Department of Defense
Department of Defense
United Airlines, please help military families ship their big dogs!
United Airlines has been the industry leader in shipping animals globally. They recently restructured their service in response to safety issues, and have announced their new policies to improve safety. It was courageous for them to still be willing to offer any pet shipping service, that frankly speaking, can generate massive negative PR when it goes wrong, and provides only a tiny fraction of the company's total revenue. Thanks United for coming back, sincerely. However, within this change, they have implemented a new pet travel policy that bans large dogs, due to the maximum height for kennels being set at 30 inches. Labrador, Golden Retriever, Husky, Sheepdog, etc. will no longer be accepted . Also affected are Pit Bulls, Mastiffs, Malinois, and other dogs deemed to be "Strong jawed". This affects Military and State Department families deployed outside the USA, as they now have no way that fits their budgets to bring their pets home when they receive orders for Permanent Change of Station. Historically, United has been the only affordable option for big dogs, as other airlines cost up to 3-4 times as much. For example, sending a Golden Retriever from Seoul, Korea to San Francisco in a "700" crate used to be about $850 on United. Other Airlines cost is about $2,200 (After all additional fees are added). We are asking United to make an EXCEPTION for United States Military families, Department of Defense Civilian families, and State Department families that are being deployed abroad or back Stateside. This petition serves to show solidarity with the families affected, as we ask United to see how deeply appreciated their previous service shipping large pets was, and how desperately they are needed. Without this change, Military and State Department families face some very difficult choices, that could have painful consequences.For years United PetSafe has been a trusted way to move animals around the world, and I personally hope that they continue to serve the public with their excellent standards. US Service members and their families deserve better! United announcement: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/animals/petsafe.html#petsafetable My in-depth analysis: https://www.facebook.com/Shindogsair/posts/1001768046647319
Citizens Against Contaminated Water for Service Members and their Families
Residents of JBLM are experiencing brown water and have for years. Within the last year, the brown water issue has greatly affected residence’s abilities to bathe, complete simple daily tasks such as laundry, running a dish washer or simply washing their hands. This brown water has been deemed “safe” to drink and bathe in, despite multiple residences experiencing serious skin allergic reactions, and even hospitalization. Though it has been recognized by Department of Public Works, Joint Base Lewis McChord Communities, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, it continues to be a daily struggle for residents to believe and trust that their water is safe. They have been told the water is "safe to drink" despite the color and foul smell. Joint Base Lewis-McChord Communities takes no responsibility regarding the water quality issue and directs all residents to Department of Public Works, who claims the routine hydrant flushes “do nothing” about the water quality. A recent report was released from the Department of Defense that states the water at or around at least 126 military installations contains potentially harmful levels of perfluorinated compounds. These contaminants have been linked to cancers and developmental delays for fetuses and infants. These chemicals are man-made and found in firefighting foam used by the DoD. This has residents at JBLM and several other military bases in the CONUS very concerned. Despite the closure of 3 wells on JBLM, the problem is still on-going. Residents have been urged to contact the proper channels when experiencing these issues and nothing continues to be done. Water that reeks of chlorine, has sediment and an orange tinge is NOT safe to consume and residents deserve clean drinking water and a safe living environment. Meanwhile, houses on base are being renovated and updated, and age old pipes that cause these water issues are ignored. Join us to fight this cause.
Allow military members to decide if they want to pay for a meal card or not
Our great men and women of the military deserve the right to choose how their money is spent. Currently, troops living in the barracks are forced to pay $370 a month for a meal card to eat at the chow hall. Chow hall hours don’t line up with everybody’s schedule, and often times, people are forced to spend extra money on food. On weekends, the chow halls are only open for 2 meals a day. From a financial standpoint, it is easily possible to buy a months worth of food for less than what comes out for BAS. Our military gets paid little as it is, they should be afforded the right to decide on how they pay for their food.
Give Corey the benefits and care he has earned!
