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9 October, 2018 09:15 | Arizona Dept. |


Good morning Legionnaires and veterans advocates, right now is Tuesday, October 9, 2018 which is Worldwide Beer and Pizza Day, Curious Occasions Day, Leif Erickson Day and Hearth Prevention Day. To my NY Yankees fan buddies on the market: “The Chair is against the wall, I say again, The Chair is against the wall.” (I child in fact, I might by no means have a Yankees fan as a pal.)

This Day in Legion Historical past:

· Oct. 9, 1985: The American Legion Nationwide Government Committee passes Decision 16 calling on the Division of Inside, High quality Arts Fee, Nationwide Capitol Planning Fee and all others to dedicate an space close to the Vietnam Struggle Memorial “to erect a statue honoring the women who have served during the Vietnam War.”

This Day in Historical past:

· On this present day in 1967, socialist revolutionary and guerilla chief Che Guevara, age 39, is killed by the Bolivian military. The U.S.-military-backed Bolivian forces captured Guevara on October eight whereas battling his band of guerillas in Bolivia and assassinated him the next day. His arms have been reduce off as proof of demise and his physique was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1997, Guevara’s stays have been discovered and despatched again to Cuba, the place they have been reburied in a ceremony attended by President Fidel Castro and hundreds of Cubans.

· 1635: Spiritual dissident Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the Common Courtroom of Massachusetts. Williams had spoken out towards the correct of civil authorities to punish spiritual dissension and to confiscate Indian land.

· 1969: In the USA, the Nationwide Guard is known as in as demonstrations proceed in Chicago protesting the trial of the “Chicago Eight.” The trial had begun on September 24 and concerned costs towards David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Thomas Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner, John Froines, and Bobby Seale for conspiracy to cross state strains with intent to trigger a riot. These costs stemmed from the violent antiwar demonstrations in Chicago in the course of the 1968 Democratic Nationwide Conference. When the trial lastly led to February 1970, Decide Julius Hoffman discovered the seven defendants (Seale had been separated from the others for a separate trial resulting from his courtroom antics) and their legal professionals responsible of 175 counts of contempt and sentenced them to phrases of two to 4 years. Though the jury discovered the defendants not responsible on the conspiracy cost, the jury did discover all besides Froines and Weiner responsible of intent to riot.


· America’s Struggle With Afghanistan Enters 18th Yr

· Washington Examiner: Celebration’s over: Subsequent Pentagon finances hurtles towards Hill fights and delays

· Marine Corps Occasions: Recon scarcity: Why these elite Marines are dealing with a manpower disaster

· NBC Information: VA owes veterans housing allowances underneath the GI Invoice, forcing some into debt

· NYT: The World’s Oldest Barber Is 107 and Nonetheless Slicing Hair Full Time

In the event you want to be faraway from this e mail record, kindly e-mail me at mseavey with “Remove from Daily Clips” within the topic line. In case you have acquired this from somebody who forwarded it and want to be added, e-mail me at mseavey and I’ll promptly add you to the listing, that you simply may get the day by day American Legion Information. America’s Warfare With Afghanistan Enters 18th Yr eight Oct 2018 By Richard Sisk

On Oct. 7, 2001, lower than a month after the Sept. 11 terror assaults, U.S. warplanes bombed targets in Afghanistan in what can be the opening offensive of Operation Enduring Freedom, the trouble to drive the Taliban and al-Qaida from the nation and set up a democratic authorities.

CIA operatives and U.S. particular forces teamed with the mostly-Tajik Northern Alliance to take Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif and different cities beneath an air umbrella that was offered primarily by the Navy and used Joint Direct Assault Munitions to devastating impact.

Then-Marine Brig. Gen. Jim Mattis, now the U.S. secretary of protection, led Activity Pressure 58, consisting of the 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Models, on an air assault that ultimately resulted within the taking of Kandahar, birthplace of the Taliban motion.

By Dec. 9, 2001, the Taliban had collapsed and chief Mullah Omar had fled to Pakistan. Then, the U.S. focus turned to the invasion of Iraq.

On Oct. 7, 2018, the army endgame for the U.S. in Afghanistan was nonetheless an more and more troublesome and long-term work in progress. That date marked the beginning of the 18th yr of struggle in Afghanistan — a conflict that has claimed hundreds of American lives and exhibits no clear indication of drawing to an in depth.

