5.28.2018

The Queens Own


The 1/32nd Infantry Battalion was first organized on 7 August 1916, on Oahu, Hawaii, Hawaii from elements of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Divisions. At its activation, it was known as "The Queen's Own" Regiment, a title bestowed by the last queen of Hawaii, Liliuokalani.

During World War I, units of this battalion were used to escort German prisoners of war being transferred to the United States from Hawaii. On 20 July 1918, the 32nd was transferred to Camp Kearny, San Diego, California, where it became a part of the 32nd Infantry Brigade, 16th Infantry Division. A short time later, many of its men were transferred to the 82nd Infantry Group and remained with this organization until it was demobilized in 1919.

The 2nd Battalion was reactivated in October, 1939, by the transfer of men from units of the 7th Infantry Division, and on 1 July 1940, the remainder of the regiment was reactivated as a part of the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 32nd was moved into defensive positions along the West Coast.

As the job became apparent, the troops began intensive training as a motorized unit at Camp San Luis Obispo, California. Vast maneuvers were held in the Mojave Desert to prepare the 32nd for participation in the defeat of the German Afrika Korps, led by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. A change in Allied strategy, however, turned the 32nd overnight toward its role in amphibious assaults from the Aleutian Islands to tropical jungle.

Rushed to the Aleutians in the spring of 1943, after the Japanese had landed on Attu Island, the regiment played a major role in retaking American territory. It was here Private Joe P. Martinez, Company I, earned the Medal of Honor. Seeing his unit pinned down by enemy fire, he single handedly charged the enemy emplacement and destroyed it. While rallying the men he was mortally wounded.

For action on the Attu, "E", "I", and "K companies of the 32nd received Distinguished Unit Citations.

After their baptism of fire in the Aleutian campaign, the 32nd sailed to Hawaii for intensive training emphasizing amphibious landings and jungle fighting.

On 1 February 1944, the 32nd assaulted Kwajalein. During the five days, the 32nd, along with the 184th Infantry Regiment, eliminated all the enemy personnel on the island, with the exception of a few battle weary Japanese who surrendered.

The regiment returned to Hawaii on 14 February where it went through additional intensified jungle training for an expected invasion of Yap. Arriving at Eniwetok on 25 September 1944, the orders were changed and the 32nd joined General Douglas MacArthur's forces, spearheading the first landings on Leyte. Fighting in the swamps, tropical jungles, and over rugged mountains, the 7th Division battled over 37 miles (60 kilometers) in 60 days of the bitterest fighting in the Pacific.

The regiment's last campaign of World War II started 1 April 1945 with the landing at Okinawa. During this battle, the 32nd won the nickname Spearhead because of its continuous attacks against the enemy. After only three days of rest, the 32nd embarked for Korea to receive the surrender of the Japanese troops south of the 38th parallel. During its campaigns through the Pacific, the 32nd traveled 16,910 miles - more than any other regiment in any war, up to that time.

During the regiment's occupation stay in Korea, infantrymen obtained a preview of their tour in the Korean War. Units of the 32nd rotated on outpost positions along the 38th Parallel. The troops formed a tight perimeter against southbound guerrilla bands and were assigned the mission of eliminating the wholesale movement of black market goods across the boundary.

In December 1948, the 7th Infantry Division loaded on ships and sailed to Japan where its zone of occupation responsibility included almost half of the total land area of Japan. The 32nd replaced the 11th Airborne. During its stay in Japan, the strength of the regiment dropped by almost half of its paper strength.

On 25 June 1950, the North Korean Army crossed the 38th Parallel, taking Seoul and pushing all the way to the Pusan Perimeter. The 32nd began immediate preparation for deployment.

Intensive training for a proposed amphibious landing in Korea highlighted the training for the Regiment. A big problem faced the 32nd in the integration of several hundred ROK soldiers who were to fight alongside of American troops. Demonstrations, sign language, and a smattering of Japanese were used during the intensive military training. The ROKs were integrated at the squad level and introduced to the American "buddy" system in combat. American soldiers were responsible for the training and integration of the assigned ROK troops. After six days of loading supplies and equipment, the 32nd boarded troopships, departing for Inchon.

They went ashore 16 September 1950, met by small arms, mortar, and tank fire. The 32nd advanced north toward the Han River, the last natural barrier to Seoul. The Buccaneers, in the cold morning hours of the 25th, crossed the Han under intense enemy fire and captured their first objective at 1030 hours, a dominating hill mass outside Seoul. Its capture provided the 32nd with sufficient momentum to gain all assigned objectives. With the capture of the surrounding heights overlooking and dominating the city, Marine elements were able to resume their advance. The Navy Distinguished Unit Citation went to the Buccaneers for relieving the pressure on the Marines.

