Column by Jesse Church
Hello veterans, old Jesse here with all the veterans’ news and upcoming events. There was an article in the June 27 copy of the Marine Times by Dan Lamothe about the Army’s new bullet. The Army says its new 5.56mm round is performing exceptionally in Afghanistan, but the Marine Corps has yet to field it after nearly a year of testing. Soldiers were initially skeptical the M855A1 bullet would perform better than legacy M855 ammo because it was touted for its lead-free, environmentally friendly qualities. They have since been impressed with its stopping power and accuracy. Snipers with the 101st Airborne Division, out of Fort Cambell, Ky., reportedly used the new round to drop insurgents at 700 meters, impressive for 5.56 mm ammunition, Army officials said.
There was an article in the Marine Times by Gidget Fuentes titled “Scanner Sheds Light on War’s Invisible Wound.” Advanced imaging could help identify Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with detailed pictures of brain activity that will better recognize traumatic brain injury, the signature but often invisible war wound. I hope you can pronounce this: the magnetoencephalography scanner was originally designed for research into epilepsy, stroke and other brain disorders. Although the study is preliminary, researchers hope to help diagnose brain injuries in countless wounded military veterans, including those with less obvious injuries from blasts, falls and concussions.
There was an article in the Navy Times about a testing scandal on a nuclear sub. Entrusted to safely operate nuclear reactors in peace and war, the Navy’s nuclear-qualified sailors are accustomed to an invasive training regimen, from random interviews and checks to tough boards and inspections. But in August 2009 on the attack of submarine Memphis, leaders in the engineering department found a shortcut, cheating. At their behest, an enlisted computer network administrator used his access to secretly feed answer keys for nuclear exams to members of the engineering department over a span of nearly 15 months. An investigation found that 14 crew members, including lieutenant commander, three lieutenants, a lieutenant junior grade and a chief machinist’s mate took part in the conspiracy to varying degrees. Most either passed around or possessed answer keys and didn’t report it. That ended abruptly Nov. 6, 2010 when a visiting officer noticed something odd, a test answer key sitting in a watch stander’s email inbox. His tip sparked an investigation. The report on the command investigation was obtained by the Navy Times through a Freedom of Information Act request. Commander Charles Maher, the sub’s commanding officer, was fired less than two weeks after the original tip, before the investigation concluded. About 10 percent of the sailors were kicked off the sub and out of the nuclear Navy.
John Candello, the veterans advocate will be at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs the first two Thursday of September from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment. If you need to see John, please call 553-3611. If anyone has any news, stories or just wants to talk about their experiences while in service of this great country, please give old Jesse a call at 553-3323, I’d love to talk to you. You’re the best and I love you all.