The resurgent Taliban is again and firmly in command of giant swaths of territory. Osama Bin Laden is lifeless, however U.S. and Afghan particular forces are nonetheless on the hunt for parts of al-Qaida. The brand new terrorist issue is the ISIS offshoot referred to as Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or “ISIS-K.”

The “blood and treasure” prices to the U.S. proceed to mount.

Final week, Military Nationwide Guard Spc. James A. Slape, 23, of Morehead Metropolis, North Carolina, was killed by an improvised explosive system in contested southwestern Helmand province, the middle of Afghanistan’s thriving poppy commerce.

He was the seventh fight fatality and eighth general for the U.S. this yr. Because the struggle started, at the least 2,414 U.S., 455 British and 686 troops from different coalition nations have been killed in Afghanistan for a complete of three,555, in accordance with the web site

Relying on who’s doing the counting and the way it’s accomplished, the estimates for the prices of the warfare for the U.S. since 2001 have usually exceeded $1 trillion. The Pentagon estimates the U.S. will spend at the very least $45 billion on the struggle effort this yr.

Since 2001, U.S. coverage has modified radically. The primary aim is not to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan however moderately to drive them right into a negotiated peace settlement to finish the warfare, in accordance with Military Gen. John Nicholson, who just lately turned over command of U.S.-Forces Afghanistan and the NATO Resolute Help Mission to Military Gen. Scott Miller.

At his Senate affirmation listening to in June, Miller stated he wouldn’t speak about turning factors “unless there is one” and that he couldn’t assure “a timeline or an end date” to the struggle.

The estimated 14,000 to 15,000 U.S. troops in Miller’s command are working beneath a brand new technique for Afghanistan introduced in August 2017 by President Donald Trump.

On the time, Trump acknowledged that his first intuition was to withdraw all U.S. forces, however he agreed with the recommendation of Mattis and others to provoke a “conditions-based” strategy with no timelines that may put extra give attention to counter-terror raids and airpower to again the more and more burdened Afghan safety forces.

On Sunday, the highest headline for Afghanistan’s TOLO information company was from a Pew Analysis Middle report: “Study Finds Americans Feel U.S. Involvement Has Failed.”

The Pew ballot of 1,745 individuals, carried out Sept. 18-24, confirmed that 49 % believed the U.S. effort in Afghanistan to be a failure.

Additionally on Sunday, veteran diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul as the brand new U.S. Particular Consultant for Afghanistan Reconciliation. His remarks echoed what different U.S. envoys have stated going again to 2001.

“I will cooperate with Afghan officials and other influential Afghans to reach a peace” to finish greater than 40 years of battle in Afghanistan stretching again to earlier than the Soviet invasion in 1979, he stated.

“We in cooperation want to make a peaceful Afghanistan,” he stated, “where all tribes see themselves included, have the right to choose and will try to achieve a result that should deserve the sacrifices made during the years.”

Washington Examiner: Celebration’s over: Subsequent Pentagon finances hurtles towards Hill fights and delays

by Travis J. Tritten

| October 09, 2018 12:00 AM

The stakes are excessive for Protection Secretary Jim Mattis. The Pentagon is flush with money to rebuild forces, however additionally it is relying on continued will increase within the coming years to understand the Trump administration’s nationwide safety objectives.

On a Friday afternoon, simply two days earlier than the beginning of the brand new fiscal yr on Oct. 1, the White Home introduced that President Trump had signed into regulation annual funding for the Pentagon.

On the Pentagon, budgeteers heaved a sigh of aid after years of late funding and stopgap price range measures that brought about havoc for army planning.

However the respite from years of finances dysfunction on Capitol Hill is already receding. The Pentagon and lawmakers at the moment are dealing with the approaching return of the identical thorny finances points which have snarled on-time funding and hobbled the Pentagon for years, in addition to a wild card with the November midterms and a ballooning deficit.

“I think it’s going to be a long, hard, drawn-out fight over the next year,” stated Todd Harrison, the director of protection price range evaluation on the Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research.

Beneath Trump, Congress has pushed by way of two main finances hikes for the Pentagon, described as the most important year-on-year improve in 15 years. However that was solely potential as a result of lawmakers struck a deal to boost Price range Management Act spending caps for 2018 and 2019.

The 2011 BCA regulation mandates two extra years of capped spending. Congress has no deal but to avert the bounds and meaning the army is dealing with a $71 billion fiscal cliff, based on the Congressional Finances Workplace.

