By Miriam Raftery
November 21, 2013 (Washington D.C.) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a memo aimed at halting the automatic deportation of “spouses, children and parents of active-duty military members, reservists who may be called up as part of the 'Ready Force.'" Family members of U.S. troops can now apply for parole, allowing them to stay in the U.S. while Congress continues delaying action on comprehensive immigration reform.
March 17, 2013 (San Diego)--A coalition of local and national organizations will hold four days of action in San Diego to protest the U.S. government’s use of drones, from April 4-7, 2013. The host group, Drone Diego, has invited participants from across the nation to call attention to the threats from increasing unmanned robotic warfare by the United States. Drone Diego will host varied events over a half-week-long series of actions.
HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS SEEKS COMMUNITY HELP BUILDING HOMES FOR TWO DOUBLE AMPUTEE VETERANS IN EL CAJON
"We're here for two of our American heroes." -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob
By Miriam Raftery
March 4, 2013 (El Cajon ) – Army Sergeant Odin Ayala and Marine Corporal Travis Greene each lost both legs serving in combat. But they were all smiles on February 23 at the groundbreakings of their new , specially adapted homes in El Cajon-- thanks to the efforts of the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops.
“Our motto is rebuilding homes, rebuilding lives,” said Tim McHale with Homes for our Troops. The group seeks donations as well as volunteers to help build these homes and more. Local community groups and businesses can also adopt a room, partnering in efforts to help these wounded veterans and others.
ECM previously profiled the amazing efforts of Project Refuge and its efforts to help new refugees who arrive alone in our region. But now the organization has fallen on hard times and was recently forced to shut down its housing for local refugees, including many torture victims. The nonprofit seeks angel donors to help revive its efforts. Read the stories of survivors helped, as well as Project Refugee organizers, below.
By Ariele Johannson
The following story is the journey of “Mr. Horeb Michael,” an East African refugee. His name is withheld for protection from reprisal:
February 25, 2013 (San Diego)--You must cross through 20 countries before you arrive in San Diego, to be detained once again. You have no plan to go to America. Your only goal is to escape. To do this you must leave your life: your family, livelihood, friends, and future.
February 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- REI CEO named head of Department of Interior (Sustainable Business)
- A Secretary to match the setting (New York Times)
- US military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,045 (U-T San Diego)
- U.S. withdrawing 34,000 troops from Afghanistan within a year (Reuters)
- US gas prices jump 25 cents over past 2 weeks (Sacramento Bee)
- Mississippi tornado hits Hattiesburg, leaves no fatalities (+video) (Christian Science Monitor)
- Navajo, Hopi tribes struggle without water in Southwest cold snap (Reuters)
- Massive power outages as ‘Nemo’ storm lashes northeast (USA Today)
- Death By Drone, And The Sliding Scale Of Presidential Power (NPR)
- Solar industry grapples with hazardous wastes (Sacramento Bee)
- 'Every new car' connected to web by 2014 (BBC)
- Vatican announces Pope to step down by end of February (10 News)
- Bizarre stories of the 4 other popes who resigned in the last 1,000 years (Washington Post)
- Exiting U.S. general says Afghan women's rights are key (Reuters)
- Pakistan Says U.S. Drone Strikes Violate Its Sovereignty (NPR)
- Iran's Khamenei rebuffs U.S. offer of direct talks (Reuters)
- Irish marchers protest nationwide against austerity (Reuters)
- Exclusive: U.N. monitors see arms reaching Somalia from Yemen, Iran (Reuters)
- Folic acid in pregnancy may help lower autism risk (CNN)
- DePuy Hip Implant Problems In San Diego (KPBS)
- Chain Restaurants Boost Sales With Lower-Calorie Foods (NPR)
- Lenses could 'cure colour-blindness' (BBC)
- Pig Manure Reveals More Reason To Worry About Antibiotics (NPR)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
SAN DIEGO CHAPTER OF IPSSA PRESENTS A $7,000 DONATION TO OPERATION HOMEFRONT- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IN SUPPORT OF OUR TROOPS
December 30, 2012 (San Diego)-Michael Anderson, President o f Independent Pool and Spa Service Association ( IPSSA San Diego), recently presented Karla Winter-Schulz, President of Support the Enlisted Project ( S.T.E.P.) with a $7,000.00 charitable contribution. S.T.E.P. is the local branch of Operation Homefront, dedicated to assist servicemen and women and their families in many areas of need.
By Lori Abbott, California News Service
November12, 2012 (San Diego)--Many military veterans are facing challenges behind the wheel. In fact, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for military personnel in their first year after returning home from war. And USAA insurance says service members were involved in at-fault accidents 13 percent more often after deployments.
By Charlotte Reed, REALTOR SRES CRS
October 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—This column includes some hopeful signs of a real estate recover, a warning about a loan scam, a new real estate laws taking effect in January 2013, and an update on a revised Homeowner Bill of Rights.
October 9, 2012 (San Diego) -- On the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, a floating tribute to America’s past wars, the region’s community college leaders said dwindling budgets are affecting their ability to serve those returning from today’s conflicts and heading back to school.
Cindy Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, speaks at Tuesday’s news conference focusing on the needs of student veterans. Behind her are from left, Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District; Justin Dile, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves; Paul McNamara, a Palomar Community College District governing board member; Melinda Nish, superintendent/president of Southwestern College; and Francisco Rodriquez, superintendent/ president of MiraCosta College.
September 24, 2012 (Sacramento)--Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, September 21 signed into law three bills by Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) aimed at assisting military families and returning veterans.
