Thursday, May 20, 2010

White House keeps deploying, Yocum keeps hiking

In Nebraska, Jenny Nowatzke (PTM -- link has text and video) reports on the send-off ceremony for members of "the 394th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion out of Fremont." Tiffany Almond says goodbye to husband Terrence Almond as he deploys to Iraq while she "will head out [deploy to Iraq] when their son turns six months old." Liz Dorland (Action 3 News -- link has text and video) adds, "For more than half these men and women this deployment not the first. Wednesday, Linda Hill sends both her sons to war. 'This is Travis's second time and this is Trevor's first,' Hill explains. It's a reality that brings her to tears."


Hike for our Heroes is a non-profit started by Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum (above in US military photo taken by John Crosby) who is hiking across the country to raise awareness and money for veterans issues. Why? Steve Miller (WBBM) explains:

It was the plight of a friend - and fellow veteran who'd lost his job and was forced out of his home - that prompted 30-year-old Troy Yocum to walk around America to raise money for military families.
"Somebody had to step up and do something. And so I decided I needed to do something big. Something much bigger than anyone had ever tried to do before."

Why? USA Today provides these figures today, "Consider this fact: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are nearly 185,000 unemployed Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. And while the national unemployment rate is currently hovering around 9.5% for non-veterans, the unemployment rate among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans is 20% higher." The Braidwood Journal adds, "Troy will go through Illinois, past the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and will continue on to Utah, then south to Las Vegas and eventually to Los Angeles. Once in LA, Troy will turn east and head to Texas, then finally push toward Washington D.C., New York and Boston. After he hits the east coast, Troy will turn back to hike home to Louisville."

Monday the law firm of Doyle Raizner posted the following to their blog:

Doyle Raizner extends a special thanks to all who came out to attend the US Vets 5K Run this Saturday morning. It was a great event for a great cause, with the proceeds going to assistance for homeless vets in need. Doyle Raizner was proud to be a sponsor for this event, and it was a wonderful way to celebrate Armed Forces day. The race began at the Downtown Aquarium and proceeded down Memorial Drive before a turnaround back to the finish line. A high five in particular to Susie Raizner, who placed 6th of all women running - - and far ahead of her husband.

"Doyle" is Michael Patrick Doyle and his work is noted in Julie Sullivan's "Hexavalent chromium suit against KBR by Oregon National Guard goes forward in Portland" (Oregonian):

Houston attorney Michael Patrick Doyle, who's won millions suing corporations for negligence, is working with David Sugerman, who's taken class-action suits and consumer cases. They took the case on contingency. After months of unpaid work, one soldier felt so guilty he gave Sugerman the only bill in his wallet: an Iraqi dinar.
Today, KBR's attorneys will argue it's not responsibile. They blame the Army Corps of Engineers, which was in charge at Qarmat Ali. KBR's local attorneys Jeffrey Eden and Stephen Deatherage will ask Magistrate Judge Paul Papak to stop discovery. They want Papak to rule -- yet again-- on whether the case should go forward in his U.S. District courtroom.
The case pits the Oregon veterans against the very Army they served in. For instance, the Army won't release some records to their attorneys -- only KBR.
"It's overwhelming to know we're going up against a company that has a lot of power and that the military seems to want to keep on their side, to work with in the future," said former soldier Rocky Bixby, 43, a public safety officer at Oregon Health & Science University.

The following community sites updated last night and this morning:

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee continues to highlight the economy and finances in a number of videos this month. Click here to be taken to the DPC video page. We'll note Senator Bill Nelson addressing the Gulf Coast environmental disaster.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends