Brown urges students to seek nominations


U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland, D-Ohio, is encouraging eligible Ohioans to seek nomination from his office to U.S. service academies for 2018 admission.

Brown’s office will accept completed application packets until Sept. 22.

Each year, Brown nominates up to 10 students for each service academy that requiring congressional recommendations: the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy, the Military Academy at West Point and the Merchant Marine Academy. Students interested in applying to the Coast Guard Academy do not need a congressional recommendation.

For information or for an application, call the academy coordinator in Brown’s Cleveland office at 888-896-6446.


Keynote speaker at women’s conference


Dr. Betty Mosely Brown, Marine Corps veteran and associate director of the Center for Women Veterans, is keynote speaker at the Ohio Women Veterans Conference on Saturday at the Ohio Union on the campus of Ohio State University.

The event is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Veterans Services with support from the Ohio Women Veterans Advisory Committee.

The conference is free, but all attendees must register and have a ticket. Registration is available at the door but without the lunch option.

The conference theme is “Celebrating Generations of Service – 67,000 Veterans Strong.” Topic areas include managing money military style, maximizing military skills on a civilian resume, support for women veterans in the workplace and access to benefits.

In addition to Mosely Brown, more than 20 other speakers will lead nine afternoon breakout sessions, and the Exhibit Hall will feature 50 booths and a chronological photo display about the history of women veterans in Ohio. For information, call 614-644-0898.

‘Shelter to Service’ matches vets, dogs


American Humane’s Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs has launched a new initiative to harness the healing powers of the human-animal bond to help veterans and more of America’s adoptable animals.

Every day, 20 veterans struggling with the invisible wounds of war take their own lives, and 670,000 dogs are euthanized in United States shelters each year.

Vast anecdotal evidence and a growing body of scientific research show that specialized post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain-injury service dogs can offer life-changing, and often life-saving, support to affected veterans. Waiting lists are long, however, and the training process is time-consuming and can cost $30,000 per dog.

American Humane has announced the first graduating class of service dogs and retired warriors from its new national “Shelter to Service” program.

The initiative rescues shelter dogs and trains them to be service dogs.

VA mulls linking 4 more illnesses to Agent Orange


Clay Risen, deputy opinion editor of The New York Times, recently profiled Dick Pirozzolo and Michael Morris, authors of “Escape from Saigon – a Novel,” for an article on the medical consequences of spraying the defoliant Agent Orange throughout Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Agent Orange was used generically to describe defoliants used during the war.

In his article “Agent Orange and Us,” part of The Times’ yearlong “Vietnam ’67” series, Risen notes the Department of Veterans Affairs is considering whether to link four more illnesses to Agent Orange exposure and whether to extend benefits to Navy and Marine personnel who served offshore.

The ailments are bladder cancer, Graves’ disease, Parkinson’s diseaselike symptoms and hypertension, all of which are more prevalent in Vietnam veterans than those of similar age who did not serve in Vietnam.

Morris suffers from prostate cancer, which the VA already recognizes. Pirozzolo has been stricken with Graves’ disease and bladder cancer, two of the four under consideration.

Veterans who served stateside and flew in airplanes such as the C-123 Provider that transported or sprayed Agent Orange may also qualify for benefits if VA rules change, Risen said.

New health care plan


With a focus toward quality-driven and accessible health care for the nation’s 23 million veterans, the Veterans Accountable Care Organization and the Veterans Accountable Care Group has launched a new, veterans-centric health care plan.

Composed of a network of community-based providers and support services designed for Veterans, VACO and VACG are accredited by the National Committee on Quality Assurance, a nationally recognized accreditation organization dedicated to improving health care quality.

Poll: More vets seek health care choices


Concerned Veterans for America has released a new poll on veterans health care that shows 98 percent of veterans favor giving veterans more health care choice outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ current medical system. The CVA surveyed 1,000 registered voters with an over-sample of veterans.

The poll also shows 92 percent of veterans think it is very or extremely important lawmakers in Washington improve the way health care is provided to veterans. In addition, 98 percent of veterans support efforts to reform the health care veterans receive generally.

Key findings include the following: 61 percent of vets think it is difficult to access medical care through the VA; 64 percent believe wait times at VA medical facilities are unreasonable; 92 percent think it is extremely or very important that lawmakers in Washington improve the way in which health care services are provided to Veterans; and 98 percent of vets support efforts to reform the health care veterans receive in this country.


Assigned to ‘Wolf Pack’

Navy Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Kelsey Thomas, of Boardman, is assigned to the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. The Navy has patrolled the Indo-Asia Pacific routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security.


Air Force: Reserve Airman 1st Class James C. Henthorne, a 2010 graduate of David Anderson High School in Lisbon, who earned an associate degree in 2012 from Pittsburgh Technical Institute, is the son of Donny L. Henthorne, brother of William G. and Thomas J. Henthorne and grandson of Richard C. Henthorne, all of Lisbon.

Items of note for the Armed Forces Digest can be sent to The Vindicator, Regional Desk, P.O. Box 780, Youngstown 44501-0780, or emailed to William K. Alcorn at

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