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Veterans Corner

Community Contributed

By Jesse Church

Aloha my fellow veterans and residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans’ news and upcoming events. The U.S. Marines stand sentry outside the White House, which is considered the “highest post in the land,” according to the Marine Corps website. Four Marines guard outside the West Wing lobby whenever the President is inside working or when he arrives or departs. The post is reserved for Marines in the infantry because they symbolize “what every Marine stands for, honorable service in defense of our nation and its interests,” according to Marines.com. Marines are also responsible for guarding more than 100 U.S. embassies overseas, protecting ambassadors and representing American culture abroad.

How many people got the correct answer for the question in the last column, what wonder of the world was introduced at the World’s Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893? The answer is the Ferris Wheel. Organizers had wanted a feat to rival the Eiffel Tower, which debuted at a world’s fair four years earlier in Paris, France. The new question is, in June 1933, Camden, New Jersey introduced a brand new way of watching movies. What was it?

Gen. Eric Shinseki addressed the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans on May 30, and an hour later, resigned as VA secretary. Shinseki was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1965 after he graduated from U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the son of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. He was wounded three times in Vietnam, earning Purple Hearts for injuries ranging from mortar shrapnel to his chest to a landmine that destroyed most of his right foot. He went on to become Army vice chief of staff in 1998, and chief of staff in 1999.

Shinseki was nominated for VA secretary in December 2008, and was the longest-serving VA head. When he took office, he made broadening compensation for Vietnam-era veterans a top priority, along with reducing veteran homelessness and cutting the claims backlog. In those efforts, the department has seen some success. Shinseki added one million veterans to the department’s compensation and health benefits rolls with veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as older veterans previously shut out of VA care. It is my opinion that Shinseki did his best to improve VA health care and compensation. The issues with medical scheduling systems have been known since before he took office. The VA inspector general has been reporting on long wait times and schedule problems for almost 10 years.

Let us all support our active duty service men and women stationed around the world, especially those in harm’s way, and our veterans at home. For all you do, we send a big mahalo. Old Jesse sends a big mahalo to Gen. Shinseki for what I consider a job well done. Let the bureaucracy in Washington clean their office or departments before they bad mouth someone else’s.

If you have a question or news, please give old Jesse a call at 553-3323. I hope everyone has a terrific couple of weeks, and remember, old Jesse loves you all.

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