On a recent "Today Show" there was a story about two men who went to Hanoi on a business trip. The men encountered a guy selling old GI dog tags from US servicemen who were killed during the Viet Nam War. They were disgusted by the thought of this man profiting from the sale of these tags. Upon returning to the US, they decided to go back to Viet Nam and purchase ALL the dog tags. They did so, paying 19 cents per tag! They brought home several hundred tags. The plan is to return the tags to surviving family members, when they can find them. The process has already begun with one set being turned over to a grieving Mom on July 4th, (coincidentally, it was on her birthday)! 

These two men have set up a website, BELOW listing the names of all those whose tags they purchased. If you lost friends, family, or know of someone who lost a loved one in Vietnam, I suggest you check out this website. 

If you recognize a name, contact these two men and to help in their efforts to return the dogtag to it's rightful survivor. I'm sure a family member would be eternally grateful to have such an important item returned. Please help by checking this website. And please send  the website address to everyone you know. The more people who see  the lists, the greater the chance of returning ALL the tags to those  who lost loved ones in Viet Nam! 

The discovery of these tags after so many years from servicemen dead,  missing and in some cases still alive is mind boggling when you  consider the emotions that will be re-ignited. I leave you to your own  thoughts on this one. 

Please, even if you know no one on the list, pass this on to all you  work with or those on your e-mail list. They may know someone! 

Vets' Care Going to the Dogs
by Lisa Nurnberger 
September 9, 2001

Veterans with special medical needs may get some extra help soon. Beth Barkley trains the aides who would serve as veterans' live-in companions. 

"Their training includes reacting to a medical crisis in a specific way, physically assisting persons in or out of a wheelchair, a bed, or a bathroom facility . . ." 

The aides are dogs. They can pull wheelchairs, predict seizures and even detect skin cancer. The Department of Veterans Affairs already gives seeing-eye dogs to blind vets. A bill introduced by New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith would expand the program to vets with other disabilities. 

Maura Shea, who works for Maryland Congresswoman Connie Morella, told Smith's Veterans Affairs Committee that her dog has changed her life. Shea is hearing impaired and is slowly going blind.

"In 1993 I thought I had MS. My legs would not move when I would go to cross the street. In reality, I was paralyzed with fear, too scared to move, fearing that I would be hit by either a car or a bike." 

Shea says her dog has allowed her to "see better" and during the torturous process of losing her sight, he's given her peace. Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns says Shea's testimony is all the convincing he needs to be a supporter of the bill. 

"You make the case that, having this dog, you no longer have the fear. I think that statement in itself is the most clear indication why veterans, who are in similar situations, or in need of this type of service, should have it." 

It costs $15,000 to $30,000 to train an assistive dog. But a committee staff member says he doesn't believe the cost will be a deterrent to the bill's passage because a minimal number of vets would need the dogs. And, pointing to the well-mannered German Shepherds and bouncy German Shepherd puppy that attended the hearing with Barkley he said, "who could vote against them?"


September 21, 2001 


CONTACT: Travis Murphy - (202) 225-2715

Subcommittee Hearing Brings Congress to Kansas

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jerry Moran announced he will chair a subcommittee field hearing at the Wichita Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Monday, September 24. As Chairman of the Veterans Subcommittee on Health, Moran has invited veterans and representatives of the Veterans Administration to discuss improvements needed in veterans' health care.

"Congress has made improvements in providing veterans with health care, but we have a long way to go before the care and services promised to veterans are delivered," Moran said. "This hearing will allow us to bring more attention to health care issues and better inform Congress on veterans' health care needs."

The Veterans Health Care Field Hearing will be held on Monday, September 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Wichita Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 5500 E. Kellogg, Building 4, Auditorium, Wichita. The event is open to the public.

Moran encourages all Kansas veterans and others interested in veterans' health care to attend the forum on September 24. Moran will also have staff available to assist veterans with individual concerns.

"As we look at the possibility of sending our military forces into a battle situation, we must not forget those who have served in the past," Moran said. "American Veterans have put their lives on the line, when serving our country, and we should keep our pledge and provide adequate and affordable health care. I hope that this forum will be informative for everyone who attends and will generate better solutions to VA health care concerns."

For more information, contact Congressman Moran at (202) 225-2715 or visit his web page at

Armed Forces News

September 28

"Tricare for Life is green -- all signs are go" for the program to begin October 1, Air Force Col. Frank Cumberland of the Tricare Management Agency said. TFL will extend Tricare benefits to Medicare-eligible military retirees and spouses who are enrolled in Medicare Part B. Tricare will become a second payer to Medicare. This will end their need to pay many out-of-pocket expenses, and thus the need for most to buy "Medigap" supplemental insurance, Tricare officials said. The only requirements for beneficiaries are that they check their enrollment information in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System and that they be enrolled in Medicare Part B. Lillie assured beneficiaries that the program will begin on schedule even if Congress and the president haven't yet agreed upon the fiscal 2002 Defense Appropriations Act (Congress unanimously has approved an extension of current spending authority until  at least mid-October while they work on next year's funding legislation, and President Bush is expected to sign it.) Beneficiaries and providers should call 1-888-DOD-LIFE (1-888-363-5433) for information on the expanded benefit.