Department of Defense
Department of Defense
Allow Transgender People Into the U.S. Military
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals would no longer be accepted or allowed into the U.S. Military because their cost is a "burden." This is extremely disgraceful and an insult to all those who have already given their lives for this country. This is not equality, and this is not "supporting the LGBT community," as he said he does. This is utterly transphobic. Many people who served are going to be left jobless, and many others will no longer be able to fulfill their dreams. This is not okay, and this should not be legal. Trans people are still people.
Join IAVA in Telling Uncle Sam to #PayThemBack by Veterans Day
In 2010, a federal investigation found that thousands of bonuses and student loan payments were given to California National Guardsmen who did not qualify for them. Instead of forgiving overpayments, the California Guard completed an audit in September 2016, requiring nearly 10,000 current and former guardsmen to repay all or part of the bonuses. It has also been reported that servicemembers and veterans in other states are faced with similar challenges. We call on the Department of Defense to forgive this error and reject the notion that any servicemember should have to pay the price for failures of their leaders. If the DoD fails to act, we expect Congress to step up. Join us in calling on the Administration and Congress to find a fix before Veterans Day, November 11, 2016 to stop Uncle Sam's collections immediately and #PayThemBack.
Reopen MAVNI Program FY-2017
The reason for this petition is to reopen MAVNI program which is under investigation and there are no sure shot deadlines as to when it will re-open again for FY-2017. Reopening of MAVNI program helps United States to recruit soldiers rapidly that possess foreign language skills. Not only this but also most of these people who are joining have bachelors or masters and don't even want to use GI bill or anything in return. They are super motivated just by the fact to be called an American Citizen and defend this country till their death. Shutting down of this program has been emotionally draining for those who want to be a part of this. America's whole immigration system needs reform and people who work with that understands. There is no logic but luck based. Take for instance, H1 B visa lottery. Lucky person would get picked over genuinely qualified person. However, this MAVNI program gives opportunity to those who have lived in USA for long long time on all kinds of visas/work permits and want to call this country home and want to be a soldier of US and defend this nation. Impact of this program on people: Maintaining legal status while waiting for this program to be opened which is very emotionally draining for them and their families. Call of action: Its our humble request to please please reopen MAVNI for FY 2017 at the earliest. We promise we wont let down the US army spirit. We are ready, prepared, this nation we will defend, we will aim high, fly, fight and win not for self but for this country of United States of America.
Support Insurance Coverage of therapeutic horseback riding for people with disabilities
While some people with disabilities find acceptance into society hard, there is one animal that does not pass judgment: the horse. Compared to traditional therapy practices, Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) are helping people with disabilities by enhancing social skills, motor skills and overall quality of life. Families affected by these disabilities are frequently denied coverage by insurance companies, despite the proven benefits of EAAT. This issue is highlighted in Horses That Heal, an original documentary from RIDE TV and F2 Media. A study recently conducted by Beth Lanning, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of Community Health at Baylor University, showed that, when compared to traditional social therapy circles, children who participated in EAAT showed a 42% increase in probability of improved mental health and a 45% increase in probability of improved psychosocial skills. When Tricare discovered that a military client was using coverage for EAAT for his daughter, Kaitlyn, who suffers from scoliosis, cerebral palsy and epilepsy, not only did they deny further coverage for Kaitlyn’s EAAT, but demanded reimbursement for all previous coverage. Kaitlyn’s Law outlines what constitutes forms of physical therapy that should be covered by Tricare, one of the largest insurance providers for military health care. Now, RIDE TV wants to expand that coverage to all EAAT participants. Please join RIDE TV and F2 Media in demanding coverage for EAAT, so coverage cannot be denied based on the tools (in this case, horses) being used to treat patients. Families who are benefitting from the extremely positive results of EAAT are depending on you for an improved quality of life. To learn more about Kaitlyn’s Law and the proven benefits of EAAT, visit www.HorsesThatHealMovie.com
Help End Veteran Suicides As A Result Of Trauma Experienced During War Time
The current rate at which military veterans commit suicide is a staggering 22 per day. On Christmas Day, 2016, Joshua Miller became one of those 22. Josh was a beloved father, son, brother, partner, uncle, cousin, nephew, and friend. He was a visionary who wanted nothing more than to make the world a better place. Josh served in the Marine Corps from 2000-2004. The experience of the things he witnessed and had to do left him with scars that followed him through the remainder of his life. He battled his demons constantly until he could not stand the pain anymore and tragically ended his life on Christmas night. Unfortunately, Josh was not alone that day. 21 other veterans felt the same pain and chose the same path to end it all. Their pain so intense, the only option they felt they could do was to leave this world behind. Leaving behind grieving families, mothers, fathers, children, spouses, friends and other relatives. 