81-Year-Old Veteran Chooses Rehab Over Surgery

Veteran participating in physical therapy

George Xenakis, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Korean War Veteran Victor Ferentino


Photo by Margaret Dessau

Running has always been a passion for Victor Ferentino, 81, an Army Airborne Korean War Veteran. For 60 years, his exercise routine has involved running three to five times a week for at least 40 minutes.

A year ago, he had an accident while jogging on Houston Street in Manhattan. “My leg gave out and I went flying.” Following this incident, Ferentino found he had trouble walking and suffered pain in his left knee.

Unwilling to give in to pain, he persevered, running for a month until the pain became so severe he consulted an orthopedic surgeon. The physician took X-rays and diagnosed advanced bilateral knee arthritis and recommended surgery.

Ferentino, a retired architect who ran a company importing wines from Italy and France before retirement, always researched problems, wanting to learn as much as possible in order to make an informed decision. He consulted two other orthopedists who also recommended surgery. “I like to know all about my condition and options before deciding on treatment.”

He also contacted doctors at a sports medicine research center in Tubingen, Germany who advised physical therapy (PT) rather than surgery. Reading that there was only a one-percent chance of improvement with surgery, with equal results from intensive physical therapy alone, Ferentino says he opted for Synvisc injections every six months and physical therapy three times a week at VA New York Harbor’s Physical Therapy clinic at the Manhattan Campus.

He also exercises three times daily at home. His routine included mini-squats, straight leg raises, and several stretches for his lower extremities. Instructed in this program by his physical therapist, the exercises change as Ferentino’s condition improves.

Since he lives in a fifth floor walk-up apartment, it was essential for him to regain his balance and strength in order to perform activities for daily living. Although he’s had to give up running, Ferentino is strongly motivated. “It’s embracing life,” he says.

He has proven to be a fast healer and credits much of his rapid success to George Xenakis, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and the new Clinical Coordinator of Rehab at VA’s Manhattan Campus. “Since George took over, it’s been tremendous. Not just physically, he’s helped me mentally. He draws the best out of the PT setting.” says Ferentino.

Dr. Xenakis earned his DPT license at Rutgers and has nine years of experience in a variety of settings including private offices, nursing homes and clinics. Dr. Xenakis says he encourages patients to set goals with him as their clinician and buy into whatever it takes to accomplish these goals. “I begin patients with lots of education besides exercises, giving reasons and explanations. That improves compliance.”

Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system can find the physical therapist at their VA medical center — here’s the locator.

For physical therapists interested in a physical therapy career with VA, start here.

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/81-Year-Old-Veteran-Chooses-Rehab-Over-Surgery.asp

A Veteran Who Was on Iwo Jima 70 Years Ago Today

A Veteran wearing the medal of honor stands between a man and a woman

Hershel “Woody” Williams with Sarah M. Tolstyka, Public Affairs Specialist, and Timothy J. Cooke, Martinsburg, West Virginia, VA Medical Center Director

You’ve seen the picture a thousand times. In black-and-white photos, maybe in an old movie. The raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.

Meet a Veteran who was there…70 years ago today: Corporal Hershel “Woody” Williams, United States Marine, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for action against the Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945.

Williams, 91, is the last living Medal of Honor recipient for actions on Iwo Jima.

Williams joined the Marines when he was 17 and was with the group of Marines who landed on Iwo Jima on February 21, 1945.

American tanks ran into a network of reinforced concrete pillboxes and buried mines. Williams went forward with his 70-pound flamethrower to try to stop the devastating machine gun fire from the enemy positions.

He was covered by four riflemen as he fought for hours under constant enemy small-arms fire. He had to repeatedly return to his own lines to get new flame throwers and then go back to the front to try to wipe out one position after another.

Once, smoke indicated the air vent of a Japanese bunker so he went close enough to place the end of the flamethrower through the hole, eliminating the occupants. Another time, enemy soldiers charged him with bayonets drawn. He destroyed them with a burst of fire from his flame thrower.