The final Hill battle over the caps delayed the 2018 protection finances by six months, from October to March, making it troublesome for the army to spend the cash successfully. The Pentagon could also be set for a repeat of final yr’s months-long stopgap funding measures when it sends its subsequent price range to lawmakers in about 4 months.

“The FY20 budget request will come out in February, or it’s supposed to. We’ll see if it comes out on time, and I don’t think we’re going to have a resolution to that for probably, you know, a year and a half from now,” Harrison stated. “I’d be looking at the spring of 2020 as when we might actually get close to a budget deal.”

For now, the result is totally unknown and the stakes are excessive for Protection Secretary Jim Mattis. The Pentagon is flush with money to rebuild forces, however additionally it is relying on continued will increase within the coming years to understand the Trump administration’s nationwide safety objectives.

“The secretary and the others at the department have said all along that FY20 is going to be the first budget that really reflects the new National Defense Strategy. So I think we’ll be looking for that. Put the dollars where the strategy is,” stated Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the Home Armed Providers Committee.

Mattis and the Pentagon have indicated the army will want about Three-5 % finances progress over the approaching years to remain aggressive towards adversaries corresponding to Russia and China, which the brand new technique places on the prime of U.S. nationwide safety priorities.

“If defense spending flattens out after FY19, [the Defense Department] will not be able to do badly needed nuclear and conventional modernization simultaneously, it will not be able to repair accumulated readiness problems, it will not be able to sustain America’s ability to project power,” Hal Manufacturers, a senior fellow on the Middle for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, stated in testimony to Congress.

The place protection spending finally lands on the huge vary between the $71 billion cliff and the Pentagon’s imaginative and prescient of regular annual progress might nicely rely upon the result of the midterm elections.

If Democrats understand their hopes and win management of the Home, that may elevate fiscal hawk Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., to chairman of the Home Armed Providers Committee. Thornberry, a champion of elevated protection spending, and his get together can be relegated to the committee minority.

The shift in management would little question make will increase within the subsequent protection price range harder. Smith believes the rising U.S. debt is making giant Pentagon budgets untenable. Smith has made clear in current weeks that his imaginative and prescient as Armed Providers chairman can be a scaled-back army position on the planet, fewer nuclear weapons, and a tough take a look at shaving protection spending.

“When you say that defense shouldn’t be part of the equation, defense is still, I think, 17 percent, 18 percent of the total budget. It’s a big chunk of it, and you’ve got a trillion-dollar debt, and it would still be your vision as we deal with that that defense should be off the table?” Smith stated, pushing specialists at a current committee listening to.

Democrats might use rising deficit spending and a $1.2 trillion improve in nationwide debt over the previous yr to hammer Republicans as a battle over a brand new BCA funding caps deal unfolds. In previous years, the celebration has pushed for protection spending will increase to match non-defense priorities.

However the debt might additionally pose an actual menace to the Pentagon’s topline, one other within the rising listing of potential issues for the protection finances.

“We don’t quite know when the crunch will come with respect to the deficit and the debt, but I’m quite sure it will come,” Manufacturers stated in his testimony. “And so, if we don’t get a handle on the problem, at some point we are going to find we are constrained in paying for national security.”

Marine Corps Occasions: Recon scarcity: Why these elite Marines are dealing with a manpower disaster

By: Shawn Snow and Andrea Scott   13 hours in the past

The Marine reconnaissance group has a storied historical past courting again the Corps’ first operational small boat models in World Conflict II.

Its lore has captivated the ambitions of many younger Marines wishing to earn the 0321-occupation specialty.

Recon Marines are tasked with land and amphibious reconnaissance, intelligence assortment, surveillance and small unit raids, and straddle the road between particular operations forces and traditional forces.

“I did infantry for my first four years, then I got bored with it,” stated Marine Shawn Talbert, ­coaching cell chief with third Reconnaissance Battalion in Okinawa, Japan. “It kind of felt like it was almost a dead end. And so I went to recon where there are no dead ends. It’s all rabbit holes in every different field.”

However there could also be some a lifeless ends in sight.

These elite Marines are on monitor for a manpower ­disaster; one which questions the Corps’ potential to maintain its reconnaissance drive into the longer term at a time of speedy modernization throughout the drive and as recon questions its mission.

Current knowledge is the truest teller.

