VA Struggles to Curb ‘Parking Lot’ Suicides at Its Own Facilities

The VA’s top health care official is asking Americans for help in addressing the crisis of veteran suicides.

“I wish it was as simple as me saying I could do more patrols in a parking lot that would stop this,” Dr. Richard Stone, the executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration, said Wednesday of the department efforts to curb veteran suicides and suicide attempts that often occur at its own facilities.

Stone made the remark in response to questions from the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee about three recent suicides: two over the weekend at Georgia VA facilities and one Tuesday at an Austin, Texas, VA clinic.

Stone told the Committee that more than 260 suicide attempts had been recorded at VA facilities. He did not give a time period for when the attempts were made, but said VA staff had intervened in about 240 of them and were able to save lives.

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Veterans’ Combat Trauma Is Often Passed Onto Their Children

4 Apr 2019Military.com | By Joyce Raezer , Steve Schwab and Mike Linnington

Joyce Raezer is executive director of the National Military Family Association; Steve Schwab is CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation; and retired Lt. Gen. Mike Linnington is CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project.

Zianni is the middle child in a family of five. Before and after school, she takes care of her younger siblings and helps her mom make dinner. But her most important role is keeping her siblings calm so they don’t add more stress to an already fragile environment.

Fifteen years in the Army and three tours in Iraq left Zianni’s dad with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety attacks and physical injuries. The family dynamic is centered around his care, and Zianni is often lost in the mix.

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WP-ORG Fund Drive 45 progress to $74,493.00 goal:

[PROGRESSBAR_WP id=4514]

Click here for LIVE report and donation breakdown
Thank you for your support!

Links:
Read the most current fund drive message
WP-ORG Budget April 19, 2019 – September 19, 2019
WP-ORG Budgets, FD8 – FD45
What is WP-ORG & Why Donate?

WP-ORG Member Information Privacy Policy
IRS Letter Confirming WP-ORG 501(c)(3) Status

WP-ORG’s Fund Drive 45 Starts Today!

It’s Spring, and again time to ask for your support to fund WP-ORG services for the next six months. Fund Drive 45 begins today. Our goal is $74,493.

http://www.west-point.org/donate/

The donation link above will accommodate checks, credit cards, PayPal, and stock donations. If you plan to make a donation, we encourage you to make it early to help us close out FD45 in just a month. For those who prefer to donate by check, our new postal address is:

WP-ORG INC
c/o Megan Klein
23802 Oscar Road
Spicewood, TX 78669

All donations are 100% tax deductible.

Our FD45 budget: http://www.west-point.org/budget/

— chart of budgets dating back to 2000:
http://www.west-point.org/service/fd45/program/BudgetPlotFD8-FD45.JPG

In addition to your donations, WP-ORG is backed by over a hundred volunteers who donate magnificent efforts as listserve moderators and as webmasters. We especially thank them, without whom we could not function. There is no other venue where a dollar donated does more for our West Point community than these fund drives.

From its inception over 20 years ago, WP-ORG’s services have been wholly funded by its members’ donations. Your donations make WP-ORG services possible. Please donate to Fund Drive 45 by credit card, check, or PayPal:

http://www.west-point.org/donate/

On behalf of the Board of Advisors, WP-ORG’s volunteers, and our two employees, thank you!

Dian Welle
WP-ORG, Inc.
www.west-point.org

2019 Sandhurst Military Skills Competition – countdown

Sandhurst is the world’s premier international academy military skills competition that inspires excellence through rigorous physical and mental challenges that reflect the tempo, uncertainty and tasks of combat operations. The competition strengthens relationships with our allies and partners to foster multi-national cohesion and interoperability and showcases the tenacity and grit of future Army leaders across the world.

The quality of the competition is maintained with a 50-team threshold filled with the best competitors from USMA regimental teams, Cadet Command’s Ranger Challenge program, international partners and other service academies.

This year’s competition is a two-day course with several day and night events that are individual, squad skill mastery and leader focused.

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PHP software upgrade…or what happened to our West-Point.org JOOMLA site?