You can watch him tell the dramatic story here.

Williams was presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman on October 5, 1945, at the White House.

Veteran stands with a man and woman holding a Medal of Honor flag

Hershel “Woody” Williams with Sarah M. Tolstyka, Public Affairs Specialist, and Timothy J. Cooke, Martinsburg, W.V., VA Medical Center Director

“Don’t do anything to tarnish it.”

“Woody” likes to tell the story of what Marine Commandant Alexander Vandegrift told him in 1945, shortly after President Truman presented him with the Medal of Honor.

“That medal does not belong to you,” Vandegrift said. “It belongs to all the Marines who never came home. Don’t do anything to tarnish it.”

“Those words stuck,” Williams remembers. “I wear it especially for two Marines who, on Feb. 23, 1945, gave their lives protecting mine,” he adds. “I claim only to be the caretaker of the medal.”

 I wear it especially for two Marines who gave their lives protecting mine. 

Though Williams struggled with the after-effects of combat stress until 1962, he experienced a religious renewal and later served as chaplain of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for 35 years.

The Martinsburg, W.V. VA Medical Center plans to honor the 44 Medal of Honor recipients from their area by constructing a Medal of Honor wall.

Woody had a special request: have an honor wall in every VA Medical Center in West Virginia before he passes. When he visited the medical center to see the first phase, he presented the Medal of Honor flag to the director.

For more about Woody, his life and military history, here is a 90 minute video interview with him on C-Span.

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/A-Veteran-Who-Was-on-Iwo-Jima-70-Years-Ago-Today.asp

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line Saves Lives Every Day

Responders work on a call in a call center

Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis with qualified, caring responders.

Caring, Confidential Responders Always There

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line has answered over 1,625,000 calls.

That’s more than a million-and-a-half times a Veteran has felt suicidal or depressed or lost and decided to call for help…and the Crisis Line was there.

It’s a crisis too many of our wounded warriors face.

The Crisis Line has sent over 45,000 rescues to assist callers with emergency services. That means that when our trained responders know the caller is in a serious crisis and they can’t calm them down or convince them to go to a VA hospital and see a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, they call the closest local emergency personnel to go to that Veteran’s home and help them.

And that has happened 45,000 times.

That saves lives and helps Veterans on the road to recovery. And since 2007, the Crisis Line has been there non-stop: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, and text services.

The Crisis Line has provided over 261,000 referrals to local facility Suicide Prevention Coordinators. It is an essential component of VA’s overall effort to prevent suicide.

Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

Goal: Immediate Crisis Intervention

Our goal is to provide immediate crisis intervention and then connect the Veteran with local Suicide Prevention Coordinators. The mission is to reduce the number of suicides by reducing immediate stress, offering callers options, and referring them to the appropriate VA or community resources nearest their homes.

We encourage all Veterans and Military Servicemembers to connect with the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

You can chat with someone who understands by visiting our website at www.veteranscrisisline.net or you can text us at 838255.

The caring professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Many of the responders are Veterans and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face.

Working the phone lines is a team of a responder and a health technician. The responder, a trained crisis intervention specialist, takes the call and speaks with the Veteran and tries to understand the situation. The health technician takes the information the Veteran provides to the responder and tries to pinpoint their location. Once a location is established, emergency services in that area can be contacted either for immediate attention in response to a suicide attempt or to provide follow-up care.

Call and talk to them about anything you are struggling with — the death of a loved one, relationship break-up, loss of job or unemployment, money problems, losing your home or anything else that might be contributing to how you are feeling.

Crisis Can Come from a Wide Range of Situations

It is not unusual to face disappointments, frustrations, loss and the wear and tear of daily stress. People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations — from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. When emotional issues become overwhelming, it’s time to call on the Veterans Crisis Line for support.

It’s helped thousands of Veterans and it can help you.