“Manpower and Reserve Affairs identified the 0321 MOS [Military Occupational Specialty] as having the most inverted grade pyramid, specifically in the E-3 to E-4 ranks, which is having a significant effect on ­promotion timing,” Marine Corps Fight Improvement Command advised Marine Corps Occasions.

That problem is compounded by excessive attrition charges on the recon group’s 12-week rigorous Primary ­Reconnaissance Course, or BRC.

Attrition charges have been as excessive as 54 % (in fiscal yr 2014) are coupled with attendance charges that look like declining, based on knowledge ­obtained by Marine Corps Occasions by way of a Freedom of ­Info Act request spanning the previous 5 years.

Over these 5 years, BRC’s attendance fee noticed a excessive of 526 Marines in 2013 and a low of 280 ­Marines in 2016 — an almost 45 % drop.

Former and present reconnaissance Marines who spoke to Marine Corps Occasions on situation of ­anonymity stated the low numbers have been disappointing and raised alarms concerning the group’s sustainability.


However manpower considerations will not be the one points ­dealing with the Corps’ elite and storied recon models.

Many former and present recon Marines have lengthy complained about gear, morale and an general feeling that their skillsets have been underutilized, particularly over the course of America’s counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What really is recon’s mission within the post-9/11 period and within the age of Marine Particular Operations Command?

A standard comparability advised to Marine Corps Occasions by a number of members of the group, to explain recon’s seek for an id within the new period, is the HBO miniseries “Generation Kill,” which particulars the exploits of 1st Marine Reconnaissance Battalion because it barrels by means of Iraq through the opening of the U.S. invasion.

“The point, lance corporal, we’re supposed to be a recon unit of pure warrior spirit,” Sgt. Brad Colbert, performed by Alexander Skarsgård, says within the present.

“We’re out here, 40 klicks in enemy lines, and this man of God here, he’s a f*ckin’ POG. In fact, he’s an officer POG. That’s one more layer of bureaucracy and unnecessary logistics, one more a**hole we need to supply MREs and baby wipes for.”

The scene depicts the frustrations of a group that always sees itself misused and misunderstood by the Corps.

Driving in armored vans and finishing up missions usually the purview of infantry models is just not what recon is educated to do.

“The ‘recon’ part is always just fairy dusted,” a former member of the recon and sniper group stated.

“Recon isn’t the grunts; recon is special. The things in our T&R manual [training and readiness] are ­special operations missions. Yet, we basically have to use the same gear as the infantry.”

Because the creation of MARSOC, there additionally has been “somewhat of a competition of manpower,” between the 2 swimming pools of prospects, a former reconnaissance firm platoon commander advised Marine Corps Occasions in 2017. “Marines have to make a choice.”

Each communities have a tendency to attract the identical sort of Marine: “You get smarter, stronger, more of the Alpha-male type figures,” Talbert stated.

However, so far as altering and studying new expertise goes: “Reconnaissance has stayed pretty much the same for the past 20 years or more,” the previous ­firm platoon commander stated, the place MARSOC has ­developed a number of new skillsets.

And there are different indicators of stresses.

Take for example that this yr the Marine Corps deployed reserve members of third and 4th Drive ­Reconnaissance Corporations to reinforce third Reconnaissance Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, as a part of a Unit Deployment Program, or UDP.

Models who take part in a UDP often conduct coaching on Okinawa, Japan, or with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

It’s not completely unusual for reserve models to be referred to as as much as conduct a UDP, however typically it’s to select up slack for active-duty models which are in any other case busy.

Reserve Marines with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment are deploying on a UDP to Okinawa in October, taking the place of Camp Pendleton, Marines with fifth Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

The fifth Marine Regiment was merely retasked with evaluating and testing the Corps’ new Joint Mild ­Tactical Car, which is about to switch the Marine Corps’ getting old fleet of Humvees.

“As the Marine Corps strives to make the most of its modernization plans, every opportunity will be taken to improve the capability and readiness of our forces at the same time,” Lt. Col. Ted Wong, a Marine ­spokesman, advised Marine Corps Occasions about 2nd ­Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment’s UDP in June.

It’s the primary time in a number of years a reserve unit has been referred to as as much as tackle a UDP.

However, whereas the reserve drive recon corporations are ­augmenting the UDP, their deployment is just a little ­totally different than the battalion degree UDPs, based on Maj. Roger Hollenbeck, spokesman for Marine Forces Reserve.

