Vietnam: The War That Killed Trust

on Tuesday, 10 January 2017.

The legacy of the war still shapes America, even if most of us are too young to remember it.

Vietnam '67
Karl Marlantes

In the early spring of 1967, I was in the middle of a heated 2 a.m. hallway discussion with fellow students at Yale about the Vietnam War. I was from a small town in Oregon, and I had already joined the Marine Corps Reserve. My friends were mostly from East Coast prep schools. One said that Lyndon B. Johnson was lying to us about the war. I blurted out, “But … but an American president wouldn’t lie to Americans!” They all burst out laughing.

When I told that story to my children, they all burst out laughing, too. Of course presidents lie. All politicians lie. God, Dad, what planet are you from?

Before the Vietnam War, most Americans were like me. After the Vietnam War, most Americans are like my children.

America didn’t just lose the war, and the lives of 58,000 young men and women; Vietnam changed us as a country. In many ways, for the worse: It made us cynical and distrustful of our institutions, especially of government. For many people, it eroded the notion, once nearly universal, that part of being an American was serving your country.

Equestrian Connections Partners with LCVFSF for Veterans

on Friday, 29 June 2018.

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Recognizing that working with horses can be a powerful therapy for Veterans and family members, LCVFSF has begun partnering with Equestrian Connections on Bradley Road in Lake Forest. It offers best in class equine therapy to enrich the lives of people who choose to benefit from its many resources and services.

Equestrian Connections offers a broad range of equine therapy programs, including one called ReConnect, specially designed for Veterans and family members to connect with horses and with each other to create a uniquely positive experience.

Who Is This Veteran? Senior Chief Abbey Lehtinen Tells Her Story

on Saturday, 29 June 2019.

abbey L

According to the U.S. Veteran’s Administration, a little less than 10 percent of the U.S. population are military veterans. Of those, around 90 percent are males and 10 percent are females. About 30 percent of veterans are minorities.

Veterans live among us, all over the nation. Although I live in an area near a major military installation, I am still amazed at the number of veterans I meet in the community, many of whom we would never know have worn the cloth of our nation.

To me, a veteran is someone who has been willing to sacrifice their life, to serve a greater purpose; to protect the American way of life, our values and our future. Many veterans I meet have taken this deep commitment to service with them, even after they leave the military. Many veterans serve voluntarily in their communities, to help those in need. This service seems to be deeply engrained in their moral compass.

I joined the Navy in 1998, not only to serve my country, but also to carry on a tradition in my family. My father, and several of his brothers, served in the military during conflicts in Vietnam and Korea. He and one brother volunteered for the Army, during Vietnam, and two of my uncles served in the Marine Corps and Air Force during Korea. I never met my oldest uncle George, an Air Force veteran, whose plane was lost at sea off the coast of Korea. His remains were never recovered.

...and One Very Heartfelt Thanks from the Troops

on Monday, 17 December 2018.

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From: Lee, Joseph S MAJ USARMY MEDCOM LRMC (US)
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:43 AM

Subject: Thank you from the 67th FST in Afghanistan...

Dear 300 Boodle Brigade, Abbvie Vets Group, and the Lake County Vets Foundation,

Just wanted to send you all a warm and heartfelt THANK YOU!!!! for all the stockings, Christmas decorations, and boodle we received from you all!! With Christmas and New Years just around the corner, it was a HUGE morale boost (and sugar high!) for all of us at the 67th Forward Surgical Team stationed here in Afghanistan. While our group is small in size, we have been able to share all your wonderful snacks and goodies with our patients and other soldiers we treat both on the Forward Operating Base and returning from combat missions. Because we are in such a forward deployed location, everything you sent us goes a long way and is deeply appreciated! Your "boodle boxes" took me back to my days of Beast Barracks and plebe year (Class of '03) - I think its great you all continue to share this small part of the Long Gray Line with our brothers and sisters in arms during deployment. I am attaching a picture earlier this week of everyone as we decorated the aid station here and enjoyed unwrapping your gift boxes. Once again, thank you all so very much for your love, thoughts, and prayers this holiday season. Go Army, beat Navy!!

Happy Holidays!

67th Forward Surgical Team
MAJ Joseph Lee
General Surgeon/61J
MSS-TK, Afghanistan

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VA Offers Mental Healthcare to Vets with "Bad Paper"

on Friday, 10 March 2017.

WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin while testifying in a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on March 7, 2017, announced his intention to expand provisions for urgent mental health care needs to former service members with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative discharges. This move marks the first time a VA Secretary has implemented an initiative specifically focused on expanding access to assist former OTH service members who are in mental health distress and may be at risk for suicide or other adverse behaviors.

“The president and I have made it clear that suicide prevention is one of our top priorities," Shulkin said. “We know the rate of death by suicide among Veterans who do not use VA care is increasing at a greater rate than Veterans who use VA care. This is a national emergency that requires bold action. We must and we will do all that we can to help former service members who may be at risk. When we say even one Veteran suicide is one too many, we mean it.”

Lake County Sheriff Veteran Ambassador Program Launches

on Monday, 28 May 2018.

Sheriff

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake County Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC), the Lake County States Attorney’s office and LCVFSF celebrated the official launch of the Lake County Veterans Ambassador Program (2.0) on Armed Forces Day, May 19.

The program was created to address Veteran homelessness and suicide in a concrete way, providing transport to shelters and crisis care programs as needed for Veterans needing help from law enforcement community. After a safe night’s sleep, the VAC works with the Veteran to determine eligibility for VA benefits and community resources then connects them as appropriate.

Veterans Treatment Courts Continues Successful Record

on Wednesday, 04 October 2017.

Veterans Treatment Courts — Helping Vets Seek Justice
By Lindsey Getz
Social Work Today
Vol. 17 No. 5 P. 22

[Editor's Note: Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation is one of the founding parties of the Lake County Veterans Treatment and Assistance Court (VTAC) in Waukegan. It continues to be a key part of the specialty court process. To that end, at the conclusion of the following article, please read the information on working and supporting VTAC.]

The specialty court you may not have known existed is helping vets across the country.

Problem-solving courts take a specialized approach to working with participants in addressing the underlying problems that are contributing to their criminal behavior. It's become a big trend in the United States, as we've seen the emergence of drug courts and domestic violence courts that aim to reduce reoffenses and address substance use and other issues at the heart of illegal behavior.

Similar to problem-solving courts, Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) have emerged as a type of specialty court that help address the underlying needs of veterans who wind up facing criminal charges. It's estimated that there are currently around 350 of these specialty courts across the country, and they differ in terms of how they run or what types of charges they adjudicate. But the overarching goal is the same: getting veterans the help they need to stay out of jail and reintegrate with society.

"A Sea of Khaki"

on Sunday, 10 March 2019.

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On Feb. 8, thousands of mourners filled the United States Naval Academy’s chapel in Annapolis, Md., to pay their respects to Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, 35, who was killed by a suicide bomber at a restaurant in Manbij, Syria, last month, along with three other Americans. Kent was stationed at Fort Meade, Md., where she was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, a Navy unit that supports the National Security Agency and military special operations forces. She was supporting the latter at the time of her death.

During the ceremony, a bugler played taps. The Navy hymn “Eternal Father” rang from the pipe organ. But the memorial service departed from most of those that the Academy chapel has hosted in the past — in more ways than one.