The division was relieved of the responsibility for the Seoul area on 30 September and moved 350 miles overland, arriving in Pusan to begin training for another proposed landing, this time at Wonson, North Korea. Departing from Pusan harbor on 28 October, the mission of the 7th was changed to land at Iwon and advance to the Korean-Manchurian border.

Landing at Iwon in the 29th, the 32nd moved quickly northward with the 1st Battalion on the east coast of the Chosin Reservoir and the 2nd and 3rd in the Fusan Reservoir area.

At that point there were definite indications of PLA intervention. Information three enemy divisions had arrived at Yudam-ni on 20 November 1950 reached intelligence personnel via prisoners of war. On the ground, no contact was made in the Chosin Reservoir area.

On 29 November 1950, when the full force of the Chinese struck the UN forces, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions stood their ground until UN elements further north moved to join the battle. Together all these UN elements made an orderly withdrawal from the Fusan area.

The 1st Battalion on the east coast of the Chosin Reservoir was with elements of the 31st Infantry and the 1st Marines, who were cut off by the PLA. Only after long and bloody fighting did these forces work their way south to Koto-ri, and then to the Hungman perimeter. LTC Don C Faith, Jr, 1st Battalion Commander, distinguished himself in this action.

During the five day period from 27 November 1950 to 1 December 1950, LTC Faith personally directed his troops across the ice-covered reservoir and continually placed himself with the forward elements of the Battalion. He was mortally wounded while attempting to destroy an enemy road block with hand grenades. For his leadership, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

With the signing of the truce, The Buccaneers busied themselves in defensive preparations on the Korean peninsula, until it was reorganized and activated as the 1st Battalion 32nd Infantry Regiment for a short period.

On 28 May 1978, the 1/32 Infantry Battalion stood down as part of President Carter's effort to withdraw troops from Korea. Just prior to that, Colin Powell and Stephen Silvasy respectively, served as battalion commanders.

Richard Kidd was the 1st Sgt of B Company from 1977 - 1978 and later became the 9th Sergeant Major of the Army !!! Hooah and Semper Fi


David Apperson, Age 17
Camp Howze Korea


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1.23.2018

Military Service


To PFC David Apperson, a comrade in arms, with sincere thanks for your service on the Korean DMZ and actions as an MP in harms way.

John K Singlaub
Major General, US Army Retired



.............

During the months of February and March of 1978, Soldiers of B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry (Buccaneers) were manning Guard Posts (GPs) Collier and Quelette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the North (nK) and South (ROK) Korean border in the vicinity of the jointly ROK/US manned Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom.

During daylight hours Buccaneer Soldiers observed nK activities to ensure the safety of ROK/US soldiers working in the JSA. At night US Soldiers from Collier and Quelette conducted small unit (squad sized) ambush patrols in the two kilometer area between the MDL and the ROK southern boundary fence to interdict nK Ranger Cammando teams who were trying to infiltrate the DMZ.

David Apperson was a member of B Company and participated in these operations in the bitter cold of the Korean winter where below zero temperatures were not uncommon.

Stephen Silvasy, Jr (Major General, US Army Retired)
Commander, 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry (Buccaneers) from 1976 to 1978



.............

Specialist David Apperson, USA, Veteran

David,

I can confirm that during the period of May 1977 and February 1978, B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, Third Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division did participate in the following live ammunition combat missions.

Thunderbolt Mission ... reaction force.

DMZ duty on Guard Posts Collier and Quellette ... conducting guard duty, observation post duty, and also conducting combat patrols.

Special Munitions Security Mission

All of these missions are actual live ammunition ... security combat missions. These missions are held in all types of weather from extreme heat to sub zero weather. And that you were a member of the Company during these missions and were a participant.

Finally, I can certainly validate (even though the statement presented by a former Battalion Commander at the time in question and ultimately retiring as a Major General) needs no validation, the information provided in his statement.

I assumed the duties of First Sergeant B Co, 1.32 Infantry in May 1977 and departed in Feb 1978 and I ultimately retired as the Ninth Sergeant Major of the Army, having served with Chief of Staff, Army General Gordon R. Sullivan and Secretaries of the Army, Michael P.W. Stone and Togo West in July 1995.

Richard A. Kidd
Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA #9), USA, Retired



.............

As a law enforcement officer for over 25 years, I affirm and attest that the following information is true and accurate to the best of my recollection and belief.