The Veterans Crisis Line works in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

One suicide is one too many, and in our efforts to try and prevent any suicide, we are working hard to make the Crisis Line even better. We’re working to improve our processes and systems to allow for earlier intervention through better identification of Veterans in crisis and proactive engagement.

The Crisis Line is working. A million-and-a-half phone calls later, we are still here to help. Call!

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/VAs-Veterans-Crisis-Line-Saves-Lives-Every-Day.asp

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line Saves Lives Every Day

Responders work on a call in a call center

Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis with qualified, caring responders.

Caring, Confidential Responders Always There

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line has answered over 1,625,000 calls.

That’s more than a million-and-a-half times a Veteran has felt suicidal or depressed or lost and decided to call for help…and the Crisis Line was there.

It’s a crisis too many of our wounded warriors face.

The Crisis Line has sent over 45,000 rescues to assist callers with emergency services. That means that when our trained responders know the caller is in a serious crisis and they can’t calm them down or convince them to go to a VA hospital and see a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, they call the closest local emergency personnel to go to that Veteran’s home and help them.

And that has happened 45,000 times.

That saves lives and helps Veterans on the road to recovery. And since 2007, the Crisis Line has been there non-stop: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, and text services.

The Crisis Line has provided over 261,000 referrals to local facility Suicide Prevention Coordinators. It is an essential component of VA’s overall effort to prevent suicide.

Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

Goal: Immediate Crisis Intervention

Our goal is to provide immediate crisis intervention and then connect the Veteran with local Suicide Prevention Coordinators. The mission is to reduce the number of suicides by reducing immediate stress, offering callers options, and referring them to the appropriate VA or community resources nearest their homes.

We encourage all Veterans and Military Servicemembers to connect with the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

You can chat with someone who understands by visiting our website at www.veteranscrisisline.net or you can text us at 838255.

The caring professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Many of the responders are Veterans and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face.

Working the phone lines is a team of a responder and a health technician. The responder, a trained crisis intervention specialist, takes the call and speaks with the Veteran and tries to understand the situation. The health technician takes the information the Veteran provides to the responder and tries to pinpoint their location. Once a location is established, emergency services in that area can be contacted either for immediate attention in response to a suicide attempt or to provide follow-up care.

Call and talk to them about anything you are struggling with — the death of a loved one, relationship break-up, loss of job or unemployment, money problems, losing your home or anything else that might be contributing to how you are feeling.

Crisis Can Come from a Wide Range of Situations

It is not unusual to face disappointments, frustrations, loss and the wear and tear of daily stress. People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations — from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. When emotional issues become overwhelming, it’s time to call on the Veterans Crisis Line for support.

It’s helped thousands of Veterans and it can help you.

The Veterans Crisis Line works in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

One suicide is one too many, and in our efforts to try and prevent any suicide, we are working hard to make the Crisis Line even better. We’re working to improve our processes and systems to allow for earlier intervention through better identification of Veterans in crisis and proactive engagement.

The Crisis Line is working. A million-and-a-half phone calls later, we are still here to help. Call!

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/VAs-Veterans-Crisis-Line-Saves-Lives-Every-Day.asp

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line Saves Lives Every Day

Responders work on a call in a call center

Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis with qualified, caring responders.

Caring, Confidential Responders Always There

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line has answered over 1,625,000 calls.

That’s more than a million-and-a-half times a Veteran has felt suicidal or depressed or lost and decided to call for help…and the Crisis Line was there.

It’s a crisis too many of our wounded warriors face.

The Crisis Line has sent over 45,000 rescues to assist callers with emergency services. That means that when our trained responders know the caller is in a serious crisis and they can’t calm them down or convince them to go to a VA hospital and see a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, they call the closest local emergency personnel to go to that Veteran’s home and help them.

And that has happened 45,000 times.

That saves lives and helps Veterans on the road to recovery. And since 2007, the Crisis Line has been there non-stop: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, and text services.

The Crisis Line has provided over 261,000 referrals to local facility Suicide Prevention Coordinators. It is an essential component of VA’s overall effort to prevent suicide.

Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

Goal: Immediate Crisis Intervention

Our goal is to provide immediate crisis intervention and then connect the Veteran with local Suicide Prevention Coordinators. The mission is to reduce the number of suicides by reducing immediate stress, offering callers options, and referring them to the appropriate VA or community resources nearest their homes.

We encourage all Veterans and Military Servicemembers to connect with the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

You can chat with someone who understands by visiting our website at www.veteranscrisisline.net or you can text us at 838255.

The caring professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Many of the responders are Veterans and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face.

Working the phone lines is a team of a responder and a health technician. The responder, a trained crisis intervention specialist, takes the call and speaks with the Veteran and tries to understand the situation. The health technician takes the information the Veteran provides to the responder and tries to pinpoint their location. Once a location is established, emergency services in that area can be contacted either for immediate attention in response to a suicide attempt or to provide follow-up care.

Call and talk to them about anything you are struggling with — the death of a loved one, relationship break-up, loss of job or unemployment, money problems, losing your home or anything else that might be contributing to how you are feeling.

Crisis Can Come from a Wide Range of Situations

It is not unusual to face disappointments, frustrations, loss and the wear and tear of daily stress. People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations — from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. When emotional issues become overwhelming, it’s time to call on the Veterans Crisis Line for support.

It’s helped thousands of Veterans and it can help you.

The Veterans Crisis Line works in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

One suicide is one too many, and in our efforts to try and prevent any suicide, we are working hard to make the Crisis Line even better. We’re working to improve our processes and systems to allow for earlier intervention through better identification of Veterans in crisis and proactive engagement.

The Crisis Line is working. A million-and-a-half phone calls later, we are still here to help. Call!

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/VAs-Veterans-Crisis-Line-Saves-Lives-Every-Day.asp

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line Saves Lives Every Day

Responders work on a call in a call center

Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis with qualified, caring responders.

Caring, Confidential Responders Always There

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line has answered over 1,625,000 calls.

That’s more than a million-and-a-half times a Veteran has felt suicidal or depressed or lost and decided to call for help…and the Crisis Line was there.

It’s a crisis too many of our wounded warriors face.

The Crisis Line has sent over 45,000 rescues to assist callers with emergency services. That means that when our trained responders know the caller is in a serious crisis and they can’t calm them down or convince them to go to a VA hospital and see a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, they call the closest local emergency personnel to go to that Veteran’s home and help them.

And that has happened 45,000 times.

That saves lives and helps Veterans on the road to recovery. And since 2007, the Crisis Line has been there non-stop: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, and text services.

The Crisis Line has provided over 261,000 referrals to local facility Suicide Prevention Coordinators. It is an essential component of VA’s overall effort to prevent suicide.

Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

Goal: Immediate Crisis Intervention

Our goal is to provide immediate crisis intervention and then connect the Veteran with local Suicide Prevention Coordinators. The mission is to reduce the number of suicides by reducing immediate stress, offering callers options, and referring them to the appropriate VA or community resources nearest their homes.

We encourage all Veterans and Military Servicemembers to connect with the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

You can chat with someone who understands by visiting our website at www.veteranscrisisline.net or you can text us at 838255.

The caring professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Many of the responders are Veterans and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face.

Working the phone lines is a team of a responder and a health technician. The responder, a trained crisis intervention specialist, takes the call and speaks with the Veteran and tries to understand the situation. The health technician takes the information the Veteran provides to the responder and tries to pinpoint their location. Once a location is established, emergency services in that area can be contacted either for immediate attention in response to a suicide attempt or to provide follow-up care.

Call and talk to them about anything you are struggling with — the death of a loved one, relationship break-up, loss of job or unemployment, money problems, losing your home or anything else that might be contributing to how you are feeling.

Crisis Can Come from a Wide Range of Situations

It is not unusual to face disappointments, frustrations, loss and the wear and tear of daily stress. People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations — from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. When emotional issues become overwhelming, it’s time to call on the Veterans Crisis Line for support.

