6 Ways to Prevent Veterans from Being Taken Advantage of by Scams

May 16, 2011

by Veterans Advantage

Scammers are known to target a variety of vulnerable groups and demographics around the country. Unfortunately, Veterans are also being taken advantage of due to the large quantity of agencies that support them and the ease in disguising a scam organization as one of the many legitimate ones. It is important that Veterans and the United States Military community be aware of the fraudulent scammers and how best to identify them to prevent being taken advantage of.

1.) Never provide personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller. Scammers have been known to make unsolicited calls claiming to be from the Department of Veteran Affairs. The Department of Veteran Affairs has stated that they “simply do not call Veterans and ask them to disclose personal financial information over the phone”.

2.) Check the IRS’s list of registered non-profit companies and charities and confirm the charitable background of companies that solicit donations. In the past, scammers have masked themselves as part of charitable organizations that benefit veterans and requested “donations”. If you would like to donate to a charitable organization, you can search the IRS’s list of registered charities and non-profit organizations to verify whether an organization is a genuine charity.

3.) Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to confirm the legitimacy of local charities. Some scammers have been reported soliciting donations door to door for local organizations. In this case, a background check might be better conducted by contacting your city’s local Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau rates organizations based upon multiple categories of ethical business standards. Veterans Advantage has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau – their highest rating.

4.) Use Google and other search engines to perform your own background check. Most organizations have their own online website or at least some online content written about them. Use search engines to investigate an organization.

5.) Contact the Department of Veteran Affairs. The Department of Veteran Affairs acts as the government’s official department in relation to Veterans Benefits and other official Veteran related matters. By contacting the Department of Veteran Affairs, you can confirm the authenticity of a solicited benefit. You can reach the department at 1-877-222-8387.

6.) Prevent Unsolicited Calls and Requests. Respond to unsolicited requests by asking them to mail you information to evaluate their offer and legitimacy on your own time. If they do not comply, ask them to delete your phone contact information from their records.

Military Order of the Purple Heart Salutes the United States Postal Service on the First Day of Issue of the Purple Heart Forever Stamp

May 6, 2011

On May 5, 2011, aboard the USS Midway permanently docked in San Diego harbor, Ron Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service unveiled the “Purple Heart with Ribbon” forever stamp, assisted by Clayton Jones, National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and RADM Mac McLaughlin, CEO of the USS Midway Museum.

In his remarks, Mr. Stroman noted that “with the issuance of this stamp, the Postal Service, along with the rest of our nation, can pay tribute to those whose sacrifices have given all of us, a country that is truly the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave.” In his remarks, Commander Jones said, “Because the Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action, this stamp has special meaning. Until now, the only ‘forever’ stamp has been the Liberty Bell stamp, which is the symbol of our nation’s freedom. The significance of the Purple Heart forever stamp is that it now honors the symbol of the cost of our nation’s freedom. The Purple Heart Medal on every recipient’s chest is a reminder that the bill for freedom is paid in full.”

L-R: RADM McLaughlin, DPG Stroman, CDR Jones, Mayor Sanders

L-R: Leonard, Jones, Barclay, Hutton, McKenty, VanHoy

All MOPH Participants in Purple Heart Forever Stamp Unveiling

On August 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War, General George Washington created America’s first badge of distinction for meritorious action on the battlefield. The award was distinctive because it was available to the common soldier at a time when normally only officers were eligible for military decorations. The decoration consisted of a heart made of purple cloth, and was known as the Badge of Merit. General Washington wrote, “The road to glory in a patriot army, is thus open to all.” Although the Badge of Merit fell into disuse after the Revolutionary War, it was reinstated by General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, on February 22, 1932 to mark the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth. The redesigned “Purple Heart Medal” consists of a heart shaped gold medal, suspended from a purple and white ribbon. In the center of the medal is a profile bust of George Washington mounted on a purple heart, beneath the Washington family coat of arms. On the reverse of the medal are the words “For Military Merit.”

The first Purple Heart stamp was issued in 2003. Since that time, each time the price of a first class letter changed, a letter writing campaign had to be mounted to ensure that a Purple Heart stamp would continue to be available to the public. Today, following a 12-year successful campaign by the Military Order of the Purple Heart and other veterans organizations to create a “forever” stamp, the new Purple Heart postage stamp will continue in circulation indefinitely, and supporters will no longer need to advocate for a new issue each time the price of stamps increases. Past National Commander Boyd Barclay, who started the campaign for a Purple Heart forever stamp in 1999, stood proudly beside current National Commander Clayton Jones and the entire MOPH leadership team on the deck of the USS Midway today to help mark the ‘first day of issue’ of the stamp.

