A MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY
An Open Letter to America’s Veterans At the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we have one of the most noble and inspiring missions in Government. I accepted this job and joined this mission to better serve you-our Veterans-and improve the delivery of the care and benefits you have earned. It is our privilege to serve you, and I have made clear that as we move forward as a Department, we will judge the success of all our efforts against a single metric-the outcomes we provide for Veterans. The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA), enacted less than 3-months ago, goes a long way toward enabling VA to meet the demand for Veterans health care in the short-term. VA has put considerable focus and attention on ensuring the law is implemented seamlessly, without confusion, and without creating hardships for Veterans. This legislation provides authorities, funding, and other tools to better serve Veterans in the short-term. We are appreciative of this temporary measure to improve access while we build capacity within the VA system to better serve those who rely on us for health care. From June 1 to September 30, 2014, VA completed more than 19 million Veteran appointments in our facilities and made nearly 1.1 million authorizations for Veterans to receive care in the private sector and other non-VA health facilities-a 46.6-percent increase over the same period in 2013. This was all done under existing programs prior to the passage of VACAA, and sets the stage for strengthening existing partnerships between VA and the private sector. We have much we can share with one another to the benefit of Veterans. VA has signed contracts with two private health care companies to help VA administer the Veterans Choice Program (Choice Program) under VACAA. The Choice Program is a new, temporary benefit allowing some Veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility. It does not impact your existing VA health care or any other VA benefit you may be receiving. We will begin implementing this benefit on November 5, as required by law. A call center is now operational to answer your questions and verify your eligibility for this program. As part of this new program, we are issuing a Veterans Choice Card to every Veteran who is potentially eligible for the new, temporary health benefit. The Choice Card allows Veterans to elect to receive care outside of VA when they qualify for the new program based on the distance of their residence from a VA care facility, or when wait times for VA health care exceed the standards established in law. The Choice Card does not replace the identification card you already use to access other VA benefits; please do not throw away that identification card. The Choice Card will be issued in three phases. The first group of Choice Cards along with a letter explaining eligibility for this program is currently being sent to Veterans who may live more than 40 miles from a VA facility. The next group of Choice Cards and letters will be sent shortly thereafter to those Veterans who are currently waiting for an appointment longer than 30-days from their preferred date or the date determined to be medically necessary by their physician. The final group of Choice Cards and letters will be sent between December 2014 and January 2015 to the remainder of all Veterans enrolled for VA health care who may be eligible for the Choice Program in the future. We are continuing to work with our partners-Congress, Veterans Service Organizations, and others-to get the information about this health program out to Veterans in as many ways as possible. Please visit our Web site at www.va.gov/opa/choiceact where we have provided helpful information on Choice Program eligibility. We will work with our partners to keep you informed as we improve our delivery of high-quality, timely care. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Sincerely, Robert A. McDonald
SBA Hawaii District Office – News and Upcoming Events
General Petraeus On The Military Today
I made a few enquiries and was told this man well may be Hawaiian.
Petition To Keep Military In Hawaii
An amazing collection of WWII videos!
> Most Americans are unaware of the fact that over two hundred years ago,
> United States had declared war on Islam, and Thomas Jefferson led the
> charge! At the height of the eighteenth century, Muslim pirates were the
> terror of the Mediterranean and a large area of the North Atlantic . They
> attacked every ship in sight, and held the crews for exorbitant ransoms.
> Those taken hostage were subjected to barbaric treatment and wrote heart
> breaking letters home, begging their government and family members to pay
> whatever their Mohammedan captors demanded.
> These extortionists of the high seas represented the Islamic nations of
> Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers – collectively referred to as the
> Barbary Coast – and presented a dangerous and unprovoked threat to the new
> American Republic .
> Before the Revolution ary War , U.S. merchant ships had been under the
> protection of Great Britain . When the U.S. declared its independence and
> entered into war, the ships of the United States were protected by
> France. However, once the war was won, America had to protect its own
> fleets. Thus, the birth of the U.S. Navy.
> Beginning in1784, seventeen years before he would become president, Thomas
> Jefferson became America ’s Minister to France. That same year the U.S.
> Congress sought to appease its Muslim adversaries by following in the
> footsteps of European nations who paid bribes to the Barbary States rather
> than engaging them in war.
> In July of 1785, Algerian pirates captured American ships and the Dey of
> Algiers demanded an unheard-of ransom of $60,000. It was a plain and
> simple case of extortion and Thomas Jefferson was vehement ly opposed to
> further payments. Instead, he proposed to Congress the formation of a
> coalition of allied nations who together could force the Islamic states
> into peace. A disinterested Congress decided to pay the ransom.