It’s helped thousands of Veterans and it can help you.

The Veterans Crisis Line works in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

One suicide is one too many, and in our efforts to try and prevent any suicide, we are working hard to make the Crisis Line even better. We’re working to improve our processes and systems to allow for earlier intervention through better identification of Veterans in crisis and proactive engagement.

The Crisis Line is working. A million-and-a-half phone calls later, we are still here to help. Call!

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/VAs-Veterans-Crisis-Line-Saves-Lives-Every-Day.asp

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line Saves Lives Every Day

Responders work on a call in a call center

Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis with qualified, caring responders.

Caring, Confidential Responders Always There

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line has answered over 1,625,000 calls.

That’s more than a million-and-a-half times a Veteran has felt suicidal or depressed or lost and decided to call for help…and the Crisis Line was there.

It’s a crisis too many of our wounded warriors face.

The Crisis Line has sent over 45,000 rescues to assist callers with emergency services. That means that when our trained responders know the caller is in a serious crisis and they can’t calm them down or convince them to go to a VA hospital and see a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, they call the closest local emergency personnel to go to that Veteran’s home and help them.

And that has happened 45,000 times.

That saves lives and helps Veterans on the road to recovery. And since 2007, the Crisis Line has been there non-stop: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, and text services.

The Crisis Line has provided over 261,000 referrals to local facility Suicide Prevention Coordinators. It is an essential component of VA’s overall effort to prevent suicide.

Mental Health problems do not take a holiday and neither do we.

Goal: Immediate Crisis Intervention

Our goal is to provide immediate crisis intervention and then connect the Veteran with local Suicide Prevention Coordinators. The mission is to reduce the number of suicides by reducing immediate stress, offering callers options, and referring them to the appropriate VA or community resources nearest their homes.

We encourage all Veterans and Military Servicemembers to connect with the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

You can chat with someone who understands by visiting our website at www.veteranscrisisline.net or you can text us at 838255.

The caring professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Many of the responders are Veterans and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face.

Working the phone lines is a team of a responder and a health technician. The responder, a trained crisis intervention specialist, takes the call and speaks with the Veteran and tries to understand the situation. The health technician takes the information the Veteran provides to the responder and tries to pinpoint their location. Once a location is established, emergency services in that area can be contacted either for immediate attention in response to a suicide attempt or to provide follow-up care.

Call and talk to them about anything you are struggling with — the death of a loved one, relationship break-up, loss of job or unemployment, money problems, losing your home or anything else that might be contributing to how you are feeling.

Crisis Can Come from a Wide Range of Situations

It is not unusual to face disappointments, frustrations, loss and the wear and tear of daily stress. People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations — from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. When emotional issues become overwhelming, it’s time to call on the Veterans Crisis Line for support.

It’s helped thousands of Veterans and it can help you.

The Veterans Crisis Line works in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

One suicide is one too many, and in our efforts to try and prevent any suicide, we are working hard to make the Crisis Line even better. We’re working to improve our processes and systems to allow for earlier intervention through better identification of Veterans in crisis and proactive engagement.

The Crisis Line is working. A million-and-a-half phone calls later, we are still here to help. Call!

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/VAs-Veterans-Crisis-Line-Saves-Lives-Every-Day.asp

List of Presidents who were Veterans

Portrait of George Washington

George Washington set an important precedent by entering the Presidency as a civilian

A majority of America’s presidents came to office as Veterans.

Twenty-six of our 44 Presidents served in the military. Presidential Veterans often coincided with America’s military engagements. Until World War II, a majority of our presidents had served in the Army. Since then, most have served in the Navy.

Our ninth President, William Henry Harrison, embarked on his military career at age 18, enlisting 80 men off the streets of Philadelphia to serve in the Northwest Territory.