22 veterans per day. That is 8,030 per year. This number is testament to the neglect our veterans experience from the very organizations who send them to fight and seemingly forget about them once the fighting is done. While 22 is a number, each represents a human being. A human being who signed up to sacrifice everything to fight for our freedoms. Many give their lives in this service. As the numbers show, many times their lives are taken long after they return home. Newly released statistics also show that more service members deployed overseas die by suicide than by terrorists. Our service members give their all for us. It is time to give back to them. They need us to be their voice so something can be done to help them through their suffering. They need more than what they receive to assist them in putting their demons to rest so they can have a happy, rewarding life once their service to our country is done. They deserve nothing less, and so much more. In light of this information, and the evidence that a change is drastically overdue, we are petitioning the Department of Defense and the Veteran's Administration to take action and implement changes that will save the lives of our nation's heroes. We ask that the following procedures be implemented as soon as possible: 1. As PTSD has been proven to cause physical changes in the brain, we are asking the DoD to preform a brain scan upon enlistment into the Armed Services, and again upon release so that scans can be compared and evaluated for potential damage. If damage is found, then appropriate services preformed to treat the condition. 2. A MANDATORY 3-4 week intensive program for all military members. This program should have a primary focus on results driven, evidence based therapy and curriculum to help veterans deal with the trauma that occurs while serving in the military. This program should be attended by all active duty service members who have served, prior to their release from active duty. 3. MANDATORY regular follow up after release from active duty with monthly check-ins for at least two years. Quarterly follow up for the next 3 years, and yearly follow up for the next 5 years. This time frame represents minimums, that can be increased upon recommendations of a psychologist or psychiatrist. 4. The DoD and the Veteran's Administration should allocate funding specifially for both the research and treatment of mental health issues that arise from serving in the military, and to implement the programs listed in this petition. 5. The DoD should implement mandatory therapy for all active duty service members to help alleviate the current stigma that exists regarding service members seeking help for mental health issues they may be experiencing. Service members should also be protected from discrimination and discharge as a result of said mental health needs, unless the symptoms clearly show that service member's ability to continue to perform their duties is compromised. Many active duty and veterans agree that not enough responsibility is being taken by the DoD and the VA in regards to mental health issues. Not enough help is available to them, and the effect of this is tragic. This leads to the 8,030 veterans taking their own lives each year. This is unacceptable and it is time to take action to change this. They are sent into battle armed and prepared to succeed. However, they fight another battle once they are home without any tools or support to help them win that battle. After all they have given to everyone in this country, let us help them get armed with everything they need to win their personal wars.
Resist Trump's Ban on Transgender People Serving in the Military
On Wednesday, July 26th, President Trump made a policy announcement via Twitter that the US Government will no longer accept transgender people to serve "in any capacity in the U.S. Military." He claims that the cost and disruption of trans people in the military distract from the decisiveness and success of our armed forces. Donald Trump took a huge leap back into a dark place in history in his actions via Twitter today. In fact, President Harry Truman desegregated the armed forces on this exact day in 1948. Our President is not leading us forward, he is taking us miles behind the times. In 2016, the Pentagon conducted a study that found that health costs for transgender service members seeking hormone therapy or surgical treatment would make up 0.005–0.017% of the entire healthcare expenditures for the Department of Defense. Transgender service members are being told that their health care costs are a "burden" to the Department of Defense when the costs of their healthcare hardly make up 1% of the DoD's healthcare expenditures. There are an estimated 15,000+ transgender people in the U.S. Military. These courageous service members fight every day to protect our nation and are now being told that their bravery and sacrifice is invalid and unheard. Sign the petition to stand in solidarity with our transgender military service members and resist Trump's transphobic, bigoted ban. Thanks for your support, Equality Arizona Board Equality Arizona is the leading statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization for the State of Arizona. We work collaboratively to establish a comprehensive network of individuals and organizations to secure, protect, and defend the equal civil rights and welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in Arizona.
Stop the company K2 having any involvement in placing war dogs
US military veterans returning from active service that were partnered with war dogs are supposed to have the opportunity to adopt them. "Robby's Law" enacted and passed in the year 2000 protects that right. K2 Solutions Inc of Southern Pines, NC was supposed to help facilitate this taking temporary possession of the dogs while the veterans applied for them, and finding them good homes if not. The article in today's New York Post has exposed that K2 Solutions is not only ignoring the applications of veterans to adopt their dogs, but dumping them in many despicable ways. http://nypost.com/2016/02/14/troops-betrayed-as-army-dumps-hundreds-of-heroic-war-dogs/ This is heart breaking to the veterans involved and an utter and total betrayal of our fighting people. The US military must stop this practice by K2 Solutions Inc immediately. It should immediately sever all connection with K2 Solutions except to recover any dogs they still possess and have the Department Of Justice prosecute them for fraud.