I confirm in this message that PFC David W. Apperson served under my leadership as Squad Leader for Bravo Company, 1/32nd Infantry Regiment 3rd Brigade 2nd Division Camp Howze Korea 1977 - 1978 and that the following events took place:

1. PFC Apperson, while being assigned duty as a Unit Police Officer was on duty at the camp gate when an argument started with three individuals, which resulted in a physical altercation with PFC Apperson; and

2. PFC Apperson was ordered to fire upon a squad-sized unit when we were on assignment on the DMZ; this event was due to miscommunication over passwords. The radios were jammed and the password was misinterpreted from the unit that was conducting patrols. As the unit advanced toward the top of the hill, they were not recofnized as authorized personnel without the proper password, and they were fired upon; and

3. While preparing for a parade, the order was to fix bayonets, and PFC Apperson was stabbed with a Bayonet just before our company was to perform at a military parade in Seoul, Korea. He was field-dressed, and PFC Apperson continued in the parade even though later, upon return to the main camp, when taken to the medical facility, it was determined that he needed stitches in his left arm: and

4. Our unit, while going hot at Camp Humphries was called to the DMZ after a helicopter was shot down one mile north inside of North Korea. We were ordered to scamble, since we were on the quick strike alert. We loaded up Chinooks and orders were to set a perimeter on the down helicopter. Orders were scrached as we were hovering on the border of North korea; the co-pilot was captured, so our mission was canceled; and

5. Another incident with a downed helicopter occurred while doing maneuvers. After one-week in the field, the Huey helicopter that was bringing us hot meals crashed in a valley and we were assigned to set a perimeter around that helicopter until relieved by investigators; and

6. As demonstrated by the examples above, duty with the 1/32nd Infantry regiment was at times very dangerous. Our duties included many situations where death or severe injury could occur at any time.

Respectfully submitted,

Carlos Loya,
US Army Staff Sergeant



.............

David Apperson saved my life !



Jose J. Melendez Ruiz
C Company, 1/32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division

.............


In 2013 David Apperson was honored by the State of Texas for his military service and was encouraged to attend the Medal of Honor Convention in Gettysburg where his Volunteer Service at the convention (making sure Medal of Honor recipients had clean, safe, and unadulterated drinking water) was recognized.


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Volunteer Service


Image of David Apperson (DMZ Veteran) receiving award on Christmas 2011 from north Texas VFW post for completing 10,000 hours of community service -



While volunteering at the Medal of Honor Convention in Gettysburg I was eternally humbled by Medal of Honor recipient Allen James Lynch who blessed me with his personal Medal of Honor medallion (challenge coin).

.............

Medal of Honor Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lynch (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company D. While serving in the forward element on an operation near the village of My An, his unit became heavily engaged with a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly and accurately assessing the situation, Sgt. Lynch provided his commander with information which subsequently proved essential to the unit's successful actions. Observing 3 wounded comrades Lying exposed to enemy fire, Sgt. Lynch dashed across 50 meters of open ground through a withering hail of enemy fire to administer aid. Reconnoitering a nearby trench for a covered position to protect the wounded from intense hostile fire, he killed 2 enemy soldiers at point blank range. With the trench cleared, he unhesitatingly returned to the fire-swept area 3 times to carry the wounded men to safety. When his company was forced to withdraw by the superior firepower of the enemy, Sgt. Lynch remained to aid his comrades at the risk of his life rather than abandon them. Alone, he defended his isolated position for 2 hours against the advancing enemy. Using only his rifle and a grenade, he stopped them just short of his trench, killing 5. Again, disregarding his safety in the face of withering hostile fire, he crossed 70 meters of exposed terrain 5 times to carry his wounded comrades to a more secure area. Once he had assured their comfort and safety, Sgt. Lynch located the counterattacking friendly company to assist in directing the attack and evacuating the 3 casualties. His gallantry at the risk of his life is in the highest traditions of the military service, Sgt. Lynch has reflected great credit on himself, the 12th Cavalry, and the U.S. Army.

Allen James Lynch



.............

Sequentially, in my home town I was blessed by Robert D. Maxwell with a second medallion at a meeting with the Oregon Band of Brothers, a great group of "American Patriots".