“I’m thrilled that the governor approved my bills – AB 1904, AB 2202 and AB 2462. They will help California repay the tremendous debt we owe our veterans,” Block said.
BILL TO HELP OUT-OF-STATE MILITARY SPOUSES CONTINUE CAREERS HEADS TO GOVERNOR; PART OF WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE
August 30, 2012 (Sacramento)—A bill by Assemblymember Marty Block, AD-78, that requires the California Department of Consumer Affairs to expedite professional licensure for the spouses and domestic partners of active duty military service members, tonight passed the Assembly Floor on a 78-0 vote.
“The spouses and partners of our military families make great sacrifices – relocating frequently and interrupting their own career paths and earning power,” Block said. “Helping spouses re-establish their careers aids our military families financially and has the added benefit of putting talented and licensed individuals to work in our state.”
By Rick Rogers, DefenseTracker.com
July 3, 2012 (San Diego)--The scourge of sexual assaults in the military seemingly cannot be stopped.
With the military unable or unwilling to protect our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, it’s time women refuse to join the military and to disband the farcical Uniformed Code of Military Justice – an inadequate and unequal court system more interested in protecting the military than dispensing justice.
Cut off from it fastest growing pool of recruits – women – we’d find out exactly how fast our military leaders could correct this national embarrassment.
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE LORI SALDAÑA SHARES VIEWS ON JOBS, HEALTHCARE, ENERGY POLICIES, VETERANS AND SENIOR ISSUES, AND THE FIGHT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS
SPORTSPLEX USA AND SOCCERNATION.COM TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL ARMED SERVICES APPRECIATION INDOOR SOCCER TOURNAMENT ON SATURDAY MAY 19, 2012
“The official casualty count of Iraq and Afghanistan is 5,000 plus killed and about 45,000 wounded…You know how many men and women have approached the VA for help for war-related injuries from those two wars? Almost a million," said Congressman Bob Filner. "We need to take care of these kids when they get back here…Veterans are THE issue for Democrats.”
By Miriam Raftery and Mia Mykleberg
February 16, 2012 (San Diego) –Thousands of soldiers are returning home to San Diego County as the Iraq war ends and troop draw downs occur in Afghanistan.
At the California Democratic Party’s newly formed Veterans’ Caucus, Congressman and Mayoral candidate Bob Filner, former Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, laid out detailed plans to welcome home veterans with respect and hands-on help--including establishing a Veterans' Office for San Diego if he is elected Mayor.
September 30, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories in our region and state, published in other media outlets. These week's top Roundup headlines include:
- Tribe attempts to evict private military contractor: Los Coyotes band in a legal standoff with Blackwater-tied company (San Diego CityBeat)
- Ballot effort to repeal fire fee falls short (Sacramento Bee)
- San Diego family of 3 needs $63,000 to be self-sufficient (KPBS)
- San Diego ATM fees second highest in nation (KPBS)
- Tankers for Sunrise Powerlink project upsets residents (10 News)
- Palomar Mountain State Park campgrounds close for good (signonsandiego.com)
- California breaks from 50 state probe into mortgage lenders[will conduct own probe] (Los Angeles Times)
- Education lawsuit would impact future California budgets (Sacramento Bee)
- Advocates for disabled to sue over state budget cuts (Sacramento Bee)
- FPPC looks at easing candidate reporting requirements (KPBS)
September 8, 2011 (Spring Valley)--Fleet & Family Support Center in partnership with Housing Opportunities Collaborative, and the San Diego County Library will hold a FREE Home Clinic for active duty military, reservists and retirees. The home clinic will be held on Saturday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the recreation center behind the Spring Valley Library, 836 Kempton Street in Spring Valley.
Members of the military and their families face unique financial challenges but also have a variety of financial options available to them. HUD Approved housing counselors will be on hand to provide members of the military and the general public all possible options in their home ownership situation.
May 27, 2011 (San Diego) -- Just in time for Memorial Day, hit songwriters Denny Randell and Buddy Schippers, creators of GIJams.com, debut their first in a series of compilation recordings featuring top GI Jams musical Artists.
They launched their social music network and multi-media project as a way to spotlight and promote the musical talents of active duty veterans and reserve of all branches, ranks, and rates.
May 18, 2011 (Alpine) -- The FAA, US Marine Corp and local aviators have all approved flyovers to mark the dedication of the Veterans Wall of Honor, planned for May 30, 2011, at 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Alpine Community Center.
The ceremony is called "Mission Honored: Dream Achieved." It marks the dedication of the Wall of Honor, and unveil a tile with the name of Lt. John Flinn, our own Medal of Honor recipient whose name is the first to be placed on the Wall of Honor. Hundreds of other tiles will be mounted in honor of veterans who sacrificed to serve our country.
Bipartisan legislation would create flexible spending accounts to help families save on health care and child care expenses
February 19, 2011 (Washington, D.C). – At a press conference February 17, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) announced their new legislation that would provide flexible spending accounts for service members. Flexible spending accounts would result in savings for military families by allowing service members to set aside part of their income before taxes to cover out-of-pocket child care and health care expenses such as co-pays, dental care and eye glasses.
This benefit is currently available to civilian employees at the Department of Defense, but not to uniformed service members.
November 12, 2010 (San Diego) – Congressman Bob Filner wants to make sure all active duty and veterans who were forced to involuntarily extend their service know that the deadline to submit a claim for retroactive “Stop Loss” pay is approaching.
All claims must be submitted by December 3, 2010.