Petition to LTG Kenneth R. Dahl, Commanding General, IMCOM, Raymond P Lacey Director Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation, U.S. Congressman Richard Hudson, Donald Trump
Don't take respite care away for military families with special needs children
The U.S. armed forces have an amazing program called the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). The EMFP helps families with special needs children gain access to respite care professionals. The program has helped alleviate some of the stress and strain for parenting a special needs child by allowing parents to take time to clear their minds, recharge, and be the best parents they can be for their child. But this program is now under budgetary threat. Losing access to this program would force families into the financially difficult position of relying on civilian programs and providers. But the unique circumstances of military families make relying on civilian programs and support providers that much more precarious. Sometimes, military families are living on bases in rural areas where it is difficult to find service providers for our special needs children. Additionally, military families often rotate from base to base every 3 to 5 years -- forcing a family to essentially “start-over” with each new assignment. I don’t say this to complain. This is what we sign up for and we are proud to serve our country. But our families need the support this military program provides. Budget cuts have slowly eroded the program’s availability across the armed forces for all but the most severely disabled children. And now these budget cuts are due to hit Army families in June 2017 -- despite that fact the the Army has the largest number of families with children on the autism spectrum. We are begging Congress to please not balance the budget on the backs of the families who need this respite care program the most. Please sign and share this petition. It’s important to let Congress know that military families need all the support they can get -- and military families with special needs children require this support so much more!
Petition to Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs
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.
Petition to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, Freedom Township Board of Supervisors
Say No To A Casino at Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg marked a turning point in the American Civil War and was a defining moment in our nation’s history. For three days in July 1863, soldiers in blue and grey clashed at Gettysburg in what would become the bloodiest battle ever fought on the North American continent, with more than 51,000 soldiers killed, wounded or captured. Today, Gettysburg is once again under threat – not from warring armies, but from those who would seek to desecrate the memory of the Americans who fought there by constructing a harness racetrack and casino less than three miles from Gettysburg National Military Park. This is not the first – or even the second – attempt by gaming proponents to locate a casino in the immediate Gettysburg area, but with your help, we can ensure that it is the last. A harness racetrack and casino so close to the battlefield is not only incompatible with Gettysburg’s solemn legacy, it directly endangers this hallowed ground by encouraging increased development along the southern gateway into Gettysburg, destroying the rural character that has for so long defined this region of Pennsylvania. With over a million annual visitors to Gettysburg National Military Park, this degrading of the visitor experience also threatens the heritage tourism economy that is the lifeblood of the Gettysburg community. Please sign this petition opposing a harness racetrack and casino at Gettysburg and add your voice to the growing number of concerned citizens who know that Gettysburg is a sacred place that must be preserved and protected for generations to come.
Petition to President of the United States, Secretary of defense, Armed Services Committee, Trey Gowdy
Stop Army from stealing back signing bonuses 10 years later, after vets completed contracts.