Medal of Honor Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 September 1944, near Besancon, France. Technician 5th Grade Maxwell and 3 other soldiers, armed only with .45 caliber automatic pistols, defended the battalion observation post against an overwhelming onslaught by enemy infantrymen in approximately platoon strength, supported by 20mm. flak and machine-gun fire, who had infiltrated through the battalion's forward companies and were attacking the observation post with machine-gun, machine pistol, and grenade fire at ranges as close as 10 yards. Despite a hail of fire from automatic weapons and grenade launchers, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell aggressively fought off advancing enemy elements and, by his calmness, tenacity, and fortitude, inspired his fellows to continue the unequal struggle. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell unhesitatingly hurled himself squarely upon it, using his blanket and his unprotected body to absorb the full force of the explosion. This act of instantaneous heroism permanently maimed Technician 5th Grade Maxwell, but saved the lives of his comrades in arms and facilitated maintenance of vital military communications during the temporary withdrawal of the battalion's forward headquarters.

Robert D. Maxwell



.............

And sadly, I miss my good friend Wilburn K. Ross who died before he saw the VA adjudicate my claim. But it was through his encouragement and motivation over 15+ years that I kept my eye on the prize. And yes, I cherish the moment Wilburn gave me a third medallion !

Medal of Honor Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty near St. Jacques, France. At 11:30 a.m. on 30 October 1944, after his company had lost 55 out of 88 men in an attack on an entrenched. full-strength German company of elite mountain troops, Pvt. Ross placed his light machine-gun 10 yards in advance of the foremost supporting riflemen in order to absorb the initial impact of an enemy counterattack. With machine-gun and small-arms fire striking the earth near him, he fired with deadly effect on the assaulting force and repelled it. Despite the hail of automatic fire and the explosion of rifle grenades within a stone's throw of his position, he continued to man his machine-gun alone, holding off 6 more German attacks. When the eighth assault was launched, most of his supporting riflemen were out of ammunition. They took positions in echelon behind Pvt. Ross and crawled up, during the attack, to extract a few rounds of ammunition from his machine-gun ammunition belt. Pvt. Ross fought on virtually without assistance and, despite the fact that enemy grenadiers crawled to within 4 yards of his position in an effort to kill him with hand-grenades, he again directed accurate and deadly fire on the hostile force and hurled it back. After expending his last rounds, Pvt. Ross was advised to withdraw to the company command post, together with 8 surviving riflemen, but, as more ammunition was expected, he declined to do so. The Germans launched their last all-out attack, converging their fire on Pvt. Ross in a desperate attempt to destroy the machine-gun which stood between them and a decisive breakthrough. As his supporting riflemen fixed bayonets for a last-ditch stand, fresh ammunition arrived and was brought to Pvt. Ross just as the advance assault elements were about to swarm over his position. He opened murderous fire on the oncoming enemy; killed 40 and wounded 10 of the attacking force; broke the assault single-handedly, and forced the Germans to withdraw. Having killed or wounded at least 58 Germans in more than 5 hours of continuous combat and saved the remnants of his company from destruction, Pvt. Ross remained at his post that night and the following day for a total of 36 hours. His actions throughout this engagement were an inspiration to his comrades and maintained the high traditions of the military service.

Wilburn K. Ross



.............

Again, let me say I am truly humbled to know that men of this character noticed my volunteer service to other veterans and that I will forever cherish what these patriots have done for me and this country.

Signed and Attested by David Apperson.




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7.13.2011

Agent Orange Exposure in Korea


Agent Orange Exposure * Agent Orange Hoax

When it comes to the spreading, transporting or storing of Agent Orange I have only been able to confirm testimony from the VA and the DOD (Dept of Defense) that Agent Orange was used on the Korean DMZ (397,000 gallons) and nowhere else in Korea.

Agent Orange Investigation
Lee Won-seok, a researcher at South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research, says there is nothing alarming from preliminary findings near Camp Carroll, a US military base covering 40 hectares, in the southeastern part of the country.

Update: No finding of Agent Orange exposure !

..............................................

South Korea confirmed it agreed with the United States Military to jointly investigate claims made by three US Army Veterans that say they buried Agent Orange at an US Army base in Korea.

The Herbicide was used to clear vegetation in the jungles during the Vietnam War and was used in the seventies on, in and near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which was divided after the 1950-1953 Korean War at the 38th Parallel.

The 38th parallel is very important to the People of Korea and is a circle of latitude 38 degrees north of the equator, crosses Asia, Europe, the Pacific and Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Beyond what some have testified and reported, Retired General Otis, who was a Major in Korea states; "There was no use of Agent Orange in South Korea during the time I was there !!!"

Compound Orange, also known as Agent Orange, is a toxic herbicide that was used to wipe out the jungles during the Vietnam War. The military also admitted using it years later around the demilitarized zone in Korea. The government says the leftover Agent Orange was incinerated at sea.

A 51-year-old taxi driver surnamed Park told the Joong Ang Ilbo on Saturday that he and his friends saw from a mountain near Camp Carroll that US soldiers were digging for days in the summer of 1978 (but no AO exposure found).

A preventive medicine specialist who collected samples from barrels of chemicals dug up at Camp Carroll in 1979 said he knows of no evidence that Agent Orange was buried there a year earlier.

The US military said that an initial investigation into claims that it buried Agent Orange on a base in central South Korea in 1978 determined that some dangerous chemicals were buried there around that time but removed in 1979 and 1980.

From December 1965 until April 1966, Sp4 Robert Vivona states he and his four man MP unit (escort team) with two gun jeeps (mounted M-60s) went to Munsan-ni and met up with South Korean National's to escort them over Freedom Bridge to the Joint Security Area (JSA) Compound to spread Agent Orange.

Veteran Ray Bows said in a post on the “Korean War Project” Web site that US Forces Korea buried “hundreds of gallons” of “every imaginable chemical” at Camp Mercer in Bucheon, Gyeonggi, between 1963 and 1964. Bows said he served at the camp from July 1963 to April 1964, working with the US Army Chemical Depot Korea (USACDK).

The US military in South Korea will use ground-penetrating radar devices next week for tests of soil on one of its bases in the South where large amounts of the toxic chemical Agent Orange were said to have been illegally buried in the 1970s, the chief investigator in the claims said Thursday.

Fort Detrick is a US Army Medical Command installation which was historically the center for the country’s biological weapons program between 1943 and 1969.

According to the document, the US also sprayed Agent Orange in Cambodia in June 1969, sprayed or experimented defoliants in Canada in June 1967, Laos in December 1965, Thailand in 1965.

Specifically, the VA amends regulations regarding herbicide exposure of certain veterans who served in or near the Korean DMZ.

Presumptive Service Connection (Distinguishing symptoms of Agent Orange (Dioxin) Poisoning.)
§3.309 Disease subject to presumptive service connection.

The VA has admitted that soldiers who patrolled the DMZ with with the 1/32nd Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division were exposed to Agent Orange.

According to data The Korea Times obtained from the VA, roughly 8500 VA claims are on appeal relating to military service in Korea.

The number of appeal decisions it made on Korea-related disability compensation in 2011 reached 3,937 as of Friday.

The figure for the five-month period is nearly twice as high compared to the annual total recorded in 2010, which was 2,163. The number of the decisions marked 1,320 in 2009 and 1,072 in 2008.


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3.19.2010

Top 10 VA Ideas According to Dept of Veteran Affairs


VA’s Open Government Plan
Top 10 Ideas Received from the Public

The United States President launched the [http://www.whitehouse.gov/] Open Government Initiative on 8 Dec 2009, taking the first step in “creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.” The directive requires federal agencies to take [http://www.va.gov/open] immediate, specific steps to achieve openness through transparency, participation, and collaboration. In response, the Department of Veterans Affairs created a plan that details the transformative steps of our agency to become transparent, collaborative and participatory.

Participation is the first tenant of openness that we embraced. From February 6, to March 19, 2010, we asked you—Veterans, family members, and concerned public—for your ideas about how VA could become a transparent, participatory and collaborative agency. We are thrilled with the nearly 200 responses and the numerous votes cast for the most popular ideas. The results are cogent, insightful ideas for improvement, vetted by the public, which we shared with our senior leadership.

In response to the suggestions and the votes they received, we have detailed updates on actions sparked by your ideas. The ideas below are the top 10 highest vote getters.

Idea #1
Author: David Apperson
Total Votes: 66

Idea: Veterans Affairs could save employee man-hours and stress to Veterans if VA would supply step-by-step instructions to Veterans on how to:
  1. Get the quickest diagnoses and
  2. How to properly file a benefits claim if applicable and
  3. Distribute an emergency check for $2500 to those who have been diagnosed and it is more likely than not they will receive benefits similar to how citizens were treated after Hurricane Katrina.
This may help some Vets from becoming homeless and help the VA from losing contact with people.

Idea #2
Author: Bryant Columbus
Total Votes: 60

Idea: I think VA needs to have a portal that Veterans could sign in to get copies of VA rating results and other documents in order to save the money of mailing and also if a Veteran loses a copy. They could log in and get the document and print it from home. This would help with printing costs and postage. Being in the paperless world.

Idea #3
Author: Jaye
Total Votes: 58

Idea: As a disabled Veteran having been in the system for more than 20 years, I can definitely relate to the having records lost, duplicate requests, not knowing the status of my claim, and simply the frustrations of waiting. The other week, I ordered a pizza online and was amazed at how intuitive and informative their ordering process was.

