by White House complaints and that military leaders will conduct a full investigation into the incident.

In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Esper backed the decision by acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly to dismiss Capt. Brett Crozier.

“I think Secretary Modly laid out very reasonably and very deliberately the reasons (for the firing),” he said. “And I think when all those facts come to bear, we’ll have a chance to understand why Secretary Modly did what he did.”

On Thursday, Crozier was dismissed from his command in the wake of a leaked letter he wrote pleading for help to stifle a coronavirus outbreak on the 4,800-person aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.

Crozier had proposed that the ship be mostly evacuated and the majority of his sailors moved into isolated quarantine in Guam.

On Sunday, Esper confirmed that 155 sailors on the ship have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, but not have suffered any serious medical symptoms as a result of the illness.

“First and foremost, we need to take care of the sailors on the ship,” Esper said. “We need to ensure their well being and get that ship back out to sea as soon as possible.”

Crozier’s letter, which was first published by the San Francisco Chronicle, was reportedly sent up the captain’s immediate chain of command in a “non-secure, unclassified” email that included “20 or 30” additional recipients, Modly told reporters Thursday.

“[The letter] misrepresented the facts of what was going on,” Modly said. “Okay, that’s just not acceptable. … When I have a commanding officer who’s responsible for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, with all that lethality and all that responsibility … that demonstrated extremely poor judgement in the middle of a crisis.”

Crozier’s dismissal has prompted fierce criticism of the Navy and administration from an array of Democratic lawmakers and former military officials. On Saturday, President Donald Trump defended the firing, calling Crozier’s actions extreme.

“I thought it was terrible what he did to write a letter,” Trump said. “I mean, this isn’t a class on literature. This is a captain of a massive ship that is nuclear powered, and he shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter.

“He could call and ask … I thought it was inappropriate. I agree with their decision 100 percent.”

Trump said he was not involved in the firing decision. But CNN reported that Modly told colleagues that Crozier’s firing came because Trump wanted the commander punished.

On Sunday, Esper denied that was the case.

“This decision wasn’t made by President Trump,” he said. “”It was Secretary Modly’s decision. He briefed me about it, and I took the advice of the Chief of Naval Operations (Adm. Michael Gilday) and (Joint Chiefs Chairman) Gen. Mark Milley with regard to it. And I told him I would support his decision.”

Esper said a full investigation into the letter and senior leadership response to it is underway. But he said he did not see the firing as premature.

“All of the services at times have relieved commanders without the benefit of an investigation upfront, because they’ve lost confidence in them,” he said. “It’s certainly not unique to the Navy. And the Navy has a culture of swiftly and decisively removing captains if they lose confidence in them.”

Esper did not respond to specific criticism related to the firings of the guided missile destroyer John McCain and the guided missile destroyer Fitzgerald after fatal collisions aboard both ships. Those firings took weeks longer than Crozier’s, and happened only after investigations into the accidents were finished.

Stripes: Leader of ISIS in Afghanistan arrested, security officials say

By PHILLIP WALTER WELLMAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 4, 2020

KABUL, Afghanistan — The head of the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate has been arrested along with 19 other militants, Afghan officials said Saturday.

Abdullah Orakzai, who goes by Aslam Farooqi, was detained by forces from the National Directorate of Security, the country’s main intelligence agency said in a statement.

It was unclear where the arrests took place. Farooqi and the others were detained on Friday, NDS spokesman Haris Jebran told Stars and Stripes. Jebran declined to provide further details.

U.S. airstrikes and raids have targeted the terrorist group’s regional affiliate, known as ISIS-Khorasan Province, since 2016. ISIS had declared the group’s formation early the previous year.

Last April, Farooqi replaced the group’s former leader, known by the nom de guerre Abu Omar Khorasani, the United Nations said in a report in July. ISIS reportedly demoted Khorasani over “poor performance” and operational failures in late 2018 in eastern Nangarhar province.

Farooqi’s arrest is the latest setback for ISIS-K, which saw roughly 300 of its fighters surrender to government forces in the final months of 2019.

Sustained American airstrikes, security forces operations and fighting between ISIS-K and the Taliban led to the surrenders, the U.S. military said January in a report describing the group’s stronghold in Nangarhar as “dismantled.”

Still, the group continues to claim high-profile attacks throughout the country, such as when gunmen stormed a Sikh temple in Kabul’s old town on March 25, killing over two dozen people.

That attack came less than a week after an ISIS-K fighter fired mortars at Bagram Airfield, the largest American base in the country and a hub for the U.S.-led coalition. The mortars were shot down without causing injuries or damage to the base, coalition and local officials said.

