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Vietnam Veteran to Receive Medal of Honor

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James C. McCloughan

By Debbie Gregory.

In July, 2017, a retired West Michigan high school teacher and coach who is credited with saving the lives of 10 members of his platoon in Vietnam will receive the Medal of Honor.

James C. McCloughan was a 23-year-old medic when in May, 1969, his platoon was engaged in a fierce battle with the enemy. PFC McCloughan returned to the combat zone multiple times to retrieve wounded soldiers, despite the fact that he had been shot in the arm and had shrapnel injuries.

McCloughan, now 71 years old, received numerous awards for his actions, including the Combat Medical Badge, two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars. But he was not eligible for the Medal of Honor until a recent change did away with the previous time limit.

Prior to leaving office, President Obama signed the waiver into law that did away with the five year time limit from the time of the action as part of a defense authorization act.

McCloughan’s old platoon leader, Randy Clark, was the driving force behind the push to award McCloughan the Medal of Honor.

McCloughan vividly remembered the battle, when 89 soldiers were flown in by helicopter in an effort to block a North Vietnamese advance, only to find that they were greatly outnumbered.

According to the White House, in order to receive the award, “the meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life.”

James C. McCloughan certainly displayed these qualities, and for that, he has earned the nation’s highest military honor.

We congratulate him and thank him for his service and sacrifice.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Shulkin Backs Off Plan to Cut Benefits of Elderly Veterans

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tdiu

By Debbie Gregory.

It’s good to know that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has announced that he wants to avoid any policy changes that will hurt the most vulnerable veterans, those who are part of the Individual Unemployability (IU) program.

“The budget is a process, and it became clear this (plan) would hurt some veterans,” he said. “I’m really concerned about that … I’m not going to support policies that hurt veterans.”

President Donald Trump’s $186.5 billion VA budget for fiscal 2018 has provisions that would dramatically change eligibility rules for the IU program, affecting some 210,000 veterans over the age of 60, at least 7,000 of whom are over 80.

Under current rules, the IU program awards payouts at the 100 percent disabled rate to veterans who cannot find work due to service-connected injuries, even if their actual rating decision is less than that. The change would make them ineligible once they reach Social Security’s retirement age

Although the move would save $3.2 billion just in its first year, the cost to the veterans currently qualified for UI would be enormous. IU payouts can total almost $20,000 a year.

American Legion officials praised the administration “for coming to their senses and committing to protect the Individual Unemployability program that provides for our most vulnerable veterans and their families.”

Shulkin is still committed to looking for ways to be more efficient with taxpayer funds, but not at the expense of veterans’ financial health.

We at Military Connection applaud these actions! Our veterans deserve all of the benefits they receive.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Air Force Submits Wish List to Congress

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(Lockheed Martin) Biz10-LMT-020816

By Debbie Gregory.

Congress asks for unfunded lists from each service on an annual basis. The documents help guide lawmakers as they work through the budget requests and form policy and spending bills. The Air Force’s $10.7 billion unfunded priorities “wish list” submitted to Capitol Hill last month is heavy on research and development, but it also includes buying more aircraft , specifically F-35s and KC-46s.

Some $70 million would be earmarked to develop a “high power microwave weapon capable of multi-shot, multi-target ability to knock out digital electronic systems with low or no collateral damage and within anti-access area-denial environments.” A hypersonic prototype “to accelerate a Time Sensitive Target Engagement” also made the list.

The service has also planned $8 million for a light attack aircraft. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, as well as other top officials have endorsed the flight demo as a way to test whether a buy of inexpensive aircraft can help the force better meet readiness challenges.

The Air Force included 14  F-35A joint strike, three KC-46As, 12 MC-130Js, as well as one additional HC-130.

The EC-130H Compass Call program is based on an electronic attack aircraft, the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules. The aircraft is heavily modified to disrupt enemy command and control communications, perform offensive counter-information operations, and do other kinds of electronic attack. To keep the Compass Call program on track, the Air Force would need an additional $284.6 million for a number of initiatives. About $30 million would go to extend the life of the current EC-130H aircraft because the replacement program lags behind schedule.

The wish list also includes $131.6 million for various modifications for fourth- and fifth-generation fighter jets.

The wish list included $360 million for nuclear deterrence operations, with nuclear command, control and communications emerging as a priority, and $563 million for cyberspace needs.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Navy Veteran Seeking to Reclaim Pullup Title

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hahn

By Debbie Gregory.

Rodney Hahn is a Navy veteran and fitness trainer who smashed two Guinness World Records for pullups.

In 2015, Hahn did 6,737 pullups in 24 hours.  In 2016, a Virginia teen took the title by doing 7,300 pullups. Hahn tried to win the title back, but fell short  when he completed 6,844 pull-ups. But it wasn’t all for nothing as Hahn was able to raise $8,000 for the Navy Seal Fund.

Hahn, who is 56 years old, wants his title back. His goal is to do 8,000 pullups in a single day.

Hahn, who has been a fitness trainer for 20 years, understands what it takes.  He works out six days a week to build endurance.   He believes the most challenging part of the challenge to regain his title is sleep deprivation.

The Virginia Beach native understands that to achieve his goals, he needs to train in increments.

Hahn is not content to just break the pullups record again.  He also wants to break two other world records, including doing more than 30 chin-ups in a minute with a 20 pound weight onboard, and doing more than 57 pushups in a minute with a 60 pound weight onboard.  He wants to achieve this before his next birthday when he will be turning 57.

Hahn believes that the 8,000 push-ups in a single 24 hours is the easier of the goals to achieve.

We at MilitaryConnection.com commend Rodney Hahn and wish him success in achieving all of his goals.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Air Force Veteran Convicted of Terrorism Sentenced to 35 Years

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pugh

By Debbie Gregory.

Tairod Pugh, a U.S Air Force veteran found guilty of terrorism for trying to join ISIS two years ago, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The 49-year-old Pugh, a convert to Islam, was convicted of trying to join the Islamic State (ISIS) and die a martyr.

Acting United States Attorney Bridget Rohde said, “The defendant turned his back on his country, and the military he once served, to attempt to join a brutally violent terrorist organization committed to the slaughter of innocent people throughout the world.,”

Several days before his arrest on January 16, 2015, Pugh had flown from Egypt to Turkey, after spending about a year working in the Middle East. Turkey is a common entry point for would-be jihadists entering Syria.

The FBI had been closely monitoring Pugh, and Turkish authorities detained him as soon as he landed in Istanbul. He was immediately deported and sent to JFK International Airport in New York, where he was arrested.

At Pugh’s trial, prosecutors presented evidence showing that his laptop contained ISIS propaganda and execution videos. The prosecution also demonstrated that Pugh had voiced his support for ISIS to coworkers and on Facebook, encouraging his followers to “support [ISIS] with your bodies.”

Additional evidence included the draft of a letter from Pugh to his wife which read:

I am a Mujahid. I am a sword against the oppressor and a shield for the oppressed. I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic State. There is only 2 possible outcomes for me [sic]. Victory or Martyr.

Pugh served in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990 and was trained in installing and maintaining aircraft engines and navigation and weapons systems.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

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