The reserve pressure recon Marines in Okinawa ultimately might be relieved by one other reserve platoon of recon Marines “in order to provide continuous support to the active duty battalion on Okinawa,” Hollenbeck stated.


However the Corps is working exhausting to discover a answer.

On the finish of September, the Marine Corps kicked off its first in depth rank construction evaluation in almost 20 years to take a look at manpower points because of the Corps’ push to modernize, generally known as the Marine Pressure 2025 idea, in accordance with a forcewide message.

A evaluation by Manpower and Reserve Affairs recognized 42 job fields that vary from recon, intelligence, aviation and logistics which might be affected by an ­inverted grade pyramid, MCCDC stated.

Inverted grade pyramids can stymie and logjam ­promotions and end in a diminished pool of decrease rank-and-file Marines in a numerous job. It may well additionally create future manning challenges.

The Corps has highlighted the recon area as a precedence.

Particularly, Manpower and Reserve Affairs discovered that the E-Four inhabitants was larger than the E-3s within the 0321 group. This implies there are extra ­corporals or noncommissioned officers within the recon area than junior enlisted people.

Which might be an enormous drawback in the long term.

Plus, recon’s “independent operator, independent thinker” mannequin places “a lot of responsibility on even the youngest lance corporal or corporal,” stated Talbert.

“The information that they need to know and the mindset that they need to have is probably equivalent to a sergeant in the infantry.”

Marine officers say they don’t seem to be positive what has prompted the inverted grade construction within the 0321 ­group however are presently reviewing the difficulty.

However not all is doom and gloom.

MCCDC informed Marine Corps Occasions that the recon group met its fiscal yr 2018 ­recruiting aim and 99 % of its retention objective.

A few of that could be the results of huge bucks the Corps dished out as a part of its Selective Retention Bonuses for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

A sergeant shifting into the recon subject might internet a $50,000 bonus on prime of a 72-month lateral kicker of $40,000, netting a future recon Marine $90,000.

And gunnys and above with 10-14 years of lively service fee almost $30,000 for reenlisting as an 0321.

“The current inventory of recon Marines is sufficient to fill almost 90 percent of the required billets across the USMC,” stated spokeswoman Capt. Karoline Foote.

And modifications are afoot to deal with its numerous challenges to incorporate attrition, commencement and attendance charges.

From fiscal years 2013-2018, the very best attrition fee at BRC was 54 %, which is excessive, however doesn’t fairly match the scout sniper faculty attrition fee of almost 67 % in 2014, which has since dropped under 50 %.

The Corps’ elite recon and sniper faculties are arduous and bodily demanding. Comparatively excessive attrition charges are anticipated as these faculties search to guage the perfect and hardest amongst a small pool of candidates.

However attendance at BRC additionally seems to be on the decline and has not peaked above 400 candidates since 2014, based on knowledge obtained by Marine Corps Occasions.

To deal with these challenges, Coaching and Schooling Command lately kicked off a Reconnaissance Coaching Administration Staff Working Group,” which “recognized gaps” in recon coaching, Foote stated.

Because of the working group, BRC will now have 11 further days of instruction. The Corps additionally determined to replace its recon prescreening course generally known as the Primary Reconnaissance Primer Course, or BRPC, which is comparatively new.

“Using historical data and feedback, the new BRPC continues to provide much needed training in aquatics and physical conditioning. It will now include Land Navigation to allow for increased remediation and written test opportunities to better prepare Marines for the cognitive aspects of memorization and written exams throughout BRC,” Foote defined.

Some former and present recon Marines posit the decline in attendance at BRC could also be a results of the primer course removing college students who in any other case wouldn’t have graduated BRC.

And Corps officers stated because the new screening course and modifications to BRC went into impact commencement charges have soared to just about 80 %.

“The vast majority of attrition from the Basic Reconnaissance training program result from failures to pass initial screening,” Foote defined. “Once candidates are screened to meet the medical, cognitive, and physical requirements to conduct high risk training, the attrition rate is low.”

NBC Information: VA owes veterans housing allowances underneath the GI Invoice, forcing some into debt

“You can count on us to serve, but we can’t count on the VA to make a deadline,” one veteran stated.

ct.07.2018 / 7:00 AM EDT

If Jane Wiley and her husband, Ryan Wiley, each discharged from the Marines, don’t obtain the housing allowance they get via the GI Invoice by Nov. 1, she expects that they’ll run out of cash for meals and lease. They will even should cease attending faculty if they will’t afford youngster care for his or her two youngsters.