The U.S. military estimates between 2,000 and 2,500 ISIS-K fighters remain active in Afghanistan according to the latest data reported by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.

wellman.philip
Twitter: @pwwellman

Bryan McGrath: A thread on the firing of the CO of USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71)

The following is a compilation of tweets from Bryan McGrath:

A thread on the firing of the CO of USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71). I’m not sure any reader is going to be perfectly satisfied by what I write, but that’s the way the ball bounces. Let’s start with what we know. An sophisticated, experienced, Naval Officer in command of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier drafted a well-written four page letter laying out his assessment of the emergency facing his crew and desired actions of his chain of command to fix them. We also know that this commanding officer was removed from command on the orders of the acting Secretary of the Navy as a result of the letter having found its way to the open press. We have heard from the @SECNAV, but we have not heard from the CO (CAPT Crozier). So now, let’s move to things we assert, but which we don’t know.

First, I believe CAPT Crozier knew when he hit send on the email containing this letter that it could very well result in his being removed from command. Anyone who commands a Navy ship understands that it is not a birthright, and if you ask most who have (I’m one), they’ll tell you thatthey had more than one conversation with themself in which they acknowledged that there were circumstances in which you would take the command at sea pin and put it on your boss’s desk and say "I’m out". I think Crozier reached this point. The interesting question to me is why?

Time and thorough investigations will tell, but the most logical explanation is that he HAD done all these things but that the Chain of Command wasn’t acting. I cannot judge this, but @SECNAV

statement above indicates that prior to the letter being released, he had gotten assurances from the very top that his needs would be met. But I am not certain of the chronology. But what I AM certain of is that the manner in which the letter was drafted and circulated (on unclasssified networks) without handling markings (at least For Officieal Use Only) virtually assured that it would be leaked. I am not saying Crozier leaked it. I’m saying the way he wrote and distributed it ensured its wide distribution. When this matter is thoroughly investigated, it will be useful to understand the degree to which Crozier was or wasn’t beingwell served by the Chain of Command. Bottom line for me: Crozier did what he thought was right for the safety and health of his crew, he determined that losing command was worth the risk of saving lives, and he let it ride.

Let us now turn to the institutional Navy. A word of insight–I consult to the Navy. What I am writing here is what I think, and if they asked me, which no one has, would have been what I told them. So, the letter hits the press. @SECNAV

Another alternative for elections of Post ### Officers

An excerpt from one AZ American Legion Post’s notice to its members regarding their own Post elections and a plan through this COVID-19 outbreak. >
> The election of Post ### officers for the coming year will be delayed until the first Fall meeting. We still need nominations for the office(s) of XXXXXX on the ballot. If interested in filling an officer position contact Commander XXXX. The present post officers will serve through the Summer. >
> This notice is being sent out to our membership electronically and by mail to those who have not given Post ### an e-address. >
> Take care, and God Bless.
>
> Sincerely,
>
>
> Commander
> Post ###
>
>
>
>

Modern Industries In Tempe & Phoenix is HIRING

Please Distribute

Gabe Cruz
Business Service Representative
Workforce Development Division

Maricopa County Human Services Department
735 N. Gilbert Rd, Ste: 134, Gilbert AZ, 85234

[arizonaatwork.com]

Equal Opportunity Employer / Program Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Arizona@Work Maricopa County products and services are made available through federal funding provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) serving Employers by aiding job seekers, adults, dislocated workers and youth.

Modern Industries.pdf

Renew Online Today!

The American Legion family of organizations is among those identified as an “essential” operation in Arizona. We are both non-profit and built to serve the social needs and welfare of our community, especially our Veterans.

Watch for exciting news about how one percent, (1%) of each of our dues in Arizona are about to be donated to help Veterans and their families through these trying times.

Please renew today. We are continuing in service to our communities.

www.legion.org/renew

Pass this along to a Veteran that you know that hasn’t joined yet.

Remember, Congress now recognizes that we have been a Nation at war since

December 7, 1941 and all honorable Active service is therefore now eligible to join

and be a part of this great organization. www.legion.org/join

For this matter, please pass this along to anyone as they may know a Veteran that you do not.

Hundreds have renewed or joined since last week and we hope that you will as well.

Find a local Post and inquire by phone whether they need help NOW while adhering to CDC Guidelines and the local emergency regulations. www.legion.org/find a post

If your nearest Post is shut down for its needs, you can still renew/join online with the links

provided; www.legion.org/renew or www.legion.org/join.

You can also find out more about The American Legion by direct browsing at www.legion.org

or these Arizona links below and for National impact reporting, please see the attached impact report for March 2020. Thanks, Angel #spreadjoynotgerms

March_2020__Impact_Report.pdf