News

Popular Veterans Who Are Fighting for Veterans Affairs

kj9ejl No Comments

veterans
Nearly 45 percent of the veterans who return from Iraq and Afghanistan after suffering injuries seek compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Known as the VA, this is a compensation for service-related injuries. But many of these veterans are often denied their rights to VA. The current state of Veterans Affairs is shocking because the methods of dealing with injured and maimed veterans only increase the stress and complications.

It is very disappointing for a veteran to return home with the expectations of care and proper compensation from the government veterans’ policy only to be repeatedly denied. When these veterans are called a liar, given only a percentage of what they rightfully deserve or completely denied their claim stating insufficiency of evidence, it only adds to their miseries.

Several popular veterans feel that the system has failed them and they are constantly fighting for Veterans Affairs.   And many non-traditional celebrity Veterans who are liked on Instagram have spread awareness of veterans issues as well.  Here are a few inspiring stories:

Popular Veterans Fighting for Veterans Affairs:

A thank you to veterans from social mediaGisborne man Wally Te Ua is one such popular veterans who has been fighting for changing the system. This 70-year-old veteran had completely lost the hope of getting any help for his medical complaints. However, he eventually mustered up courage and decided to get what he is legally entitled to by any possible means. He sought a judicial review of the operational performance of VANZ.

Stankovich is another popular veteran who claimed a breach of statutory duty and negligence. His case is centered on claims for medical assistance. He stated in his report that all he is looking for is money to get his medical operation done and not a bucket full of money for buying something luxurious.

More and more well-known veterans are following the steps of Te Ua and joining him in his legal battle against the department of Veterans Affairs. The efforts made by te Ua have also resulted in the laws being reviewed and some changes being recommended. But there is still a long way to go, and it will take time and a series of legal cases before the issue will be completely solved.

What is Being Done for Veterans?

Knowledgeable and experienced lawyers are coming together to form a committee against these issues. With the help of their in-depth know-how on the subject, they plan on helping veterans earn what they truly deserve. In case VAC refuses to give a claimed compensation to the veteran, he has all the right to fight for it. However, only an adeptly experienced attorney can help you win your case. So, it is important to know of all your options before picking a lawyer you think is brilliant for your job.

More and more veterans who have served the military and are known popularly among the masses are coming ahead to help their colleagues fight for their rights. By flooding the system with similar claims and proving years of failures, veterans can finally use the system to their advantage and get compensation as per Veterans Affairs.

Public Advisory: Avoiding Overheating and Heat Stroke During the Summer Months

kj9ejl No Comments

Heat stroke, overheating and heat exhaustion are some of the common side effects of excessive heat during the summer months. Overheating and dehydration of the body is caused mainly by heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion occurs mainly due to the body losing water or salt to a point where the normal body functioning is altered. Extended periods of strenuous physical exercises in hot and humid areas worsen the condition due to excessive loss of body fluids via sweating.

Heat StrokeHeat stroke on the hand is a serious health condition which affects the body’s cooling system. This condition is also referred to as “sunstroke” and is caused by the body temperature elevating to a point where some parts of the brain and other internal organs are damaged. At this point, the part of the brain that controls the cooling system of the body stops working and the body is not able to cool itself. This may result in strain on the lungs, liver, heart and even the kidney. Heat exhaustion causes overheating which in turn may lead to heatstroke if not spotted and treated early.

How to avoid overheating and heat stroke

These health conditions can be mild and transient in most cases; however, engaging in some strenuous physical activities worsen the condition and may lead to hospitalization. While you are out in the hot and humid environments or during the summer months make sure you have the following in place:

