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Military Plane Crash Kills 16

crash

By Debbie Gregory.

In the worst Marine crash since 2005, 15 Marines and a Navy Sailor were killed when their KC-130 air tanker went down Monday afternoon in the Mississippi Delta.

While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, based on the extensive five mile radius of the debris field, the plane experienced an explosion at high altitude.

“Two large impact areas are half a mile north of Highway 82 and a half a mile south of Highway 82,” said Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James, commander of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve.

Six of the Marines and the sailor were from an elite Marine Raider battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps. It said the seven and their equipment were headed for pre-deployment training at Yuma, Arizona.

In the aftermath of the crash, emergency workers had to keep their distance from the plane because the plane was carrying explosive ordnance that resulted in several high-intensity detonations. It is not yet know if the cargo played a role in the cause of the crash.

Plumes of black smoke visible for miles across the flat landscape of the delta.

On Tuesday, just a couple hundred yards from where the plane went down, David Weeks stood on the side of the highway and played “Taps,” the song played at U.S. military funerals and memorials.

“I’m out here today to show my respect for the fallen. Felt in my heart to come out and honor them,” Weeks said.

Although not a member or veteran of the military, Weeks is a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, a group of volunteer motorcycle riders who attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes to show their respect.

The KC-130 is a four-engine propeller-driven plane that is used by both the U.S. Marine Corps. and the U.S. Air Force, and is a variant of the Cold War-era C-130 Hercules.  It is used to refuel aircraft in flight and transport cargo and troops.

The plane was based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York.

The identities of those who perished have not yet been released. We at Military Connection extend our deepest condolences to the families. May their loved ones rest in peace.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Former Camp Lejeune Veterans Affected By Tainted Water Can Apply for Disability

Camp Lejeune

By Debbie Gregory.

Former service members exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune over a 35-year period can now apply for Veterans Disability Benefits, under a new federal rule.

For decades, complaints blamed on the water at Lejeune, including serious ailments such as cancers, infertility, neurobehavioral effects, and deaths, have plagued the base. The Marine Corps has said the contamination was unintentional, occurring when federal law didn’t limit toxins in drinking water.

The move is expected to affect as many as 900,000 veterans and cost more than $2 billion over the next five years.

In a statement, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin called the move “a demonstration of our commitment to care for those who have served our nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service.”

It comes after years of lawsuits and lobbying by veterans groups who said tens of thousands of troops and their families were exposed to unhealthy levels of contaminants from leaky fuel tanks and other chemical sources while serving at the North Carolina base from the early 1950s to the late 1980s.

In 2012, Congress passed a bill that was signed into law by then-President Obama extending free VA medical care to affected veterans and their families. But veterans were not automatically provided disability aid or survivor benefits.

The disability benefits may supplement VA health care already being provided to eligible veterans who were stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 cumulative days between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987. Veterans will have to submit evidence of their diagnoses and service information.

The new rule covers active duty, Reserve and National Guard members who developed one of the eight diseases: leukemia; aplastic anemia (and other myelodysplastic syndromes); bladder cancer; kidney cancer; liver cancer; multiple myeloma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; and Parkinson’s disease.

Veterans have a year to file the benefits claims, and if approved will receive payouts from their date of filing.

Tell Us What You Think About This  New Benefit

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

 

US Agrees to Pay Billions to Former Marines at Camp Lejeune

camplejeune

By Debbie Gregory.

From 1953 through 1987, people serving or living at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. This chemical exposure may have led to adverse health conditions.

Now, after years of waiting, those veterans may now be able to receive a portion of government disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion. This is one of few instances in which former military personnel who weren’t deployed for war could become eligible for cash payouts.

The qualifying health conditions include adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease.

“We have a responsibility to take care of those who have served our nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service,” McDonald said, adding that the VA’s decision will make it easier for veterans “to receive the care and benefits they earned.”

Beginning in March, the disability benefits may supplement VA health care already being provided to eligible veterans who were stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 cumulative days between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987. Veterans will have to submit evidence of their diagnoses and service information.

The new rule covers active duty, Reserve and National Guard members who developed one of the eight diseases.

It allows veterans to qualify for government disability aid based on toxic harm sustained while at a garrison, as opposed to a battlefield. The Marine Corps has said the contamination was unintentional, occurring when federal law didn’t limit toxins in drinking water.