I wondered with all the technology out there, the monies and time that are wasted throughout the VA process on duplications, waiting for records etc., that if a pizza chain can simplify their ordering process, why VA can’t come up with a process that, once a Veteran puts in a claim, the Veteran can track it throughout the entire process. It gives the Veteran a bird’s eye view of where and who is working on their claim. It may also serve to spur those working on a claim to handle them as expeditiously as possible by knowing the Veteran is watching.
  1. From the initial request for a disability claim, the Veteran is assigned a unique claim number to his/her claim.
  2. That claim number is the associated reference number for that claim from beginning to end.
  3. The Veteran can check the status of the claim in real-time throughout the entire process.
  4. Veterans can update and add pertinent information to the claim easily and at any point of the process.
  5. VA can correspond with the Veteran to make any particular request from the Veteran or to deliver information to the Veteran.
  6. It saves the environment by saving on paper, duplications, etc.
  7. It saves money that VA can be reinvesting into process infrastructure and manpower to develop and maintain process.
  8. It saves time and allows Veterans to access anytime within the process—which may alleviate some of the anxieties caused by the current system’s waiting time. It also will empower the Veteran or his/her designated representative, if at any point they notice anything peculiar within their claims process, they can bring it to someone’s attention immediately, making those who process these claims more accountable.
  9. It may make the process more seamless and cut down on receiving contradictory information pertaining to a claim depending on whom you contact within the system regarding a claim.
Bottom line, this would be a system that is more transparent, and streamlining will help many of us deserving Veterans receive the help and benefits we not only deserve, but have earned. And if a pizza chain can get you your pizza more efficiently, there is no DOUBT the government can do the same for its heroes.

Idea #4
Author: Billy Knight
Total Votes: 53

Idea: I think VA should have a site where Veterans can go and select to receive their correspondence from VA via email. By doing this, VA could save millions of dollars in office supplies. Right now it takes an average of three days for a piece of mail to get to the Veteran from the day it was placed in the mail system. This would also allow the Veteran to save the file without having to create a paper file. These savings could be put back into the system. Let’s see if the average cost per piece of mail is 75 cents and 500,000 people sign up for this program we could save 375 thousand dollars.

Idea #5
Author: Peggy S
Total Votes: 49

Idea: Add to the My HealthEVet program by allowing Vets to access and obtain copies of all lab work, testing results, and doctor's notes. It would save time for the Vet by not having to wait the 10- 20 days it currently takes to get copies of records. It would save money by not needing postage to mail the records to the Vet. It would cut down on the number of employees needed to work in medical records by enabling Vets to obtain their own record copies.

Idea #6
Author: William Haack
Total Votes: 46

Idea: When a Veteran submits a claim he/she should be able to go to a site within the VA site that will allow them to check on the status of their claim. By the same token, VA should have milestones built into the system that will require that the VA adjudicator to communicate with the Veteran at preset day markers informing the Vet of the status of the claim. Markers would be at 30-day intervals starting with 60 days. Once the claim reaches 180 days, it would require that a supervisor become involved and a report be made to Secretary of VA. If VA is serious about speeding up claims, this should not be a problem. I understand that some claims are more complicated than others but there is no excuse for routine claims taking as long as they do. Email should be used as extensively as possible to implement this system.

Idea #7
Author: Gary Lovell
Total Votes: 43

Idea: VA should set goals and keep records on three aspects of all phone calls. First VA should record the number of calls and amount of time the caller is spending on the phone trying to get help. Second track the amount of time the caller is kept on hold. This should be separate from the total phone time mentioned above. Third keep track of the number of calls where the caller is hung up on after being told to call back at a less busy time. Once you know what your numbers are you can begin to set measurable goals for improvement.

Some suggestions to improve customer services would quickly become visible. I'll list a few.
  1. Delete the menu options that refer the customer to the web or other phone numbers. The total phone time should start from the time the VA answers the phone. That way, the stupid references to the web and other phone numbers will be against their time. If we wanted to use the web we would have used the web. We can find the VA home page using any search engine we don't need the phone system referring us to the web or to other phone numbers. These references are a waste of your customer’s time and you should care.
  2. Offer a menu button to go straight to a real person right on the main menu. If the caller doesn't need any of the services offered on the menu, but requires personal attention, there should be an option on the main menu to go straight to a real person.
  3. Add a feature to your phone services which allows the caller to leave a message if he has suggestions for improvement.
  4. Add a call back button to your menu so VA can spend their time dialing the phone instead of the Veterans having to make multiple calls hoping to reach someone and being hung up on time after time because they are too busy. At least let me vent my frustrations about being hung up on and leave my number so I'm in line for a return call sometime.
Status: VA currently operates 8 call centers manned by 900 full time employees that receive 27 million calls a year. We are creating a better model for the way calls are answered to eliminate busy signals as well as how employees logs calls and a template to record questions and results of each phone inquiry. Our goal is to create a customer friendly experience for every person reaching out to our call centers. Additionally, we will improve other ways for clients to reach us, such as online self-service and an updated website, to ease the numbers of calls received at our centers and provide you with more access to the information that you need. The suggestions in Idea #7 are excellent and we will attempt to incorporate these best practices into the call center solution we are rolling out.