  • Put on loose-fitting, light-colored and light weight clothing. Excessively tight or dark clothing holds unnecessary heat and this won’t let your body to cool as it inhibits sweat evaporation.
  • Avoid direct contact with the sun- when going outdoors; wear wide-brimmed hat or work around with an umbrella to avoid sunburn. You can also choose to apply sunscreen to the exposed parts of the body.
  • Make sure Air Conditioning is maintained – In the off season consider getting an technician to check out the AC units in your home or business.  One example is air conditioning repair Manassas VA, which has a special program for checking the function of AC units as the weather starts to turn hot.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids- staying hydrated in one way of keeping your body cool and maintaining a normal body functioning . In case you have a limit to the intake of fluids, be sure to check this with your doctor to avoid inconveniencies. You should also avoid alcoholic beverages and take extra precautions with some medications.
  • Avoid hot spots- these include some crowded places or even your parked car. During summer, the car temperature can rise up to about 20 F in just ten minutes. Before you can ride your car, let it cool off and if possible, don’t leave anyone else in a parked car. Instead, seek a cooler place with an air-conditioning or proper ventilation. A well- shaded place from direct sunlight can also be a good option to avoid that excessive heating.
  • Allow your body to acclimate to the heat- if you travel somewhere and the temperature suddenly jumps higher, take some time before trying out some exercise in the area. Ideally, it’ll take up to some weeks before the body get used to the high temperatures and this time is enough for your body to adjust to the new environment.

In the case of adverse side effects such as lack of sweating, rapid breathing, racing heart or muscle cramps; seek medical assistance as soon as possible to avoid serious health problems.

How You Can Help Support Veteran-Owned Businesses in Washington State and Elsewhere

kj9ejl No Comments

Veteran owned businessThere are many ways you can support veteran owned businesses throughout Washington state as well as throughout the country. There are several companies which are owned by veterans. It is necessary for you to identify those businesses so that you can support them. There are different types of supports you can offer to the businesses. For example, you can provide legal help or even financial advice. Veterans do a great job for the nation. It is always necessary for you to support them as a show of patriotism. They are individuals who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the good of the nation. There are different government plans put in place as a way of supporting the veterans; you can as well help the veterans know more about such plans so that they can benefit from them. The following are ways of supporting veteran owned businesses in Washington state and elsewhere:

Buy products from veteran-owned business

Veteran owned businesses need a market for their products, and you may be surprised at just how many different types of businesses are run by veterans.  Even companies you might not expect, such as those that specialize in high tech pharmaceuticals and Peptide synthesis, i.e.  DirectBiotech, are owned by a veteran. You will be helping the veterans to grow their businesses if you buy their products. It can be very hard for any business to grow if it does not have enough market for its products. The products made in the firm owned by veterans are quality services which you can use in your daily life; you can easily access such products after you decide to order from them. The range of the goods offered by the veterans is very broad, it is upon you to choose the type of products you will like to access from the veterans, and they will avail to you the quality products you deserve.

Refer other people to the business

You will help the veteran a lot if you refer other people to their businesses. For instance, after you buy an individual product from the veteran-owned business and you discover the product is of high quality, you can as well make an effort to refer others to the business. More people will get to know about the products offered by the business from where they will buy and even refer others to the business. With time, the company will develop more customer base which will play a great role in the growth of the veteran business. If the veterans have opened service businesses, you can refer more people to their services which will make them access more money which they can use to grow their business. Supporting the veterans is among the ways you can use to show your love for the country.

Inform other veterans to buy shares in the business

Sometimes the business owned by veterans will like to improve through selling shares to other veterans. If you know of any veteran near you, you can inform him about the offers so that he can take advantage and buy shares. The shares which the veteran will buy can help grow the business which will benefit the veterans in one way or another. There are several ways you can contribute towards helping veteran-owned business grow, always try to play your part in supporting the veterans and you will make your country proud.

 

 

 

Revealed: An Overview of The Various Traditions of Military Weddings

kj9ejl No Comments

Military wedding customs and traditions date back centuries when officers carried their swords for far more than ceremonial purposes. Today, with many women serving in the military, there are, inevitably, new rules of etiquette that are added to the ceremony. In this article, we provide an overview of how to have a spectacular wedding whilst still respecting the traditions of the armed forces as follows:

Bridal party’s military wedding attire

This begins with the overall formality of the wedding. For example, if the wedding theme is white tie tuxedos, then the officers are required to wear full dress regalia. In case of a less formal or black tie wedding, an officer could wear his/her dinner uniform. However, lower-ranking and non-commissioned service members should wear well presented standard uniform dresses.

