Column by Jesse Church
Aloha my fellow veterans and residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events.
Sitting down to share a meal with Afghans, you may find yourself dining on a sheep’s fatty rump. Here’s why the meat of “fat-tailed sheep,” as they are aptly named, is considered a delicacy in the country. The sheep got their name because they can store a great amount of fat in their rears. It’s a necessary trait for the sheep, which are found in arid regions throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia, according to the website sheep101.info. A member of the British army described the delicacy in an official blog post in 2010. The soldier was deployed to Helmand Province and attended many shuras with members of the Afghan National Army (ANA). The fat is fried and is a bit like crackling, the soldier wrote, comparing it to the crispy skin of roasted pork. It is cooked along with the meat, with potatoes and red onions by the ANA and served with rice. It is not heavily spiced, is quite greasy, but tastes good.
The remaining five Doolittle Tokyo Raiders who made a daring US airstrike on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor plan to attend the group’s reunion this spring in Ohio. Officials at the National Museum of the US Air force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base said the event April 17-20 will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the raid by 80 fliers led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle. Historians have said the World War II bombing mission April 18, 1942, inflicted little damage on Japan, but boosted moral in the US. The reunion at the museum will include a banquet, a memorial service and autograph sessions. Officials also hope funding can be found to fly in and land 25 B-25 bombers as a tribute.
Some veterans can’t outlive the VA bureaucracy. Veterans often complain, only half-jokingly, that the Department of Veterans Affairs take so long to process disability claims that it seems like the official policy is to simply wait them out until they die. A witness testifying January 24 before the House VA Committee said it’s no joke. Theodare Jarvi, an Arizona attorney representing the National Organization for Veteran’s Advocates, said he personally has had more than 60 veterans die while waiting for their benefits claims to be adjudicated. He spoke at a hearing at which officials said they received 1.3 million benefit claims last year, and processed 1 million.
Rock Orozco, the VA Service Officer, has informed me that his department has cancelled all travel to the neighbor islands until farther notice. I will pass on any more news about this as I receive it.
The annual Veterans Caring for Veterans Cribbage Tournament will be held on Saturday, May 5; for more information, or for registration form, please go to the Vets Center, on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or call 553-8387.
John Candello, the Vets Services Counselor, will be at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Thursday, April 5 and 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment. If you want to see John, please call 553-3611.
If anyone has any questions please give old Jesse a call at 553-3323. Let’s everyone continue to support our troops, and send them a big mahalo for the job they do for us, and to our veterans for all they have done, and to the people of Molokai for all their support. I hope that all my fellow veterans and residents have a great week, and remember old Jesse loves you all, until next week, aloha.