The organization now known as the “Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc.,” (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The MOPH is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America’s military history. Most importantly, through veteran service, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance. Through the VAVS Program, MOPH volunteers selflessly provide assistance to hospitalized veterans at VA medical facilities and State Veterans Homes.

For information contact:

National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535

The Flame of Freedom Ceremony

May 4, 2011

Salute to Women Veterans Event

March 11, 2011

When: MARCH 15, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.

Where: Room 216
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO
Proclamation to be signed in Honor of Women Veterans by Governor Nixon Past, Present and Future WOMEN VETERANS come be part of this Historic event of recognizing our WOMEN VETERANS of MISSOURI

Please RSVP if you are able to attend so we can make proper accommodations:
Cindy Stivers, Women State Coordinator, VSO at 660-385-6192 or

Vietnam Navy and Coast Guard Ships Recently Identified as Having Been Exposed to Agent Orange

March 10, 2011

Attention All Military Personnel
Subject: Vietnam Navy and Coast Guard Ships Recently Identified as Having Been Exposed to Agent Orange

Information on Vietnam Naval Operations Compensation and Pension (C&P) Service has initiated a program to collect data on Vietnam naval operations for the purpose of providing regional offices with information to assist with development in Haas related disability claims based on herbicide exposure from Navy Veterans. To date, there has verification from various sources showing that a number of offshore “blue water” naval vessels conducted operations on the inland “brown water” rivers and delta areas of Vietnam. Also, there has been identification of certain vessel types that operated primarily or exclusively on the inland waterways. The ships and dates of inland waterway service are listed below. If a Veteran’s service aboard one of these ships can be confirmed through military records during the time frames specified, then exposure to herbicide agents can be presumed without further development.

All vessels of Inshore Fire Support [IFS] Division 93 during their entire Vietnam tour:
• USS Carronade (IFS 1)
• USS Clarion River (LSMR 409) [Landing Ship, Medium, Rocket]
• USS Francis River (LSMR 525)
• USS White River (LSMR 536)

• All vessels with the designation LST [Landing Ship, Tank] during their entire tour [WWII ships converted to transport supplies on rivers and serve as barracks for brown water Mobile Riverine Forces]

• All vessels with the designation LCVP [Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel] during their entire tour

• All vessels with the designation PCF [Patrol Craft, Fast] during their entire tour [Also called Swift Boats, operating for enemy interdiction on close coastal waters]

• All vessels with the designation PBR [Patrol Boat, River] during their entire tour [Also called River Patrol Boats as part of the Mobile Riverine Forces operating on inland waterways and featured in the Vietnam film "Apocalypse Now"]

• USS Ingersoll (DD-652) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River, October 24-25,1965]

• USS Mansfield (DD-728) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River August 8-19,1967 and December 21-24,1968]

• USS Richard E. Kraus (DD-849) [Destroyer] [Operated on coastal inlet north of Da Nang, June 2-5, 1966, protecting Marines holding a bridge]

• USS Basilone (DD-824) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River, May 24-25, 1966]

• USS Hamner (DD-718) [Destroyer] [Operated on Song Lon Tao and Long Song lao Rivers, August 15-September 1, 1966]

• USS Conway (DD-507) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River, early August 1966]

• USS Fiske (DD-842) [Destroyer] [Operated on Mekong River, June 16-21, 1966]

• USS Black (DD-666) [Destroyer] [Operated on Saigon River, July 13-19,1966]

• USS Providence (CLG-6) [Cruiser, Light, Guided Missile] [Operated on Saigon River 3 days during January 1964]

USDVA Issues List Of Ships That Qualify For Presumptive Agent Orange Exposure

• USS Mahan (DLG-11) [Guided Missile Frigate] [Operated on Saigon River October 24-28,1964]

• USS Okanogan (APA-220) [Attack Transport] [Operated on Saigon River July 22-23, 29-30,1968 and August 5-6, 1968]

• USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) [Combat Stores Ship] [Unloaded supplies on Saigon River and Cam Rahn Bay, April 22-25, 1968]

Handout: USDVA Issues List Of Ships That Qualify For Presumptive Agent Orange Exposure

VA Blue Water claims Update (Federal Update for July 12-16, 2010)

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) has added the below named ships to the already existing list for Navy and Coast Guard ships and vessels that are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange. If you serve on any of these mentioned ships and you have had a claim denied, you should reapply citing the VA list as the source for your reapplication. NAUS advises that the VA is already working on a third list that will have more ships listed. If you have a claim and evidence the ship you served on was in Vietnamese waters and/or actually tied up to a dock there, make sure you include that with your claim.