The Wiley household just isn’t alone. Due to a software program situation, the Division of Veteran Affairs is struggling to pay scholar veterans the housing allowance and different advantages offered to them by way of the GI Invoice.

The federal company has paid some veterans an excessive amount of, too little or nothing in any respect. It’s as much as two months late on funds in some instances, forcing probably hundreds of former service members to spiral financially.

The Wileys trusted these checks and included them of their month-to-month price range. With out them, they as an alternative have a handful of maxed out bank cards and no expectations of once they is perhaps paid.

NBC Information spoke to 10 veterans who needed to borrow cash from household, take out loans, or open new bank cards — and watch their financial institution accounts development steadily towards zero — as a result of their funds have been delayed.

“People are homeless and starving because they can’t rely on getting their benefits,” stated Jane Wiley, who left the Marines in June 2016 and now serves as a reservist within the Air Drive. “If it means making [VA] employees stay all night, then get it done because it’s better than putting families in crisis.”

Wiley stated she is annoyed as a result of she despatched within the paperwork to be licensed to obtain her advantages almost two months in the past, however has no concept when or if she’ll obtain a verify. The VA has offered her — and the opposite veterans NBC Information spoke to — few solutions.

“You can count on us to serve,” stated Wiley, 31, who attends Texas A&M San Antonio, “but we can’t count on the VA to make a deadline.”

The VA stated the issue at present stems from an IT drawback brought on by modifications to the regulation when President Donald Trump signed the Eternally GI Act final yr. New requirements for calculating housing stipends have been to be carried out on Aug. 1, nevertheless it brought about “severe critical errors” throughout testing that “resulted in incorrect payments,” VA spokesman Terrence Hayes stated.

In consequence, the VA determined to postpone the deployment of the system. It’s now paying college students underneath 2017 charges — ignoring the 1 % improve for 2018 — and plans to reimburse college students the distinction they’re owed sooner or later sooner or later.

As of now, the company doesn’t know what number of veterans are affected however expects that 360,000 veterans should be paid the 2017 fee. Will probably be “unable to identify the number of veterans solely impacted by delayed payments” till they’re able to course of each veterans’ enrollment paperwork, Hayes stated.

“Education Service has placed the Regional Processing Offices in a mandatory overtime status and have 202 temporary employees on hand to assist with the pending inventory,” he stated in a press release. “With these measures in place we are processing over 16,000 claims per day.”

Hayes didn’t reply for remark when requested how a lot the extra 202 momentary staff would value the VA.

It’s simply one other instance of how the VA, on this capability, doesn’t have their s— collectively.

The VA’s Workplace of Info Know-how and Veterans Advantages Administration consider the issue might be solved by the top of the yr, however many veterans stated none of this has been conveyed to them, leaving them directionless.

The shortage of communication has solely exacerbated the issue, stated veteran Jarid Watson, 37. He faults what he referred to as “toxic leadership” on the VA for these ongoing points. Watson stated he has fallen behind on his mortgage funds due to the delay and added that, on the very least, the VA might have defined the issue.

“It would at least show there was some sort of strategy, some sort of plan, some sort of organization,” stated Watson, who acquired a medical discharge from the Air Pressure as a tech sergeant in 2016 after 12 years of service. “It’s just another example of how the VA, in this capacity, does not have their s— together, and that comes from the very top.”

Rep. David Roe, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, started wanting into the matter in mid-September after two veterans in his district despatched their info inside a minute of one another to be licensed. One acquired his housing allowance, however the VA couldn’t discover the opposite man within the system in any respect.

In a letter to Beneath Secretary for Advantages Paul Lawrence on Sept. 28, Roe wrote that the issue appeared to stem from scholar certifications not correctly transferring from one system to a different, inflicting “students’ certification [to be] lost and not making it to the payment program that provides the monthly living stipend.” He additionally famous that this was notably regarding because the VA’s workload for schooling claims elevated by 52 % between Sept. 22, 2017, to Sept. 21, 2018 — from 163,771 to 248,396.

“They have to upgrade their system to a modern, working system,” Roe informed NBC Information. “This should not be this hard. If this was happening at [Amazon], this problem would be fixed or somebody would be fired.”