Reef the fish & dive "Towers" off the coast of Collier and Florida Keys
It has been brought to our attention the decommissioned radio towers that offer irreplaceable fish havens are in the process of being removed or reefed. We, The Collier County Waterkeeper, numerous organizations from Sanibel to Key West and the signers of this petition ask you to consider the negative environmental & monetary impacts removing these amazing towers, instead of reefing them, will have on our fishing and tourism industry. Reefing the towers would continue to provide our fishery with the numerous towers' ability to attract fish. Recently, off the coast of Naples, 35 artificial reefs were sunk which have already proven their worth in attracting fish. These reefs will last a lifetime and were strategically positioned to attract fish. The Gulf is a thriving fish haven, one of the greatest in the world. Fish have relatively no structures to call home and The Towers are like an oasis that fish species are instinctively drawn to. Removing them would be a travesty to our local communities and an antithesis to the campaign for artificial reefs in our local waters. If you are big into fishing in the Florida Keys or Southwest Florida, you are familiar with the lure of the “Towers” off of the coast. These towers are proven to attract countless species of fish, corals and marine life. Many fishing trips offshore including charter captains, tourists, recreational & commercial fishermen depend on these towers for their livelihood and pursuit of happiness. The towers are an amazing SCUBA and freedive site as well. The Towers are home to goliath grouper which the city of Naples uses to determine species counts and breeding pattern annually. Please sign this petition to tell the Army Corps of Engineers and The Department Of Defense to reef, not remove, the towers off of our coast to ensure a lasting legacy of these towers. Locations of towers: http://www.floridagofishing.com/_images/charts-maps/radio-towers-sw-gulf-of-mexico.JPG
Reopening of MAVNI program
America has been seen as the land of opportunity, and many people come and want to stay here, where they can start over and pursue the American dream. According to goarmy.com, MAVNI is a recruiting program that allows legal non-citizens with in-demand skills to join the Army in exchange for expedited U.S. citizenship, and joining the US Army through this program has been the best way to do so. The Army's recent decision to suspend the MAVNI program closed many doors, especially for bright and excited international students who want to work and be a part of America's ongoing growth and prosperity. Personally for me, there is no future in my home country. I experienced discrimination and racism every day. I don't even have a citizenship of the country where I was born. My family and I were being treated like animals just because we have a different nationality. This isn't just my story. I personally know many people from around the world who have come to America to escape similar situations. Many of them have given up on living a full life in their home countries, and have tasted the liberties and opportunities made available to them here. Instead of going back, they would rather spend their lives giving back to the land that has given them these chances, and ensure the same for their children. I'm writing to everybody to ask for your voice. Those people who want to join MAVNI love the United States of America, and they want to serve this country. The Soldier of the Year, runners who will represent this country at Rio Olympic games, and a lot of other talented people are immigrants who joined the Army, and now they are proud to be citizens of the United States. Diversity is what makes America so special. MAVNI applicants posses a lot of different skills, which are very valuable to this country, and reopening of this program will fulfill dreams of so many people. We have put our hopes and dreams into it, and we want the opportunity to become great soldiers and officers to protect this wonderful country. Sincerely, Diana
Keep Black Soldiers Out of Jail For Choosing not to Stand for National Anthem
America, Janaye Ervin is one of the many African American service members refusing to stand for the national anthem. Ervin has served in the United States Navy for 8 years. She is stationed in California as an Intelligence Specialist, a member of the American Legion and finishing up a Masters in Medical Science in hopes of becoming a doctor. She has served this great nation with respect, courage and dignity. A couple of days ago, she made the clear choice in uniform to not stand and salute the Star Spangled Banner played. After this, her security clearance was taken away, received several threats, belittled from military personnel & civilians and in danger of going to jail. Service members across the nation are standing with her during this time and need your help to prevent her from going to jail, receiving a dishonorable discharge and having any adverse actions taken against her. The Navy has also taken her equipment that she needs to do the job that she has done for all of this time. Irvin admits she loves her country and will fight for it at all cost. However, she states that "her patriotism should not be defined by her refusing to stand for the national anthem as the land she is fighting for is discriminatory towards people that look like her." She is a black woman who constantly witnesses what minorities deal with while she is in uniform. We fully understand that military law is different than civil law. However, this is no reason to have her jailed possibly, dishonorably discharged, security clearance revoked and her uniform taken away so she can not serve her country. We are doing everything in our power to help this young lady & will gladly appreciate an immediate intervention of what stands against her currently. Do not allow her to be punished for standing up for what she believes. America, one of our own, needs all of the help she can get. Please do the right thing and sign this petition. God Bless you, and God Bless, the United States of America.