Civil War Veteran Ulysses S. Grant also gained national acclaim for his military service. Grant was a West Point graduate who fought in the Mexican War, but it was his calm, steely command of Union troops during the Civil War that earned Lincoln’s confidence. The Civil War produced seven Veteran presidents in the postwar period, all of them having served in the Union Army.

Black and white photo of Harry Truman in a military uniform

Harry Truman

The First and Second World Wars ushered in another series of Veteran Presidents, starting with Harry Truman and West Point graduate General Dwight Eisenhower. Both men exemplified the strengths of military training by proving themselves to be diplomatic, dynamic leaders in an unstable world.

The evolution of warfare has introduced many new tactical and technical dynamics to the U.S. military, but the core qualities of decision-making and inspiring leadership remain.

You can read about all the Presidents on the White House website.

Presidents who were Veterans

Highest rank held by Presidents in uniformed service.

George Washington
General and Commander in Chief, Continental Army
1775-1783
Thomas Jefferson
Colonel, Virginia Militia
1770-1779
James Madison
Colonel, Virginia Militia
1775-1781
James Monroe
Major, Continental Army
1775-1778
Andrew Jackson
Major General, U.S. Army
1814-1821
William Henry Harrison
Major General, Kentucky Militia
1812-1814
John Tyler
Captain, Virginia Militia
1812
James K. Polk
Colonel, Tennessee Militia
1821
Zachary Taylor
Major General, U.S. Army
1805-1815, 1816-1849
Millard Fillmore
Major, Union Continentals (home guard)
1861
Franklin Pierce
Brigadier General, New Hampshire Militia
1846-1848
James Buchanan
Private, Pennsylvania Militia
1814
Abraham Lincoln
Captain, Illinois Militia
1832
Andrew Johnson
Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1862-1865
Ulysses S. Grant
General, U.S. Army
1866-1869
Rutherford B. Hayes
Major General, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1861-1865
James A. Garfield
Major General, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1861-1863
Chester A. Arthur
Brigadier General, New York Militia
1858-1863
Benjamin Harrison
Brevet Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1862-1865
William McKinley
Brevet Major, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1861-1865
Theodore Roosevelt
Colonel, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1898
Harry S. Truman
Colonel, Army Officer Reserve Corps
1919-1945
Dwight D. Eisenhower
General of the Army, U.S. Army
1915-1948, 1951-1952
John F. Kennedy
Lieutenant, U.S. Naval Reserve
1941-1945
Lyndon B. Johnson
Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve
1940-1964
Richard M. Nixon
Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve
1942-1966
Gerald R. Ford, Jr.
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve
1942-1946
Jimmy Carter
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
1946-1953
Ronald Reagan
Captain, U.S. Army
1942-1945
George Bush
Lieutenant (junior grade), U.S. Navy
1942-1945
George W. Bush
First Lieutenant, Texas Air National Guard
1968-1973

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/List-Of-Presidents-Who-Were-Veterans.asp

American Sniper Highlights Veterans’ Readjustments

a soldier in profile by a U.S. flag

American Sniper illustrates how difficult transitioning to civilian life can be

Transitioning to civilian life can be extremely challenging. The current box-office blockbuster American Sniper graphically illustrates just how difficult this transition can be. The movie portrays the true-life story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. For those who haven’t seen the movie, many Servicemembers and Veterans have commented on how accurate the storytelling and acting is. Like Kyle, many of the men and women who serve our country find themselves feeling isolated, angry or conflicted when they return home, making it difficult to move forward and start the next chapter of their lives.

VA continues to develop resources to help navigate the readjustment to civilian life.