Idea #8
Author: Rob Cain
Total Votes: 41

Idea: VA should have one website where Veterans/beneficiaries can log in and view all of their VA benefit information. This should include status, location, and anticipated completion of claims in progress as well as payment information of benefits currently being received. This resource would eliminate a lot of confusion and aggravation on the part of us Veterans and should reduce the number of inquiries to various VA phone numbers and websites. I, for one, am continually looking for ways to get information and answers to my questions from VA. There is one phone number for Post-9/11 Educational questions, which is useless and is never answered. And there is another question and answer website for Post-9/11 Educational questions which is not much better than the phone number. And yet another set of phone numbers and website/question and answer page for disability compensations, etc. I realize all these areas may fall under different parts of VA, however, they should all be able to be retrieved from one central location. Currently VA does not do a good job communicating claim status with Veterans.

Status: These are outstanding ideas and we are delighted to report that we have solutions to address them. The umbrella project for self-service is called the Veteran’s Relationship Management (VRM). VRM will provide capabilities to achieve on demand access to comprehensive VA services and benefits in a consistent, user-centric manner to enhance Veterans, their families and VA employees’ experience. The first example of VRM is our partnership with DoD to provide VA’s first online single sign-on, self-service web portal. Using your EDIPI, you can log onto https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ and check the status of compensation and pension claims, review your payment history, and check home loan eligibility, just to name a few. We continue to enhance the functionality of the system and in July you can access and manage notices, news, secure messages, and email notifications, update your address, and view your Specially Adapted Housing grant information and status. Eventually, when you are signed in to Ebenefits, you will be able to access the enhanced functionality of MyHealtheVet to order prescriptions and manage appointments. In addition to the Ebenefits portal, we are redesigning and improving the employees’ systems. The Veterans Benefits Management System will provide a paperless processing environment for VSRs and RVSRs. Finally we are working on the “Blue Button” project, a collaboration with HHS and the Markel Foundation that will offer better personal health portability. The Blue Button will give you the opportunity to access your complete personal medical history on demand.

Idea #9
Author: Skip Burns
Total Votes: 40

Idea: I worked for the IRS for 32 years. We had an office called Taxpayer Advocate. Their job was to get involved when the normal course of operations of the agency failed. They had broad powers—including the right to intervene at any point in the audit process. They solved a lot of problems by making the system work better. We should have such a process within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Status: Currently, VBA provides 2 primary advocates for Veterans and their families navigating the claims process. First, the Veterans Benefits Counselors, based from VBA Regional Offices, guide Veterans through the claims process and explain benefits eligibility. Also, VBA's new business line, the Benefits Assistance Service (BAS), will focus on advocacy and outreach for Veterans and their families that have issues with their claims or other related claims questions.

Idea #10
Author: Gary Lovell
Total Votes: 38

Idea: Stop hiding behind busy lines and pick up the phone. I'm being told to call back at a less busy time. The time I'm calling is one of the times they recommend as less busy. Somebody needs to get a handle on the poor phone service at VA.

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7.13.1998

Butterfly MRI Scans


In the fall of 1996 David Apperson (Chief Scientist for the International Federation of Butterfly Enthusiasts) while studying the words of the Apostle Paul in regard to nature and putting together the Native American Journal on Asclepias, named after Asclepius a Greek god of medicine, Apperson had the crazy idea to go inside a chrysalis during the metamorphosis process and watch natures resurrection.

18 months later David Apperson (utilizing his military name Hans Schnauber) supplied the initial funding for scanning the world's first MRI butterfly chrysalis at Duke University.

Mr. Apperson believed if what he was thinking about from Thanksgiving 1996 through the early part of July 1998 was true a "Circle of Light" within MRI Scans would reveal one of nature's hidden mysteries ... and the light did appear.

After spending just 15 minutes of scanning the images on a Solaris Machine in the presence of Sally Gewalt and Dr Richard Stringer, of his findings and that a hidden mystery of nature was revealed to scientist at Duke University.