In 2012, Congress passed a bill that was signed into law by President Obama extending free VA medical care to affected veterans and their families. But veterans were not automatically provided disability aid or survivor benefits. The issue has prompted lawsuits by veterans organizations, which note that military personnel in Camp Lejeune housing “drank, cooked and bathed” in contaminated water for years.

In 2015, McDonald also agreed to award disability benefits for another category of veterans who weren’t on the ground, those who had developed medical conditions after exposure to Agent Orange residue on planes used in the Vietnam War.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Paying Out for Lejeune Contaminated Water Exposure: Military Connection

Military Connection: Camp Lejeune

By Debbie Gregory.

From 1953 through 1987, people serving or living at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. This chemical exposure may have led to adverse health conditions.

In 2009 the U.S. federal government initiated investigations into the allegations of contaminated water and failures by U.S. Marine officials to act on the issue. In February 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the contaminated water at Lejeune significantly increased the risk of multiple cancers including liver, kidney, and ALS. In August 2012, President Obama signed the Janey Ensminger Act into law, in honor of Jerry Ensminger and his daughter Janey, who died of cancer at age 9, to begin providing medical care for people who may have been affected by the contamination.

The qualifying health conditions include the 15 specific ailments believed to be linked to the contamination, including cancer of the esophagus, lung, breast, bladder or kidney; leukemia; multiple myeloma; myleodysplasic syndromes; renal toxicity; hepatic steatosis; female infertility; miscarriage; scleroderma; and/or neurobehavioral effects or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Veterans who are determined to be eligible will be able to receive VA health care. In addition, care for qualifying health conditions is provided at no cost to the Veteran (including copayments). Make sure to inform the VA that you served on active duty at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during the covered time period. If you’re already enrolled, contact your local VA health care facility at http://www.va.gov/ directory/guide/ to sign up for the Camp Lejeune Program and receive VA care. Otherwise, apply online at http:// www.va.gov/healthbenefits/apply/ or call toll-free 1-877-222-8387. *Note- A Camp Lejeune veteran does not need to have one of the 15 health conditions to be eligible to receive VA health care, nor do they need a service connected disability to be eligible as a Camp Lejeune Veteran for VA health care.

Eligible family members can receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred from the treatment of qualifying health conditions after all other health insurance is applied. You must show your relationship to a Veteran through a marriage license or birth certificate. The VA will assist you in verifying residency on Camp Lejeune during the covered timeframe. Gather up your reimbursable expense receipts and apply online at https://www.clfamilymembers.fsc.va.gov or call toll-free 1- 866-372-1144.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Paying Out for Lejeune Contaminated Water Exposure: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: All Black Hawk Crash Victims Identified

Fallen

By Debbie Gregory.

The identities of the service members killed in the March 10thhelicopter crash in Florida’s Santa Rosa Sound have been released to the media.

The service members lost their lives when a Black Hawk Helicopter went down during a nighttime training exercise off the coast of Florida’s Panhandle. Four of the victims were the helicopter’s pilots and crew, members of the Louisiana National Guard. The remaining seven were passengers from the 2nd Special Operations Battalion of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The names of the seven Marines were released on March 13th. The fallen Marines have been identified as:

  • Captain Stanford Henry Shaw III from Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
  • Master Sergeant Thomas A. Saunders, originally from Bonn, Germany.
  • Staff Sergeant Marcus S. Bawol of Warren, Michigan.
  • Staff Sergeant Trevor P. Blaylock from Lake Orion, Michigan.
  • Staff Sergeant Liam Flynn, originally from Reading, England.
  • Staff Sgt. Kerry Michael Kemp, originally from Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Staff Sergeant Andrew C. Seif from Holland, Michigan.

The names of the four members of the Louisiana National Guard were released on March 16th. The two pilots and two crew members were identified as:

  • Chief Warrant Officer George Wayne Griffin Jr. of Delhi, Louisiana.
  • Chief Warrant Officer George David Strother of Alexandria, Louisiana.
  • Staff Sergeant Lance Bergeron of Thibodaux, Louisiana.
  • Staff Sergeant Thomas Florich of Fairfax, Virginia.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. The incident is still under military investigation by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, out of Fort Rucker, Alabama.

At MilitaryConnection.com, we celebrate the service of our men and women in uniform, and mourn the loss of the fallen. Our staff would like to send our heart-felt condolences to the families, friends and comrades of the fallen from the 2nd Special Operations Battalion and the Louisiana National Guard.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: All Black Hawk Crash Victims Identified: By Debbie Gregory