VA has developed, and continues to develop, resources to help Servicemembers and Veterans navigate the readjustment to civilian life. In addition to in-person resources such as Vet Centers and VA Medical Centers, VA also provides online programs and telephone-based services. Some of those resources include:

  • Veteran Resource Center — a trio of free and confidential online training courses created specifically to equip Servicemembers and Veterans with practical skills and tools they can use daily. These courses are ideal for individuals who want to learn skills at the time, place and pace of their choosing. These interactive courses feature real Veterans and military families who share their stories and offer lessons learned. The courses are:

    • Moving Forward: teaches skills to overcome stressful problems such as difficulties transitioning from military to civilian life, balancing work/school and family, coping with physical injuries, and relationship issues.
    • Parenting for Service Members & Veterans: offers parents ways to reconnect with their children and strengthen their family. It covers everyday parenting and family issues, as well as those unique to the military lifestyle.
    • Anger & Irritability Management (AIMS): provides practical tools to better understand anger “triggers,” and to keep control of your reactions during difficult situations. It also teaches communication skills to help you get along better with people.
  • AboutFace — provides a way to learn about PTSD from Veterans who live with it. Veterans share their stories about the challenges they have faced and how treatment has helped them turn their lives around. Also hear from family members who explain how their lives were improved once their loved-one sought treatment.
  • Coaching into Care — offers telephone-based support and coaching for family members who would like to help their Servicemember or Veteran get mental health care treatment. This confidential service can also help military family members learn new ways to talk with their loved-one about the difficulties they face and why treatment can help.

These are just some of the VA resources available to help Servicemembers and Veterans start and improve the next chapter of their lives. Many other important resources — such as Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255) and Make the Connection — can be found at mentalhealth.va.gov and ptsd.va.gov.

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/American-Sniper-Highlights-Veterans-Readjustments.asp

A Day of Caring and Sharing with America’s Veteran

Portrait of Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood

 And I’m proud to be an American
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died
who gave that right to me. 

When Lee Greenwood sings those stirring lyrics this month at a VA Medical Center in the hills of South Dakota, there will be hugs and salutes and tears.

Country star Greenwood will join thousands of Americans the week of Valentine’s Day saluting Veteran patients at VA facilities across America.

This Valentine’s Day, many Veterans who fought to preserve our freedoms will be hospitalized, receiving the medical care they earned, but separated from the homes and communities they defended. No one should be alone on Valentine’s Day, and with the help of a grateful nation, no Veteran has to be.

VA’s National Salute to Veteran Patients is observed annually during the week of Valentine’s Day, a day of caring and sharing which underscores the Salute’s expression of honor and appreciation to inpatient and outpatient Veterans.

This year’s observance will be February 8-14.

The salute kicks off each year with VA’s popular Valentines for Veterans program. Individuals, Veterans’ groups, military personnel, civic organizations, businesses, schools, local media, celebrities and sports stars traditionally deliver valentines or visit the more than 98,000 Veterans of the U.S. armed services who are cared for every day in VA medical facilities, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, domiciliaries, and community living centers.

Volunteer Throughout the Year

While the salute is always held in mid-February, Americans have the chance to show their appreciation to Veterans all year by volunteering their time or donating to VA medical facilities throughout the year. No medical experience is necessary and volunteers are encouraged to share ideas how they would like to give back using their unique skills.

To find opportunities, visit your nearest VA medical facility or visit www.volunteer.va.gov.

No one should be alone on Valentine’s Day.

Dominic Chianese

Each year, a celebrity is chosen as the National Salute Chairperson to focus public attention on the National Salute program’s purpose and encourage public participation. This year, Dominic Chianese, film and television actor, best known for his role as Corrado “Uncle Junior” Soprano on the HBO television series, The Sopranos, is Chairperson.

Concerts Schedule

The Kentucky Headhunters
John J. Pershing VAMC
Poplar Bluff, Missouri
February 13

The Miracles
Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center
Columbus, Ohio
February 14

The Miracles
VA St. Louis Health Care System
St. Louis, Missouri
February 21

Lee Greenwood
Sioux Falls VA Health Care System
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
February 21

LBC Band
Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
Cleveland, Ohio
February 28

Chianese is currently scheduled to be the Master of Ceremony for both the Columbus and Cleveland concerts.

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2015/February/A-Day-of-Caring-and-Sharing-with-Americas-Veterans.asp


SEO Powered By SEOPressor