At te time of the discovery it was agreed that the "Circle of Light" would be called Hans' Circle and that any articles or publications showing any of the metamorphosis scans would credit Apperson (aka Hans Schnauber) with the discover similar to what was posted on Journal of the Royal Society -



Monarch Butterfly MRI Scans showing discovery of Hans' Circle by David Apperson (July 1998) at Duke University Center for In Vivo Microscopy

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1.25.1977

US Foster Kid


David Apperson (Foster Kid) was born on 3 September 1959 at Oregon Health Science University. Due to the fact he was born a Bastard Child he was deemed by the State of Oregon to be a juvenile delinquent and a ward-of-the-state the day he was born.

In November of 1961 David was taken to GITMO Cuba without proper legal documentation by his stepfather who was an active duty member with the United States Navy.

A short time after arriving at GITMO Cuba, David had his pinky fingers broken by his stepfather because he accidentally shut the back sliding door on a cats tail, which ended up scratching his stepbrother.

On 22 October 1962 David was evacuated from GITMO along with 1702 others due to the global tensions associated with the Cuban Missile Crises. The situation was handled superbly by John F Kennedy, and most important, the president's adviser, Dwight D Eisenhower on effective military strategy.

During the evacuation the White House released to the press that all identities of evacuees were properly vetted while evacuees headed toward Norfolk Virginia in four ships, including, but not limited to, the USNS Upshur with roughly 4000 US Army Rangers (originally headed to Panama for Jungle Training).

However, the paperwork of a few of the evacuees had been falsified. This is due to the fact; At least three children had records and documentation modified to show that they were military dependents, whereby, David Apperson (at three years of age) was the youngest of the three. Two are male, and one is female. As of 11 November 2018 all three are still alive.

According to US Navy documents released to the media, a small Baptist Church in Texas gathered winter jackets for the children to stay warm while spending time in Norfolk Virginia.

After the crisis was over David was sent back to GITMO with other evacuees and remained there until early November 1963.

Due to the stress of the Cuban Missile Crises, David began sucking his thumb at the age of three. As a child, David was constantly whipped and beaten for this action until at five years old he was beaten so bad with a navy belt buckle he had black and blue welts over his entire back and over his legs.

From five to ten years of age David endured extremely traumatic abuse: (a few events listed here)
  • Numerous beatings that left black, blue and red bruises
  • At eight years old David was locked and chained to a metal bed because he wanted to Tricker Treat on Halloween
  • At 9 years of age stepfather stabbed David with a fork in his left arm (the same arm he was later bayoneted with while serving in the military)
  • David had a bottle of Tabasco sauce poured down his throat while being held down
  • On his 10th birthday (1969) he received a severe head wound by his Trainer (Chief Petty Officer) which was treated at the Port Hueneme Naval Hospital in Port Hueneme California. Individual spent 10 days in jail and was the Court-martialed.
From the age of 10 David was sent to foster homes, juvenile halls, reform schools and even a hard labor camp for kids run by the State of Oregon.

At 12 years old and weighing less than 70 pounds, David put down an armed guard three times his size at the Ventura County Juvenile Facility in Ventura California. David was subsequently kicked out of the state of California in 1972.

During the Keep America Beautiful Campaign, David was sent to MacLaren School for Boys (Woodburn Oregon) for drawing a picture promoting marijuana, which was published on 13 April 1973 in the Central Oregonian before the towns people realized what the drawing actually represented. David was confined three months in the Prineville City Jail and nine months at MacLaren School for Boys.

He was later transferred to the Tillamook Boys Camp, whereby in just a few short weeks he escaped from the work camp where he made the decision to save two other escapees but ended up spending two weeks in solitary confinement when sent back to MacLaren School for Boys.

Six months after the escape David was sent to the Double T Boys Ranch in Bend Oregon.

After arriving at the Double T he became a firefighter and map reader with the last teenage fire crew in the State of Oregon. At this time David was 14 years of age.


Image of David Apperson with other teenage firefighters taken in Central Oregon summer of 1974. Photo taken by Tom Cobos, one of the owners of the Double T Boys Ranch.

It was during this summer that David put an X between the eyes of a US Marine.

When David was 15 years old the State of Oregon sent him back to an abusive home situation, whereby an assault is still on record in Crook County Oregon.

Not lasting long in Crook County, David went back to the Double T Boys Ranch, when as a teenager David worked as a night counselor and cook to pay for his expenses and finished school, until the time he entered Military Service at 17 years old



Image of David Apperson taken in February 1977 at Fort Leonard Wood.

In the spring of 2018 Iraq Combat Medic Robert Garcia of Redding California oversaw the creation of this document


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