My son was assaulted by a soldier breaking his neck. He was hit from behind because he didn’t want to get into the car with them. The Army says this is my son’s fault because if he had gotten in the car when he was told to, he wouldn’t have been hit breaking his neck. After breaking his neck the soldiers picked Corey up and placed him in the back of a compact car between two other soldiers. They had a Sgt and a paramedic meet them in the parking lot of the barracks where the paramedic evaluated my son and did not call an ambulance for him to stabilize him. It took about 3 hours for them to get Corey to the military hospital where they did not have a neurosurgeon. The Army refuses to transfer him to a WTU they refuse to start a medboard and they refuse to say this is in the line of duty. SOLDIERS did this to my son. SOLDIERS moved my son around and hauled him around in a car for hours with a broken neck. A Paramedic trained by the army looked at my son, documented that he was barely breathing, paralyzed, had low blood pressure and heart rate, and was in and out of consciousness. This paramedic had a responsibility to call an ambulance to stabilize my son’s spinal cord and administer oxygen, fluids, and medication for his heart rate and blood pressure. A paramedic had the responsibility to transfer my son to a hospital with a neurosurgeon on duty to stabilize my son. Due to the care and treatment he received at the hands of soldiers and a paramedic on post, my son suffered bleeding into the spinal cord as well as having bone fragments impinging on his spinal cord. He went from paraplegic to quadriplegic all while in he hospital. Now my son is not eligible for any grants for adaptive technology, home and vehicle modifications, transport to and from therapy, durable medical equipment, or home health care. He is not eligible because the Army refuses to take responsibility for their part in my son’s injuries. I cannot sue because of something called the Fares Doctrine. My son has suffered enough! For the rest of his life he will have to have someone help him with everyday tasks. He cannot even control his own bowel and bladder function. He is 23 years old. Help me get the benefits my son deserves!! I have 5 kids and have worked hard to get where I am. I am a RN who works at the VA hospital in our area and I am going to lose my job. My FMLA is up this month and I will have to return to work. They won’t even let me work part time so I can care for Corey. Without the benefits being withheld we will lose everything! I can’t leave him by himself and he has to go to therapy. I was told last week to apply for Medicaid. I shouldn’t have to. He is coveeed on my insurance and the army has some responsibility for the extent of his injuries. PLEASE help in any way you can! To read more of our story or to help share or donate to help with modifications we so desperately need for our home please follow this link https://www.youcaring.com/coreyshackelford-1038083 or you can find my story on Facebook @accountabilityforcorey
Allow all active duty members and spouses in Guam to participate in COLA survey
BLUF: The Cost of Living Allowance decrease for the US Territory of Guam will create significant financial hardships for the military members and their families stationed there. The survey driving the decision is faulty, groceries are expensive and poor quality, and spouses have a difficult time finding jobs. Immediate action on your part is needed to aid the military families stationed on the 210-square mile island of Guam. Cost of Living Allowances The military cost of living allowance (COLA) is based on a point index, with 100 as a baseline (no allowance given). The current COLA rate for Guam is 124, with a projected decrease to 118 in September, and a final decrease to 116 in October. This 8-point decrease equates to a 30% drop in the amount the military member receives monthly to offset the increased expenses that arise from living on a remote Pacific island. (For reference, our family’s COLA will decrease by nearly $4,000/year). Survey Shortcomings The projected COLA decrease is a result of, at least in part, data collected via survey. This survey was provided only to a limited number of members and not directly to any spouses. Additionally, internet service on Guam is intermittent, slow, and frequently government websites block Guam IP addresses, requiring the use of a VPN (Virtual Personal Network) to access. These factors further limited data collection, and negatively impacted the accuracy of the expenses incurred by the military population on Guam. Cost of living in Guam The following list contains three prices for commonly purchased goods. The CONUS amount is the average cost in the 48 continental US states, the Guam price is that of purchasing the item in the local economy, and the military price is the cost of the item on a military installation, either at AAFES/NEX or the Military Commissary. Gas (gallon) – CONUS $2.854; GUAM $4.42; MILITARY $3.259 Milk (gallon) – CONUS $3.33; GUAM $10; MILITARY $4.44 (Commissary); $6.99 (AAFES) Bread (loaf) – CONUS $1.32; GUAM $4.20; MILITARY $1.65 It may be tempting to glance at these numbers and think, “Well, just shop on base and the cost isn’t THAT much higher than CONUS.” However, that presents some obstacles. Namely, the quality and availability of items at the commissary. Produce is typically only good for 2-3 days after purchase, and is even more exorbitantly priced than the listed examples (strawberries $8.99/pt, green beans $8.19/lb, etc.). All items, but especially dairy, must be scrutinized for expiration dates. Many items stocked on the shelf expire within a day or two of purchase; finding yogurt with a week left before expiring is like winning the lottery. This limits the ability to “stock up” when an item is on sale because it is unlikely to be used before the expiration date. It is also common for an item to be “out of stock,” with no replenishments for months. Fresh poultry is not available at all. All of our chicken arrives frozen, past the expiration date (which is “extended” because it is frozen). Much of the fish and pork, and some of the beef, is “previously frozen,” and often requires an “extension” on the expiration date. Bread is also shipped frozen and thawed on the shelf. Because of these quality issues, it is often necessary to shop in the local economy, at exorbitant prices. Shipping costs While in CONUS, many families find that shopping online is frequently less expensive than local options. Even OCONUS, many retailers waive or discount shipping to APO addresses. However, in Guam, we are not permitted APO addresses because we have USPS service. Retailers commonly charge more to ship to Guam, or flat-out don’t ship here at all. Amazon Prime, for example, does not honor Guam addresses, so items that ship free to CONUS or APO addresses are charged based on size and weight to ship to Guam. This further hinders our ability to shop in cost-effective manners available to other locations. Spouse Employment Spouses often have a difficult time finding employment in Guam. The “locals” tend to discourage hiring those who are not native Chamorros, and because the military installations are small, finding federal employment is also difficult. Conclusion Many spouses that wish to provide a second income struggle to secure a job, our grocery choices are limited, expired, or expensive, shipping costs to the island are high, and the survey being referenced for this change had significant shortcomings. We are proud to be a military family serving our country and we understand the sacrifices that come with this life. We depend on the COLA to make life on this isolated island reasonably comfortable. Cutting it by a third is salt in the open wound that the challenges of Guam life create for military families. Action Request We are asking that our COLA rate remain unchanged until such time as accurate data can be collected and considered. Grant military members and spouses the opportunity to respond to a widely-available survey and properly report the true cost of living here.
Remove Andrew Chabrol from Arlington National Cemetery.
BM2 Melissa Harrington was sexually harassed by LT Andrew Chabrol, her division officer. On July 9th, 1991 he abducted her outside her home and took her to his house. With an accomplice, he bound,v raped, tortured and murdered her in a sapre bedroom. No one believed Melissa or her co worker when they went to them for assistance. When she didn't show up for work, they doubted Chabrol had her. After the police received a warrant and caught Chabrol he was convicted and sentenced to death. Upon his execution, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Each year, on Memorial Day, a flag is placed on his grave. A continuous injustice to BM2 Harrington. For the thousands of women that have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed in the military and their families that have dealt with the ramifications of military sexual trauma, the removal of Andrew Chabrol, a dishonorable member of the military who kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered a BM2 Melissa Harrington, former shipmate and active duty Sailor, would serve as an example to all woman that violence against women in the military will not be tolerated. It would be a small but important, gesture to all women dealing with MST that regardless of previous inaction, the military is prepared to begin necessary actions to correct years of marginalization, harrassment, abuse and violence women experienced at the hands of their shipmates and the lack of justice from their chain of commands. I, and many of my friends, are survivors of MST and live every day knowing the military could have done more to believe us and protect us. Melissa's death was preventable. Remove Andrew Chabrol from the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.
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.