> In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli ’s ambassador to
> Great Britain to ask by what right his nation attacked American ships and
> enslaved American citizens, and why Muslims held so much hostility towards
> America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.
> The two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman
> Adja had answered that Islam “was founded on the Laws of their Prophet,
> it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have
> acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and
> to make war upon the m wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of
> all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who
> should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
Despite this stunning admission of premeditated violence on non-Muslim
> nations, as well as the objections of many notable American leaders,
> including George Washington, who warned that caving in was both wrong and
> would only further embolden the enemy, for the following fifteen years,
> American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe
> passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments
> in ransom and tribute amounted to over twenty percent of the United States
> government annual revenues in 1800.
Jefferson was disgusted. Shortly after his being sworn in as the third
> President of the United States in 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli sent him a
> note demanding the immediate payment of $225,000 plus $25,000 a year for
> every year forthcoming. That changed everything.
>Jefferson let the Pasha know, in no uncertain terms what he could do with
> his demand. The Pasha responded by cutting down the flagpole at the
> American consulate and declared war on the United States. Tunis, Morocco
> , and Algiers immediately followed suit. Jefferson, until now, had been
> against America raising a naval force for anything beyond coastal defense,
> but having watched his nation be cowed by Islamic thuggery for long
> decided that it was
> finally time to meet force with force.
> He dispatched a squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean and taught the
> Muslim nations of the Barbary Coast a lesson he hoped they would never
> for get. Congress authorized Jefferson to empower U.S. ships to seize all
> vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli and to “cause to be done all
> other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war would justify”.
> When Algiers and Tunis , who were both accustomed to American cowardice
> acquiescence, saw the newly independent United States had both the will
> the might to strike back, they quickly abandoned their allegiance to
> Tripoli. The war with Tripoli lasted for four more years, and raged up
> again in 1815. The bravery of the U.S. Marine Corps in these wars led to
> the line “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Hymn, They would forever
> be known as “leathernecks” for the leather collars of their uniforms,
> designed to prevent their heads from being cut off by the Muslim scimitars
> when boarding enemy
> Islam, and what its Barbary followers justified doing in the name of their
> prophet and their god, disturbed Jefferson quite deeply. America had a
> tradition of religious tolerance, the fact that Jefferson, himself, had
> co-authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, but fundamentalist
> Islam was like no other religion the world had ever seen. A religion
> on supremacism, whose holy book not only condoned but mandated violence
> against unbelievers was unacceptable to him. His greatest fear was that
> someday this brand of Islam would return and pose an even greater threat
> to the United States .
> This should bother every American. That the Islams have brought about
> women-only classes and swimming times at taxpayer-funded universities and
> public pools; that Christians, Jews, and Hindus have been banned from
> serving on juries where Muslim defendants are being judged. Piggy banks
> and Porky Pig tissue dispensers have been banned from workplaces because
> they offend Islamist sensibilities. Ice cream has been discontinued at
> certain Burger
> King locations because the picture on the wrapper looks similar to the
> Arabic script for Allah. Public schools are pulling pork from their
> menus, and on and on in the newspapers….
> It’s death by a thousand cuts, or inch-by-inch as some refer to it, and
> most Americans have no idea that this battle is being waged every day
> across America . By not fighting back, by allowing groups to obfuscate
> what is really happening, and not insisting that the Islamists adapt to
> our own culture, the United States is cutting its own throat with a
> politically correct knife, and helping to further the Islamists agenda. Sadly, *it
> appears that today’s America would rather be politically correct* than
> Happy Remembering!
> *Footnote from: National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 139, No. 6, June 1971,
> article title “Morocco Land of the Farthest West,” P. 842:*
> “It was the Arab conquest, early in the eighth century, that
> crystallized Moroccan character. The original Berber inhabitants had held
> the Phoenicians and Romans to coastal areas. Yet the Berbers *submitted
> the armies of Islam, **subdued not by the sword but by the word*.”
> Can you see that same type of Islamic conquest slowly taking place right
> now in Europe and the United States?
Unlike the KC-135 tanker where the boom operator (boomer) lies on his stomach to view out a window to refuel other aircraft, the KC-10 boomer sits in a comfortable chair and looks out a picture window during refueling. Think what it would look like if a large aircraft like the C-5M, C-17, B-52, B1, or B-2 came into view.