As you were aware from prior warning(s), WP-ORG scheduled major changes to our servers.  We needed to phase out older versions of JOOMLA (e.g., version 1.5) so that we can upgrade our PHP software on the server. We did that yesterday, converting over to a platform that allows for very powerful WordPress websites.  We no longer support old/insecure JOOMLA sites.  If we host your Society or class page, and it was built on JOOMLA, that site will no longer show when you click on your URL. 

  • What happened to my older version JOOMLA site?
    • Your old documents are not lost. Everything was backed up. We can place many of your menus/stories into WordPress for you.
    • We can convert your current JOOMLA site to a WordPress site, and assist you in learning how to use it.  If you can use a computer, you can manage a WordPress site.  It really is that user friendly.
    • If you opt to convert your JOOMLA site into WordPress, your existing articles will be moved into WordPress, but may lose their current formatting.  
    • Images will be saved, but must be managed with a WordPress Image Plugin of your choosing.  
    • There is no fee for us to convert your site to WordPress.  All you need to do is ask us to switch you over. (write to us at feedback@west-point.org)

These changes will not affect HTML websites.  

The U.S. Army is building a giant VR battlefield to train soldiers virtually

In the 2014 sci-fi action movie Edge of Tomorrow (also known as Live. Die. Repeat), Tom Cruise plays William Cage, a public relations officer with no combat experience, who somehow gets stuck in a Groundhog Day-style time loop. Forced to participate in a battle against a seemingly unbeatable foe, the initially hopeless Cage becomes increasingly effective by reliving the day of the attack over and over. Each time he dies, Cage wakes up on the day preceding the attack takes place.

Being able to train in this way is a luxury that’s not afforded to today’s combat troops. As many drills as you run, as much strategic briefing takes place, the reality is that nothing can prepare you for being in a real combat zone. Suddenly things become a whole lot more unpredictable — and unpredictability is difficult to train for. Especially when one mistake could lead to serious injury or worse.

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More fire power: US Army sets out to develop new missiles in FY20

The U.S. Army is embarking on several new missile development programs while ramping up and accelerating other ongoing programs to deliver more fire power to the force at greater ranges, according to the service’s justification books for its fiscal 2020 budget request.

The service’s No. 1 modernization priority is Long-Range Precision Fires, or LRPF, because the Army believes it is central to future operations in environments where access to terrain may be difficult or entirely denied, or where soldiers lack the territorial advantage to counter threats.

And the LRPF capability plays an important role the service’s emerging doctrine — Multidomain Operations — where the Army and its sister services will work more in concert across sea, land, air, space and cyber domains to overtake the enemy.

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Plan would double artillery upgrades in Army arsenal over the next five years

The Army is about a third of the way toward its goal to acquire an upgraded fleet of nearly 700 tracked, mobile artillery cannons but will nearly double its inventory over the next five years if a recent budget request is approved.

More than six years ago, the Army began a program to improve the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled 155 mm artillery cannon, which was fielded in 1994.

Since the improvement program began then, they’ve been able to put more than 200 of the weapons into their arsenal and more than 200 more are on the way over the next five years, with an ultimate goal of having 689 Paladins in stock over the next decade, according to recently released Army budget request documents.

When the program started, initial goals were for 580 upgraded Paladins. Strategic concerns about Russian and Chinese fires modernization has pushed that number up by more than 100 in recent years.

Those improvements and procurement will keep the currently quarter-century-old mobile cannon blasting away until 2050.

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Former U.S. Army officer pleads guilty to spying for China

A former U.S. Army officer accused of spying for China has pleaded guilty.

Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, admitted to transferring sensitive defense data to Chinese intelligence agents in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a Department of Justice press release on Friday.

“Hansen pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to gather or deliver national defense information to aid a foreign government. The plea agreement calls for an agreed-upon sentence of 15 years,” the DOJ release said.

Hansen, a Utah resident, previously served as a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2006. He had a background involving signals intelligence and human intelligence, and learned fluency in Mandarin Chinese and Russian.

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