URGENT - Military Families in Unhealthy, Substandard Base Housing Managed by PPV's
Help! Military Families living in base housing demand an immediate investigation into Public Private Ventures (PPV's), hired to operate military housing on bases across the country and the DOD's lack of oversight in monitoring them. In shockingly increasing numbers, families are living in mold infestations, with lead hazards, water they can't use, asbestos and other hazardous issues. Even more shocking, many of these issues have been known and documented for years and nothing has been done, even after several investigations and lawsuits! It still continues! No more! PPV's are lying, covering it up, pressure washing and painting over the moldy walls! Everyday, unsuspecting family, after unsuspecting family, is moved into a home with known issues. Over and over, countless issues are not being remedied and continue to fester. PPV's hope the next tenants will not notice. When residents complain, they often feel they are being intimidated by the PPV, causing them to be fearful to act. The PPV knows families do not have a voice. The PPV's know there is no ACCOUNTABILITY. The PPV's know they can CHRONICALLY ABUSE military families to line their corporate pockets. Families are consistently meeting dead ends when trying to get help. Military housing representatives are often unhelpful and commands have told families to not talk or post about their issues. This is unacceptable!! Do you have housing issues or know someone who does? Have you had an experience like those mentioned above? Are work orders you submitted closed without ever being fixed? Please share the petition! Please comment with why you are signing, and share your story. You have a voice here!! Together we can make change! You can also contact us at: email@example.com. We are happy to help connect you with resources. What do we want: CHANGE ASAP! Our health and WELL BEING DEPENDS ON IT! 1) Families and service members deserve to live in clean, maintained homes that do not cause health issues. For many, this is their only option for housing. It should not be poisoning them. We need a military advocate. There are too many complaints of current advocates, not doing their jobs and protecting the PPV's. 2) We want PPV's monitored (as originally outlined by their contracts) and contracts rescinded, if they are not meeting their obligations and/or are abusing families! PPV's should not be allowed to operate with no oversight. Because most base housing is on federal land, health code laws, etc., do not apply and leave families with no recourse. Local laws and health codes are rarely enforced, and our military reps rarely help us. We will stand alone no longer!! 3) PPV'S are responsible for the upkeep and modernization of these homes as outlined per their military agreement. That means that they are tasked with completing work orders FULLY and COMPLETELY in a timely manner. However, residents frequently complain about submitting work orders where the work is never completed and the job is marked as closed. Then residents are asked to fill out anonymous surveys, to comment on said work and later find out that their complaints were never anonymous after all. It's time for these surveys to stop being the voice of the families that have so much more to say!! 4) We want military medical installations to immediately put out notice recognizing housing has issues that are making people ill. All medical counterparts, need to be notified officially that our housing has issues, whether it be mold, lead, asbestos, etc., so families can get the medical support they need. Most of us affected, are finding military doctors refuse to help and tricare coverage is difficult to get approved for the testing we need to be diagnosed. It should not take years to get help. We should not have to pay out of our own pocket to get help. 5) We demand that base commands and military members of authority step in to act when receiving news of housing concerns. The health of our military members and their families creates an immediate readiness issue. It would be wise of military command to not only acknowledge these issues, but to address them immediately! 6) We want answers as to why DOD investigations have known about these issues for years, and have allowed PPV's to operate continually with no corrections or consequences for their lack of maintenance and ability to ensure safe living conditions. If you believe military families should have safe and healthy homes to live in, please share this link with the following hashtag: #stoppoisoningmilitaryfamilies
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.
Health Benefits for Military Ex Wives who served over 20 years with Soldier husband.
This is for me and so many other people who spent years with husband serving the military, and after divorce loose all the benefits when soldier is retired for medical reason and after divorce. I spent 23 years married to an Army soldier, and after divorce I lost all my medical benefits and even his part of retirement. All DOD told me is that he was retired under medical reasons, so I was not entailed to any benefits even when the court stated that he was responsible for my health benefits for life and he never complied. Why is that?? I served with my ex husband and his Army carrier, and DOD did nothing. We served just like them!! some of us left everything to serve with soldiers and need security and health too.. I help my ex-husband to join the military and also help him getting his retirement due to health. Support his entire Military career and deployments, what happened to taking care of military families????