Female officers

Military WeddingThis is really dependent on the bride. For instance, she could wear her uniform or her white wedding gown if she so chooses. Here, the same formality rules apply to both service men and women. Another consideration would be to look to the established rules of the various branches of the military in order to be guided on attire.

Military ceremony- The traditions

Some things are common among civilian weddings and military weddings (like engagement rings, proposals, bouquets, etc). However there are many differences, including between the various brances of the military.  Since each service branch takes pride in its own rendition of the ceremony of arch and swords, we take a look at a few of the protocols below. However, if you are looking to add a true military feel to the day’s events, it is advisable to carefully scrutinize each of the respective traditions.

· Army– Here, as the couple leaves the altar, each officer holds a ceremonial sword over them as they find their way from the chapel or church. And as the newly married couple pass through the last two swordsmen, these two officers cross their swords in a symbolic gesture meant to prevent the couple from leaving. Thereafter, the second officer standing behind the bride swats her gently on her rear end before welcoming her to the army. They are then allowed to leave the arch.

· Air Force– In this branch of the military, the sword bearers turn and face the bride as she makes her way down the aisle and then rotate to face her as she passes them. During the ceremony, they face the Bible and after the ceremony is over, again rotate to watch her leave.

· Marines/Navy– In these branches, swordsmen also double up as ushers and are not supposed to swat the bride at the end of the procession. Remember, in all sword ceremonies, bearers are required to wear white gloves.

· Commanding officers– They usually sit on the front row with their spouses if the parents of the bride and groom are absent. If present, they sit next to the family members of the military member who is getting married.

· Military chaplains– They are not required to charge a fee for conducting the service. However, military protocol stipulates that they ought to receive a formal invitation to the reception accompanied by their spouse.

Cake tradition

Besides elaborate sword ceremonies, a long held military tradition is cutting the cake with a sword. This is done as the groom holds his hand over the bride’s as they both cut the cake. Remember, each military branch tends to cut the cake a little differently so it is usually a good idea to liaise with an expert when planning the reception. However, one big no-no is failing to decorate the sword. This cuts across all military branches.

Benefits of VA Loans and Military Credit Unions in 2017

kj9ejl No Comments

United State military members and even their families have financial requirements because of how they might often have to move and travel in order to serve the country well. Service members might not easily have easy bank access when traveling, they have to depend on a financial institution which can easily coordinate cash transfers to family members and offer attractive interest rates. Fortunately, several VA Loans and Military Credit Unions give a range of competitive rates, financial products, and extra military members’ perks.

The best credit unions directly compete with banks. They normally have a structure for lower cost, because they are not out for profit, they are managed mainly by volunteer members, and do not pay income taxes. Listed here are the benefits of VA Loans and Military Credit Unions in 2017.

1. Better interest rates: Typically, you will receive between three and ten times higher rates on every deposit account at the ideal credit unions compare to commercial banks (not online banks however, that pay higher rates). This will include checking, savings, and money market type of accounts. Credit unions always provide the perfect returns on deposit certificates (share certificates). The latest national average rate available on 30-year VA fixed loans are: 3.59%, almost .60% which in general is less than the national average for 30-year fixed loans.

Related Link: Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit (Updated for 2017)

2. Lower borrowing costs: Credit unions both give loans and credit cards, but those given by credit unions really cost less. Credit unions are always used for car loans as a result of their enticing rates. Their APRs on credit cards, mortgages and personal loans are often lower too.

Military Loans3. Closing Cost Limits: Mortgages normally comes with fees as well as closing costs. However, the VA limits what veterans can really be charged with regard to these expenses. Certain costs and fees has to be covered by some parties in the transaction. These kind of safeguards assist to make homeownership cheap for homebuyers.

Usually, VA borrowers can ask a seller to pay their entire closing costs, that can add up based on the loan amount. There’s no any guarantee that the seller will accept that request, veterans however can surely ask in the negotiation process.