Vessels that operated primarily or exclusively on the inland waterways:

All U.S. Coast Guard Cutters with hull designation WPB [patrol boat] and WHEC [high endurance cutters]
USS Mark (AKL-12) [light cargo ship]
USS Brule (AKL-28)
USS Patapsco (AOG-1) [gasoline tanker]
USS Elkhorn (AOG-7)
USS Genesee (AOG-8)
USS Kishwaukee (AOG-9)
USS Tombigbee (AOG-11)
USS Noxubee (AOG-56)
USS Okanogan (APA-210) [attack transport]
USS Montrose (APA-212)
USS Bexar (APA-237)
USS Benewah (APB-35) [self-propelled barracks ship]
USS Colleton (APB-36)
USS Mercer (APB-39)
USS Nueces (APB-40)
Barracks Barge (APL-26 [sleeping quarters]
Barracks Barge (APL-30)
USS Tutuila (ARG-4) [repair ship]
USS Satyr (ARL-23) [ repair ship]
USS Sphinx (ARL-24)
USS Askari (ARL-30)
USS Indra (ARL-37)
USS Krishna (ARL-38)
USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) [landing ship dock]
USS Comstock (LSD-19)
USS Tortuga (LSD-26)
USS Asheville (PG-84) [patrol gunboat]
USS Gallop (PG-85)
USS Antelope (PG-86)
USS Ready (PG-87)
USS Crockett (PG-88)
USS Marathon (PG-89)
USS Canon (PG-90)
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-17) [repair, berthing, and messing barge]
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-18)
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-20)
Winnemucca (YTB-785) [harbor tug]
Vessels that operated temporarily on Vietnam’s inland waterways or docked to the shore:

USS Card (ACV-11) [escort carrier] [mined, sunk, and salvaged in Saigon River Harbor during May 1964]
USS Maury (AGS-16) [mapping survey ship] [conducted surveys of Mekong Delta and other coastal areas and rivers beginning November 1965 through 1969]
USS Henrico (APA-45) [amphibious attack transport] [operated on Hue River during March 1965 and conducted numerous troop landings through March 1967]
USS Montrose (APA-212) [operated on Song Hue River during December 1965, operated on Long Tau River during March 1967, and operated on Cua Viet River and at Dong Ha during May 1967]
USS Talladega (APA-208) [operated on Saigon River during October 1967]
USS Bolster (ARS-38) [salvage ship] [crew operated on land]
USS Canberra (CAG-2) [guided missile cruiser] [operated on Saigon River from March 31 through April 1, 1966, on Cua Viet River during December 15, 1966, and on Mekong Delta Ham Luong River during January 15, 1967]
USS Sproston (DD-577) [destroyer] [operated on Mekong Delta and Ganh Rai Bay during January 1966]
USS Picking (DD-685) [operated on Saigon River during November 16, 1965]
USS Epperson (DD-719) [docked to Da Nang Pier on October 4, 1970]
USS Southerland (DD-743) [operated on Song Nga Bay and Saigon River during July 1966]
USS John W. Thomason (DD-760) [operated on Nga Be River during 1969]
USS Buck (DD-761) [operated on Mekong River Delta and Saigon River during October 1966]
USS Preston (DD-795) [operated on Mekong River Delta, Ganh Rai Bay, and Saigon River during September 28-29 and December 27-29, 1965]
USS Warrington (DD-843) [operated on Mekong River Delta Rung Sat Special Zone, North of Vung Gahn Rai Bay during March 1967]
USS Dyess (DD-880) [operated on Saigon River and Rung Sat Special Zone from June 19 - July 1, 1966]
USS Perkins (DD-877) [operated on Saigon River during June 1969]
USS Orleck (DD-886) [operated on Mekong River Delta during July 1969]
USS Joseph Stauss (DDG-16) [guided missile destroyer] [operated on Mekong River Delta and Ganh Rai Bay during November 7 and December 7, 1968]
USS Waddell (DDG-24) [operated on Cua Viet River during March 1967]
USS Newell (DER-322) [radar destroyer escort] [docked at Port of Nha Trang during December 22-24, 1965]
USS Duluth (LPD-6) [amphibious transport dock] [docked to Pier at Da Nang during March and October 1971]
USS Cleveland (LPD-7) [operated on Cua Viet River and at Dong Ha, as well as Hue River, from November 1967 through 1968 and Saigon River during September 1969]
USS Dubuque (LPD-8) [docked at Da Nang on March 15, 1970]
USS Boxer (LPH-4) [amphibious assault ship] [docked to Pier at Cam Rahn Bay on September 9, 1965]
USS Carter Hall (LSD-3) [landing ship dock] [operated on Cua Viet River and at Dong Ha during December 1967]
[Source: NAUS Weekly update 25 Jun 2010++]

Juliana Hensler
National Service Officer
Military Order of the Purple Heart

 ‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Next ›