We Paid in Blood, Sweat and Tears. Sorry for the graphic photo, but this is one of my buddy's body armor who was wounded in Afghanistan. He fortunately survived, but this is just one of the many sacrifices we made to honor our end of the contracts. The CA Army National Guard offered bonuses to soldiers who had specifically needed job skills, and were willing to sign up for 3-or 6 -year enlistments from 2006 to 2010. After 17,000 soldiers signed the contracts, and in most cases completed the 6-year enlistments, many of which included combat tours, the National Guard sent letters to the soldiers stating they have to pay back the bonuses. The Army National Guard admittedly lacked manpower and oversight of their program and personnel in charge of the program. Apparently, they discovered several cases of suspected fraud. Mostly the recruiters, who received incentives for recruiting soldiers. They convicted the NCO in charge of the program while higher ranking officers dodged punishment. In one of her defenses, she stated she was ordered to keep the personnel numbers up. In the meantime they did an audit and discovered minor mistakes in nearly 17,000 contracts and suggested they were all written in violation of Federal law. Rather than investigate each contract and making a decision as to whether or not there was criminal intent with each one, they simply decided they don't have to honor any of them. As for the soldiers, including myself, we signed the contracts in good faith, believing they were legitimate. Those long term contracts pretty much insured we would be deployed to combat. The purpose of the incentive program was to maintain their numbers so they could deploy troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. They got what they wanted, then once the war in Iraq ended they are taking back the funds. Not surprisingly, since the rise of ISIS, they are offering a bonus to soldiers with specifically needed Job Skills, once again. We detrimentally relied on those contracts when we deployed. Several of my friends and I were involved in one of the most dangerous missions of our lives during that contract. I was knocked unconscious at one point when a roadside bomb struck my vehicle. Many of my friends were wounded during the conflict and some received purple hearts. I am still being treated for my injuries 10 years later. If it were not for the bravery of those serving on my left and right, I don't know that any of us would have made it home. Like many other soldiers, I honorably completed my contract in 2012 and two years later they sent me a letter stating I had to pay the money back. Each contract has a different excuse. They stated the reason I was not eligible for the contract was because I had over 20 years of service at the time. I had originally signed up more than 20 years prior, but had breaks in service and only had 15 credible years of service, not 20. Although at the time, they informed me I was eligible for a bonus, now they are saying I was not. This is the justification they are using for not honoring the contract 10 years later. I have a legally binding contract promising me the money in return for 6 years of service and I did my part. They can't give me my time back. Time I could have used in a better paying career. They can't erase the things I have done or seen, or erase my injuries. How can they just take the money back without a judgment and without my permission? This should scare every American. With regard to the statute of limitations, they stated there was a code in the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, better known as (The Farm Bill) that allows them to collect all debts, including those previously ineligible for collection, without limitation. Can the IRS also use this excuse to do tax audits from the day we first started paying taxes and charge us penalties? To add insult to injury, I received a $15,000 bonus for a 6-year term. They pre-taxed the bonus only paying me approximately $11,000 after the tax was taken out. But are now saying I have to pay the entire $15,000 back plus interest. They are demanding I pay them the $4,000 all ready paid to the IRS. After 90 days they turned my debt over to the Department of the Treasury, who fined me a 28% penalty, including a penalty on the $4,000 paid to the IRS. So now I owe the government almost $20,000, when they were the ones who wrote the contract that they state is not valid. I'm being fined and penalized for their incompetence and lack of oversight and the Treasury Department is now trying garnishing my civilian wages. The National Guard did create an over burdensome, procedural obstacle course, that requires soldiers to admit they received an erroneous payment, then beg the CA National Guard to forgive them for receiving said payment. It takes a year and a half or longer just to see if we will be forgiven as if we did something wrong. The procedure takes so long because they continue to lack the manpower to review the paperwork they make us fill out, however in the meantime, they have a large enough task force to continue garnishing soldiers wages against their will, without a court order, report unpaid debt, to credit bureaus, and collect from soldier's tax returns. One of my fellow soldiers was on another deployment