4. Reduced fees: Normally, National banks rely on collecting fees to meet their requirements for profit, particularly when interest rates are low. Credit unions do not make profits, and then the money saved will defray costs that otherwise would require fees – withdrawals, check charges, electronic transactions, and so on. Credit unions also give free checking with no any minimum balance or even monthly service charge. Truly, some of the best credit unions charge will bounced-check fees, those fees however are smaller and forgiven in some cases.

5. Customer service: Credit union, as a mutually owned organization, naturally members adopt a customer-friendly target, since the entire customers are members too. Credit union branches are normally small, so it really becomes easy to create relationships with those working there. Credit unions additionally have a tradition of giving financial education which banks seldom give.

6. Flexibility: Banks actually function by the numbers – if you don’t have a good credit history, you might simply not be given a credit card. A more flexible approach is given by credit unions and work with members, even those with troubled histories, to easily find solutions.

Recovering from Natural Disasters – Tips in Choosing a Contractor

kj9ejl No Comments

Washington Guard is dedicated to safeguarding the people and property of the State of Washington, and we have put together a series of resources on disaster preparedness.  In this guide we will go through some of the recovery methods after a disaster has hit, in particular how to choose a contractor that will help to restore damaged property after a disaster.

Disasters create a lot of market for contractors. In most cases, whether you have a repair project such as a roof replacement, driveway replacement or repaving, finding a reliable and efficient contractor with the right tools and resources to complete your project on time with the highest quality workmanship can be challenging. There is a sheer volume of contracting companies that are available for you to choose from.

1. Ask for quotes.

Contractor for Natural DisastersWhen hiring a contractor, the first thing you need to be sure about is your budget. So, when you are meeting a contractor, ask for the quotes. Most of the contractors come to your home, inspect what has to be done and give a quote based on this. You can get to know if they are professional and know about the work from this. You can speak to them to get to know how long the work takes, and what happens during the course of work at what stage during the first meeting. This will tell you if they have the right work sequence in the mind, and the duration to complete the task can be got. You can meet a couple of them, and compare the price, quality of work, duration and professionalism before you come to a conclusion.

2. Look for experience. 

When hiring the contractor, check how long he or his company has been into the industry. Experience matters a lot, for they know how to do the best work for amazing costs. They know the quality of different materials and can come up with best ideas. Experience is a proof for the reliability. The payment terms too should be discussed. Put the same in the contract. A few companies ask for a specific percentage of amounts on completing the task. You have a hold, for the entire amount is not paid till the work is completed.

3. Check the license of the company. 

Having a license for the company is the most important thing that one has to pay attention to while hiring the experts for doing the work. When one is indulging in a conversation with various contractors who will do the Carpentry or any other task of construction, check for the license. A quality company will always have the license or any legal agreement for the work they are doing.

4. Bonding and insurance. 

If a contractor is undertaking the work of rebuilding or renovating the home, make sure that they are bonded and insured, particular for roofing contractors and other specialized companies. Specific states also play a big role and have different regulations, for instance a California contractor bond has different regulations than one in Washington state, so make sure your company follows the respective regulations of the region.  Any company, that offers flooring as a part of the home repair, should be well aware of all the legal liabilities that come along. They should also offer an insurance for any damage caused during the work that is being undertaken.

If the company does not take responsibility for the damage, then they might not be insured. If the damaged goods are not properly recovered, chances are that you will have to pay for the project entirely.

5. Get feedback or reviews from previous clients. 

You can use the internet to find out the views of other people or rather clients who have previously hired the company’s services. A good contracting company that offers good services will definitely attract positive remarks.

Additionally, your friends, relatives, and colleagues can provide you references to avail quality services for the kind of work you need. Word of mouth marketing is great in helping you find services suiting your requirements. Doing so would also allow you to analyze the kind of work the contractor performs and the end results. It will help you take the right decision.

The process of recovering from a disaster can be easy and efficient if you look and hire the best contractor to do the job. So to lessen the stress, make sure you find the right contractor to help you.

 

Welcome

kj9ejl No Comments

The citizen soldiers and airmen of The Washington State Guard are dedicated to the mission of safeguarding lives and property in Washington State. We come from every community, profession and background from around the State – we are Neighbors Helping Neighbors Through a Tradition of Service.