“You can’t have these young people going homeless,” he stated of veterans who have been now struggling to satisfy their lease. “They can’t be doing that. They have to pay their bills. Congress has provided the money; taxpayers have provided the money. It’s time for the VA to do their job.”

Veterans have been open about how a lot this might have an effect on their budgets. The obvious software program snafu is costing former service members dwelling on a decent price range an incredible deal as they’re now confronted with banking charges, curiosity on loans or on bank cards and different late expenses for unpaid payments.

Matt Downie, 35, who served over 4 years within the Military earlier than being discharged as a corporal in 2007, interns at a regulation workplace, research pre-law at Southern New Hampshire College and works as a private coach in his free time. Due to how busy he’s and the necessity to additionally help his spouse and three youngsters, the cash offered by the GI Invoice is important to his household’s month-to-month finances.

To pay his payments, Downie stated he needed to borrow $1,100 from his sister and her husband. This week, he lastly acquired $2,500 from the VA, however he stated the delay has value his household greater than $300 in overdraft charges.

“To be honest, if we didn’t get that money, I don’t know what we would have done come Monday,” stated Downie. “We were down to $15 in our bank account and have three kids, two car payments and our house that we rent.”

Joe Davis, the director of communications for the Veterans of Overseas Wars, stated the group was trying to guage the influence of the delayed funds on members.

“We just hope all creditors and landlords cut some slack to the veteran,” he stated. “It’s the system, not the veteran, because they will be paid.”

Of the veterans interviewed, every shared how they sat on maintain with the VA’s schooling helpline for as much as 90 minutes in hopes of receiving a solution. However as soon as they have been lastly capable of converse to a VA worker, the veteran can be advised that there was no new info or that decision volumes have been so excessive that they must name again later.

However the biggest frustration for a lot of is that this can be a profit that isn’t precisely new — the GI invoice was signed into regulation by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1944. The VA ought to be capable of anticipate the necessity, they stated.

“I’m glad I served and I’d do it again, but what bothered me is that I was doing my job: taking classes, passing my classes and submitting my certification,” Downie stated. “They’re totally failing their jobs and they still get paid. It just seemed like no one cared. I often was told a lot of people weren’t getting paid besides me. I understand that, but that doesn’t help me at all.”

NYT: The World’s Oldest Barber Is 107 and Nonetheless Chopping Hair Full Time

[Editor’s Note: 75 year member of local American Legion Post 1796]

By Corey Kilgannon

Oct. 7, 2018

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. — Anthony Mancinelli shook out a barber towel and welcomed the subsequent buyer to his chair in Incredible Cuts, a cheery hair salon in a nondescript strip mall, about an hour’s drive north of New York Metropolis.

“Hey, paisan — same as usual,” stated John O’Rourke to Mr. Mancinelli, who started layering Mr. O’Rourke’s hair together with his regular, snipping scissors.

“I don’t let anyone else touch my hair,” stated Mr. O’Rourke, 56, of Cornwall, N.Y. “The guy’s been cutting hair for a century.”

Truly, Mr. O’Rourke was off by 4 years. Mr. Mancinelli is 107 and nonetheless working full time, slicing hair 5 days every week from midday to eight p.m. He has been working in barbershops since he was 11. Warren Harding was within the White Home.

In 2007, at a mere 96 years previous, he was acknowledged by Guinness World Data because the oldest working barber. Since then, the commendations have rolled in — from native civic teams, elected officers and barbering corporations — all congratulating him: 100 years, 101, 102, and so forth.

Mr. Mancinelli simply retains outdating the awards.

The salon’s audio system have been enjoying hip-hop on a current afternoon. “He’s used to the windup record players,” Mr. O’Rourke teased.

Mr. Mancinelli has a trim construct, a gentle hand and a full head of hair, albeit snow white. He spends a lot of his day on his ft, in a pair of worn, cracked leather-based black footwear.

“People come in and they flip out when they find out how old he is,” stated the store’s proprietor, Jane Dinezza.

“He never calls in sick,” she stated. “I have young people with knee and back problems, but he just keeps going. He can do more haircuts than a 20-year-old kid. They’re sitting there looking at their phones, texting or whatever, and he’s working.”

Requested — for the umpteenth time — about his longevity, Mr. Mancinelli provided solely that he has all the time put in a satisfying day’s work and he has by no means smoked or drank closely.