when he received his collection letter, and while he should have been focusing on the battlefield, he had to worry about his family's well being back home, because they garnished his entire paycheck. I transferred out of the National Guard in order to avoid their illegal wage garnishments, however, they made it very clear, they will take it from my tax returns. I have heard, that there were at least three soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan, and one committed suicide and their spouses received collection letters. This sickens me beyond belief. Now that I was out of the military and struggling to provide for my wife and two babies, they are demanded I pay them almost $500 a month. They have quite literally ruined my life, with months and months of mental anguish,and sleepless nights. They defamed my character, when they reported the bonus promised to me as unpaid debt to all three credit bureaus, and dropped my otherwise near perfect credit score almost 150 points, making it impossible to get any loans for business I'm working on. The very entity that did not have the proper oversight to follow the proper procedures to get the contracts right in the first place, now lacks the proper oversight to follow the proper procedures in their collection activities, and are dodging legal due process as a result. My argument is this. If they feel the contracts were not valid 10 years after the fact, they need to either file criminal charges against those who they feel may have committed illegally activity, or they need to file civil charges against those who they feel were not eligible for the bonuses. The CA Army National Guard and Defense Finance and Accounting Service are each just one of thousands of government and state agencies, they are in no way the supreme governmental authority, and lack the legal jurisdiction to act as a judge in any legal dispute, let alone one that they are party to. Yet they are completely skirting legal due process. Like any other entity, when it comes contract law, should they decide to dispute the contract after it's been completed, the burden to seek a decision by an independent court or other tribunal falls upon them, and without a judgment from said court or tribunal, they have no legal authority to garnish wages, or conduct any other collection activities. This is not an unpaid dept. This is money that was promised as part of a contractual agreement, which I, and many other soldiers like me honorably fulfilled with blood, sweat, and tears. We pride ourselves with honor in the military. There is a term called honoring a contract, because it's not only the legal thing to do, but because it's an honorable thing to do. In regard to minor dependencies they found years after the contracts were completed during an audit, the CA Army National Guard should honor contracts soldiers signed in good faith and honorably completed. If they choose to be dishonorable and not honor them, they must be made to seek a judgment from a non partisan court or tribunal and immediately cease their illegal collection activities until a judgment is made in their favor. We are just soldiers, who did nothing wrong. We did what we promised to do, and we are being punished for it. The National Guard Bureau, and Defense Finance and Accounting, conned us in, and are now actually profiteering from their misrepresentation, and lack of oversight. This is despicable. If you support the ones who sacrificed so much, please stand with us sign this petition and pass it on. We really need America's support. Thank you. Soldiers. If you received a bonus recoup letter also, please email me at email@example.com. I want to make sure you are represented. For anyone who is able to and would like to donate for court cost, please nothing large, just a small $5 donation would really help. click the link below. Thank you so much. https://www.youcaring.com/military-personnel-s-court-costs-and-legal-fees-529281#.VtE_rtePnsI.facebook Feel free to read related links http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/02/12/re-enlisted-guardsmen-balk-at-bonus-grab.htm http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/10/08/call-kurtis-thousands-of-soldiers-told-they-may-have-to-pay-bonus-money-back/
Petition to Jimmy Smith, Dennis Baxley, Thad Altman
Leave NO American Veteran Behind. Induct Florida's historical veterans in The Florida Veterans Hall of Fame.
When asked to serve, they did. After their War they became prominent Floridians serving our State. Sam Pasco (U.S. Senator), Gov. Edward Perry and David Lang, Founder of the Florida National Guard were kept out of the 2014 class. Should one group of American Veterans be selected for dishonor? If so, what group of Veterans is next? What message are we sending to today's generation about how their service will be treated in the future if history decides to call their war 'unpopular'? The current interpretation by the Dept. and Cabinet actions exclude various groups of Florida Veterans (National Guard, Confederate, Colonial, Territorial and Native American). Why is one group good enough but the others are not? They are all Floridians and they all answered the call of duty.
Petition to Jennifer Ryder, Tara Smith, Help Sweetie Home, Bill Lowery
HELP SWEETIE HOME!!