The Shoes and Boots of the Military

kj9ejl No Comments

military-bootGreat boots and shoes are important for all members of the military to have. Only the best footwear is acceptable, what with military members often getting into some of the most intense and brutal conditions around. However, there are more than enough great options to consider when looking for shoes and boots for the military. These options should include a variety of great items that will make these shoes easier to wear.

Waterproof Items Are Important

Typical shoes and boots for the military are made with waterproof materials. These include a mix of nylon and fleece materials on the outside and inside to help with keeping moisture out of the shoe. This is ideal for those who might get into some rather difficult weather conditions.

Rubber Is Needed On the Bottom

Great rubber soles are important for how they can not only take in pressure and shocks but also for how they can easily grip onto a variety of surfaces. When used properly, it should be rather easy for shoes to be used in rocky situations or even in icy conditions.

The pattern on the bottom will typically use a few gripping points all around. These include some marks and lines that are used to help with creating a stronger setup where the user can easily stay intact and on a good surface when used properly. This is an important point to see when finding good shoes that one can handle.

Ankle Covers Work

Great ankle covers can be used on shoes and boots for the military as well. These covers are made to where the body of the shoes or boots will extend upward to cover the ankles. This ensures a comfortable fit for the user to have when trying to get great shoes that will keep the user from feeling irritated in some manner.  Especially for many members of the military that are big men, having comfortable shoes is important during training and PT.  Boot Bomb’s jogging shoes for big guys guide gives a good idea of what is needed for larger men when picking out shoes.

What Should the Uppers Be Made Of?

Nylon is the best item for military-grade shoes to be made with. Nylon is perfect in that it reduces the weight on the shoes and keeps them flexible at the top. This allows the user to be quick on one’s feet without being dragged along far too much while wearing the boots.

Are Metal Items Important?

Metal items don’t have to be used in shoes as they can often add too much weight. However, there are times when these items might be easy to use as sometimes metal materials may include slim carbon fiber items that will do more to add a reinforced frame on the top part of the shoe. This is to create a stronger look when used properly. This should be checked carefully on boots in particular as they are typically the items that can work the best with such metal materials in them.

Are Colors Important?

Most colors for footwear will feature brown and sand colors. This is good enough for most situations although black and white colors may also be used for camo purposes in some instances.

People in the military should not compromise when finding footwear. All people who are in the military should see what these footwear products have to offer as they can be protective and flexible for many demands.

Cleaning Up After Floods or Renovations

kj9ejl No Comments

When it comes to handling Disaster Preparedness in Washington State there are many things to be prepared for, but one of those things is floods.  When flooding happens it can have a large impact on both community resources and personal property.  It’s one of our missions at Washington Guard to safe guard the person and property of the State of Washington.  Today we will focus on the property, and how to restore and recover from a disaster should one happen.

Recovering from a flood, minor or major, can be very, very difficult.  Often times the damage done cannot be easily recovered from, and may require significant renovations.  Some of the damage done can include the follow:

Flooring/Drywall Damage

Rented Dumpster

A rolloff dumpster can be rented and used to fill with the trash from a renovation.

When a home floods the first thing to get damaged is, obviously, the floor.  Water that saturates the floor fanels can cause it to warp, which even after it dries can cause significant problems and may need to be fully replaced.  The best effort should obviously be taken to stop water from getting to an area where flooring is isntalled (i.e. places other than the basement), but if damage is done, it may be permanent.

Similarly drywall can be significantly damaged and require removal and repair.  Drywall is not made to withstand any real moisture or flooding, so the damage can be very quick.  When needing to renovate and remove drywall, it’s not an easy task, and may require a dumpster rental in order to collect and dispose of all the rubbish.

Mold and Bacterial Damage

When left unattended and untreated a flooded home can quickly lead to problems with mold and other harsh bacteria.  One of the most dangerous of these is the black mold, which can cause respiratory problems for residents if left untreated.

