Chatter | Talk about veterans from around the web

Raising awareness

Two Iraq war veterans are riding their bikes 4,163 miles from the Wall of Valor in Bakersfield Calif., to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. to increase awareness on veterans issues, such as suicide and the importance of VA healthcare.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Army veteran and double amputee Wesley Barrientos is riding the long route with with Marine Veteran and former NLF player Jeremy Staat and plans to pass through 15 states and 10 military bases before ending the ride.

Lt. Dan supports wounded vet

In the last week of February,  Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band performed a show on the steps of City Hall in Temecula, Calif. to raise money for U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Juan Dominguez, who lost both legs and one arm while on patrol in Afghanistan in October 2010.

According to the North County Times, Sinise hopes that the concert will give Dominguez the chance to begin the full life that a hero deserves.

VA employee kills vet

According to NBC12 in Richmond, a McGuire VA Medical Center employee Cornelius Hayes, 55, allegedly shot patient James Stephenson Lee in the head while as stood in the volunteer parking lot.  Hayes had a previous conviction for assaulting a cop and shooting a gun in an occupied building.

Still hard

A former Marine sniper, wearing a light pullover jacket, shorts and hiking sandals, ran into the woods, through several feet of snow, after a minor traffic accident near Roseburg Ore. Jason D. Cooper, 37, of Temecula, Calif., reportedly suffered panic attacks during stressful situations.

According to the Associated Press, Cooper was found by police two days later lying on a bed of fir branches. Asked if he was scared being  ill-dressed and alone in the woods for two days, Cooper asked, “Of what?”

Acupuncture for Gulf War Syndrome

An instructor from Harvard Medical School reported to a group of USC students that anecdotal evidence from her research indicates that acupuncture may provide relief for the multiple symptoms associated with Gulf War Syndrome. The ongoing study is located in Massachusetts and is funded in part by the Department of Defense and includes 85 Gulf War veterans.

Clinical researcher Lisa Conboy told KPCC, “It would be fantastic if there could be some relief for these veterans. It’s been more than 20 years that they’ve been in discomfort.”

Iraq vets grand marshal Chicago’s Irish Parade

Following a two-year ban for drunkenness, Chicago’s South Side Irish Parade returned wit a patriotic theme as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood served as grand marshals and a tribute was held for Marine Cpl. Conner Lowry, killed in Afghanistan March 1.

According to WLS in Chicago, Lowry’s brother said, “He’s looking down on us now. We’re going to have a good time, celebrate the way he would have wanted.”

Speculation on Ft. Lewis shooter

Speculation ran wild across the internet on the role a TBI played when an Army Staff Sergeant, from Joint Base Lewis McChord, shot to death 16 Afghan men women and children and then turned himself in to Army authorities.

According to, there is a link between brain injury and violence. More than 30,000 cases of TBI were diagnosed in 2011, according to the Department of Defense.

Payments delayed

The Veterans Affairs Department said it missed payments to 21,000 Post 9/11 GI Bill Claims last month and could be up to seven weeks behind on those payments.

Shady  practice

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., the father of the well-funded Post 9/11 GI Bill, introduced the The Military and Veterans Educational Reform Act of 2012 last month in hopes of stemming the alleged deceptive recruiting practices by for-profit colleges and universities. The move comes as questions arise about the value of some of the courses the schools teach.

According to, $6.2 billion of the total $17 billion spent so far has gone to for-profit schools since the new GI Bill began more than three years ago.

The father of video games turns 90

Ralph H. Baer, the German born, naturalized citizen and former U.S. Army intelligence officer, turned 90 years old last month. Baer, widely credited as the father of video games, earned his degree in television engineering from the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago with his GI Bill following American service in World War II.

According to, Baer’s new game, that was later named Pong, was based on the movement of aircraft on a 1940s era radar screen.