PLEASE HELP A VETERAN WITH PTSD GET HIS STOLEN COMPANION DOG BACK!! Bill Lowery's dog was lured out of his backyard by thieves and taken from her loving home on November 7, 2016. Dozens of animal advocates have been helping him search for her ever since. Bill visited the Franklin County Animal Shelter many times in the following two months hoping that someone found her and dropped her off, but she was never there. Bill came down with a rare blood disease and was on chemo meds taking care of his mother in January and didn't make it to he shelter the week she was brought in. When she was brought in the shelter noticed what looked like abuse and neglect(which any dog would after being gone for 2 months). She looked like what the rescue described as a "bait dog" The shelter labeled her as a "rescue only" and after the mandatory 72 hour stray hold, Franklin County took possession of the dog and Adopt a Pit Rescue in Dayton took her in. It was only then that a picture of her circulated and Bill saw her and realized it was his dog! Yaaay! Right? Wrong! Bill contacted the rescue and was told he would have to go through the same adoption process of anyone else because the dog was never registered or microchipped. She also felt he had caused the abuse and said the scars seemed "very old". Pictures were sent to her showing her a few days before she went missing and they show she was perfectly healthy without a scratch on her! Anything that happened to her was caused by the people who stole her. He filled out the application and then was told he had to neuter, vaccinate, and microchip his other dog (Sweeties brother) to be able to still be considered. He complied immediately and 48 hours later, he sent the proof to the rescue: he was then told that she had already been adopted out, by the director. No warning, just sorry your dog has been adopted. We are now in a desperate search for the owners to plead for her return. How can this happen? How can someone take possession of your loved one who helps you cope the with PTSD that you were diagnosed with, after serving this great country? There is no one regulating these dog rescues and we were told that they can deny applications for any reason at all. It is up to the director directly to chooses who gets to adopt a dog and who doesn't. And since a dog is a "possession" and possession is 9/10ths of the law there is little to nothing you can do if someone else is in possession of YOUR DOG! This has to change!! Please help get Sweetie home to her loving family who needs her!! Loved dogs don't need to be "rescued". There are plenty of other dogs out there who need loving homes! Please get this girl back to where she belongs by signing our petition to Help Sweetie Home! And let's get some guidelines into place so this can NEVER happen again!!!! Please visit our Facebook page "Help Sweetie Home" for updates or if you would like to help in any way! Thank you!
Petition to Bradley County District Attorney, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Stephen D. Crump
Bradley County District Attorney: charge James Russell’s attackers with a hate crime
Recently, my 60-year old father was brutally attacked by a group of people near his home in Bradley County, Tennessee. The group followed him to his house, claiming that he ran one of their relatives off the road with his vehicle. He was confused by their accusation. It was a case of mistaken identity, but his attackers battered him anyway. Their beating broke his ribs, collapsed a lung, tore chest muscles, and left him with multiple cuts, abrasions, and bruises. My dad is a military veteran, community advocate, a dancer, and a musician. He’s also Native American. During the attack, one of the men grabbed my father by his hair, pulled his head back and said “I’ve always wanted to scalp an Indian”. My dad believed they were going to kill him. After an initial investigation, the Bradley County Sheriff considered the attack to be an aggravated assault, instead of a hate crime. This is important because hate crime charges carry much stiffer federal penalties than state-level assault charges. The sheriff’s deputies even released the other two involved in the attack shortly after they were arrested. Thanks to the media coverage we’ve received so far, all three attackers have officially been charged with aggravated assault. But this simply isn’t enough. My father has been released from the hospital, but he’s in hiding and fearful for his life after the “scalping” threat. He deserves justice. And no American should be attacked or feel afraid because of their identity or culture. Please sign this petition and tell our local sheriff and district attorney to upgrade the charges for my father’s attacker from aggravated assault to the hate crime it truly was.
Petition to Barack Obama
Fight For Those Who Fought For You
As federal patients, Veterans are being prescribed extremely addictive pharmaceuticals linked to widespread death across the country. Despite this fact, these pills remain at a lower classification within the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) than cannabis. Cannabis has helped many people suffering from debilitating conditions such as PTSD, cancer, chronic pain, addiction withdrawal and has statistically lowered the suicide rate in states where it is “legal.” Veterans Health Administration (VA) primary care teams should be educated on how to best implement cannabis into a veterans treatment plan. When a patient is a legal medical cannabis card holder as well as a veteran, they should be afforded the freedom to use cannabis within the VA system as a recognized medical alternative to psychiatric drugs without any discrimination or unjust actions against them. Do you agree? Should veterans be able to treat themselves with medical marijuana. If you do, please join us in the fight to provide veterans safe access and compassionate care within the Veterans Health Administration.