In addition to the medical problems there is also problems with the odor generated by moldy materials.  It can be quite a problem to get the stench out of a home once it becomes entrenched, hence it’s important to nip it in the bud as early as possible.

Basement Flooding

The most common type of flooding is basement flooding.  Many people deal with regular flooding of the basement and do not consider it a big deal or a significant occurrence.  In these cases a simple submersible pump is usually sufficient to get the excess water pumps out of the home and into the nearest sewer system.

When flooding becomes extreme a simple, small sump pump is not sufficient and professional water removal and flood damage experts may be necessary.  Excess water left in the basement for a prolonged period can have a dramatic impact on any wood or non-brick/metal portions of the home.

We hope this little bit of information can help you to recover from some damage done to your home from an unfortunate weather event like a flood or a storm.  For other repairs, such as damaged roofs, consider contacting a local roofer or handyman.  If you aren’t familiar with fixing these areas, don’t try it at home (consult a professional).  If you are in need of any emergency help please reach out to your local authorities and only worry about home damage after your family is safe and secure.

 

 

 

Preparation for Winter in Washington

kj9ejl No Comments

Winter in Washington State is a beautiful thing, but heavy storms and adventurous mountain goers have potential for disaster.

Winter in Washington State is a beautiful thing, but heavy storms and adventurous mountain goers have potential for disaster.

While everyone has already gone through a series of heavy winter months in Washington State, we are still preparing for some final weeks.  February is always the most brutal month of winter and as such we’d like to give a few tips as to how to prepare your home, your family and your person.

When and What to Prepare

We have an ongoing program of Disaster Preparedness in Washington State, and one aspect of that is dealing with winter problems.  Taking the right precautions is key for anybody, but especially crucial for anybody that fits any of the following roles:

  • Has a Mountain Home
  • Goes Hiking/Skiing
  • Any Offtrail 4-Wheeling or Other Activities
  • Livings More than 30 Minutes from a City Center

In any of these sitatuions it can become dangerous if a winter storm separates you from civilization.  Food, water, and heating can become problematic in those sitatuions, which makes proper preparation absolutely crucial.  Let’s cover a few of the these in moderate detail:

Food Stocks

While food isn’t as crucial as water or heating, it’s still important in order to maintain a positive attitude.  Having canned foods that are easily opened and eaten can be the difference between a miserable time and a moderately enjoyable time.  Canned and dried foods, while not luxury cuisine, can actually make for some enjoyable snacks and meals.  Consider some of the following:

Dried Fruits and Nuts (Mango and Peaches dry very well)
Canned Soups
Canned Beans (Good source of protein)

Water

Besides heating, water is probably the most important element for holing out a snow storm/loss of power.  Each person should have at least 1/2 gallon of drinking water for each day, and you should add onto that for use in hygiene/etc.

Using that simple math can make preparation easy, just take the number of people in your home, multiple it by the number of days to prepare for (say 7 for good measure) and multiple that by 1/2 gallon.

For a 3 person home, that would be equal to:

3 Persons X 7 days X 0.5 Gallons = 1o.5 Gallons

To be adequately prepared for a week long drought of water supply you should have 10.5 gallons stocked in your home.  This may seem like a lot, but it’s really just 2 five gallon drums, which are available in many supermarkets.

Heating

For winter, problems such as hypothermia are much more pressing issues than dehydration or starvation.  Hence taking precautions with your heating situation is crucial.  This usually comes in two forms, proper clothing and proper backup heat sources.

Being prepared with proper clothes is crucial. While many people think they are prepared, actually surviving in the clothes they have is not often ideal (womens winter coats, for example, are often light, these should be supplemented by additional layers or a more winter-ready coat would be on hand).  Making sure you have clothing that is made specifically for prolonged outdoors wear is a necessity.

Trying to heat your home when the power goes out can often be the cause for tragedy if not done correctly.  Carbon monoxide poisoning and a killer during the winter months, as people make the mistake of either blocks a cars exhaust as they sit in it, or having a generator too close to a home (letting fumes into it).  Be sure you take care to not let any fumes accumulate in your home.

References:

C.G. Newman