However no, longevity doesn’t run in his household, and he was by no means massive on train. Food regimen-wise, he stated, “I eat thin spaghetti, so I don’t get fat.”

He has all his tooth and is on no day by day treatment. He has by no means wanted glasses, and his hairstyling arms are nonetheless regular.

“I only go to the doctor because people tell me to, but even he can’t understand it,” he stated. “I tell him I have no aches, no pains, no nothing. Nothing hurts me.”

One cause he continues to work, he stated, is that it helps him keep busy and upbeat after the demise of his spouse of 70 years, Carmella, 14 years in the past. He visits her grave every day earlier than work.

Mr. Mancinelli lives alone, not removed from the salon in New Windsor. He drives to work, cooks his personal meals, watches tv — he’s an enormous pro-wrestling fan — and is adamantly self-sufficient. He nonetheless trims the bushes in his entrance yard with no assist.

“He won’t even let anyone sweep up his hair clippings,” stated his son Bob Mancinelli, 81, who famous that his father even provides haircuts to himself.

As Ms. Dinezza noticed, “he shops for himself, does his own laundry, pays his own bills — it’s crazy. He’s just in the right state of mind.”

“You hear about all these people asking, ‘What medicine can I take, what food can I eat, what anti-aging cream should I use?’” she stated, “and he’s doing it with none of those things.”

As hairstyles have modified over the many years, Mr. Mancinelli has tailored. “I cut them all,’’ he said, “long hair, short hair, whatever was in style — the shag, the Buster Brown, straight bangs, permanents.”

Some clients have been coming to him for nicely over 50 years, having gotten tons of of haircuts.

“I have some customers, I cut their father, grandfather and great-grandfather — four generations,” stated Mr. Mancinelli, who has six great-great-grandchildren.

His son, Bob Mancinelli, stated: “Some of his older customers, he helps them in the chair. He’ll say to an 80-year-old guy, ‘Listen, when you get to be my age. …’ They love hearing that.”

Jen Sullivan, a stylist who works the chair subsequent to Mr. Mancinelli, is all of 20.

“It’s just amazing that he still works full time,” she stated. “Weekends here can get crazy — even I get tired of being on my feet — but he just keeps going.”

Mr. Mancinelli stated he was born in 1911 close to Naples, Italy, and emigrated together with his household when he was eight, becoming a member of a relative in Newburgh, N.Y. He was considered one of eight youngsters — “I’m the only one left” — and went to work at age 11 in an area barbershop. By age 12, he was slicing hair and dropped out of highschool to chop hair full time.

Again then, a haircut value 25 cents, he stated. Now, a haircut from Mr. Mancinelli prices $19.

He not practices the medical methods he discovered early on from older barbers, resembling burning off warts, putting heated glass cups on the torso and utilizing leeches for swelling or hypertension.

He does maintain in his salon drawer — “for when the electricity goes out” — a pair of guide hair clippers he used earlier than electrical hair clippers got here into use.

He’s the perennial selection for grand marshal of the New Windsor Memorial Day Parade. A World Struggle II Military veteran, Mr. Mancinelli has been a proud member, for 75 years, of native American Legion Publish 1796, the place his drink of selection is a whiskey bitter.

For Mr. Mancinelli’s birthdays, the salon closes and provides a celebration, with meals donated by the native grocery store. However most days are routine, interrupted by the occasional information media inquiry in search of out this centenarian barber.

The write-ups have attracted curious individuals from everywhere in the world for haircuts. The actor Ben Gazzara got here up 10 years in the past from Manhattan for a haircut, on the recommendation of a pal, Mr. Mancinelli stated.

Ms. Dinezza employed Mr. Mancinelli a number of years in the past after one other native store reduce his hours. Her receptionist initially disregarded his software due to his age, however Mr. Mancinelli utilized once more, and impressed Ms. Dinezza together with his chopping means.

“Now, I feel like I’m working for him,” she stated. “I get a million and one phone calls from people all over the world who have heard about him and want to visit.”

Subsequent up in his chair was one other common, Joe Murphy, 46. He recalled getting a haircut on Mr. Mancinelli’s 100th birthday at his earlier store. (This reporter determined to take a bit off the edges as properly.)

“The guys in the shop wanted to take him to a girlie joint for his birthday,” Mr. Murphy recalled, because the 107-year-old barber toweled his neck clear. “But Anthony said, ‘No way — what are you trying to do, kill me?’”


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