Issue: 15                                                                                                                          05/01/2009
3/3 RVN Newsletter
3/3 at “29 Stumps”  Feb 2009

More about our “send off” inside


Next reunion will be in Arlington VA at the DoubleTree hotel (where we met in 2004).  Arrangements are in progress, however, we will be there AUGUST 3-8 (vs the customary 3rd week in July).  The dates change was necessary in order to negotiate the lowest possible room rates ($109 day + taxes).  Planning is to include the Tues Sunset Parade at the Iwo Memorial, the Marine Corps Museum, and the Friday Evening Parade at 8th & I, among other events.  
More on this as the planning progresses.  


VA’s new medical foster home (MFH) program is helping veterans with home care and assistive devices when they are too old or infirm to live alone.  It has been implemented at a number VA facilities and VHA plans to expand their program to 31 more sites.  MFH is a unique partnership of adult foster home and Home Based Primary Care (HBPC), or Spinal Cord Injury Home Care (SCI-HC) serving those veterans that are in need of greater care. The program is designed to help veterans when they no longer can live alone. The veteran can choose to live in a home-like environment while they continue to receive their primary healthcare through the VA. 

In the past, many veterans living alone with no family support would have had to be placed into a nursing home. MFH offers a safe, favorable, and less costly alternative. MFH finds a caregiver in the community who is willing to take a veteran into their home and provide 24-hour supervision as well as needed personal assistance. The expectation is that this is a long-term commitment, where the veteran may live for the remainder of his/her life. Veterans who enter MFH are enrolled for VA healthcare and all meet one or more criteria for nursing home as well as HBPC criteria and must be enrolled in that program.  

   The cost of the MFH is the responsibility of the veteran who pays for his care using his own personal funds that may include a monthly benefit check from the VA; the veteran may receive concurrent home hospice care. All homes will be required to meet VA guidelines and any applicable state requirements. 

The benefits of this program are that sponsors are able to give back to our Nation’s veterans, augment their income, and gain companionship while veterans are able to live in a compassionate and home-like environment, with needed supervision and support. The caregivers are paid on average $1200 to $2400 per month to provide this care. This includes room and board, 24-hour supervision, assistance with medications, and whatever personal care is needed. MFH is a very cost-effective alternative to nursing home placement and an opportunity for the caregiver to work from home. More than 400 veterans have been placed in MFH homes thus far. This program has been very successful at VA Medical Centers across the country and is currently implemented in: 

·Augusta, GA 706-733-0188 x 7579
·Bay Pines, FL 727-398-6661 x 2609
·Boston, MA 857-203-5681
·Fayetteville, AR 479-587-5805
·Little Rock, AR 501-257-2048
·Memphis, TN 901-523-8990 x 7748
·Miami, FL 305-575-7000 x 3674
·Salem, VA 540-982-2463 x 2147
·Salt Lake City, UT 801-582-1565 x 2180
·San Juan, PR 787-641-7582 x 19800
·Sioux Falls, SD 605-333-6861
·St Louis, MO 314-652-4100 x 66387
·Tampa, FL 813-903-3611

    If you have questions, know of community members who might be interesting in serving as a caregiver, or of a veteran in need of MFH assistance contact the MFH Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center. For veterans in need of any other services, contact the nearest VA Medical Center and ask for the Social Work Service: 
 To determine availability of MFH in your area, contact (813) 610-0859 (east of the Mississippi) or (612) 396-8666 (west of the Mississippi). 

[Source: VA Public Relations Office 26 Feb 09]


    If you are a wartime veteran with a limited income and you are no longer able to work, you may qualify for a Veterans Disability Pension or the Veterans Pension for Veterans 65 or older. Many veterans of wartime service are completely unaware of the fact that if they are 65 or older and on a limited income they may qualify for a VA Pension without being disabled.  An estimated 2 million impoverished veterans and their widows are not receiving the VA pension they deserve because they do not know about it. The VA has had limited success in getting the information to them.  Generally, you may be eligible if: 

    ·You were discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable, and
     ·You served at least 90 days of active military service 1 day of which was during a war time period. If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty (There are exceptions to this rule), and 
     ·Your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law (The yearly limit on income is set by Congress), and 
     ·You are age 65 or older, or, you are permanently and totally disabled, not due to your own willful misconduct. 

With the advent of the Gulf War on 2 AUG 90 (and still not ended by Congress to this day), veterans can now serve after 2 AUG 90 during a period of war time. If your countable income appears to be near the maximum you should apply.  VA will determine if you are eligible and notify you.  

If you do not initially qualify, you may reapply if you have un-reimbursed medical expenses during the twelve month period after VA receives your claim that brings your countable income below the yearly income limit (i.e. These are expense you have paid for medical services or products for which you will not be reimbursed by Medicare or private medical insurance).  Countable income for eligibility purposes includes income received by the veteran and his or her dependents, if any, from most sources.   It includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or business.  There is a presumption that all of a child's income is available to or for the veteran.   VA may grant an exception to this in hardship cases.  

    There is no set limit on how much net worth a veteran and his dependents can have, but net worth cannot be excessive.   Net worth means the net value of the assets of the veteran and his or her dependents.   It includes such assets as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and any property other than the veteran's residence and a reasonable lot area.    The decision as to whether a claimant's net worth is excessive depends on the facts of each individual case.   All net worth should be reported and VA will determine if a claimant's assets are sufficiently large that the claimant could live off these assets for a reasonable period of time.   VA's needs-based programs are not intended to protect substantial assets or build up an estate for the benefit of heirs. The Maximum Annual Pension Rates (MAPR) effective 1 DEC 08 for both living and deceased veteran’s surviving spouse/children cannot exceed the following:  
·Veteran or widow/er with no dependents $11,830 or $7,933.
·Veteran with spouse and child or widow/er with a child $15,493 or $10,385.
·Veterans or survivor with additional children: add $2,020 to the limit for each child.
·Housebound veteran or widow/er with no dependents $14,457 or $9,696.
·Housebound veteran or widow/er with one dependent $18,120 or $12,144.
·Veteran or widow/er who needs aid and attendance and you have no dependents $19,736 or $12,681.
·Veteran or widow/er who needs aid and attendance and you have one dependent $23,396 or $15,128.
    Some income is not counted toward the yearly limit (for example, welfare benefits, some wages earned by dependent children, and Supplemental Security Income). It's also important to note that your medical related expenses are considered when determining your yearly family income.  VA pays you the difference between your countable family income and the yearly income limit which describes your situation. This difference is generally paid in 12 equal monthly payments rounded down to the nearest dollar. You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-526, Veteran's Application for Compensation Or Pension. If available, attach copies of dependency records (marriage & children's birth certificates) and current medical evidence (doctor & hospital reports). You can also apply on line through the VONAPP website
For More Information Call 1(800) 827-1000.

 [Source: Feb 09]

Update 01:  Speaking to a cheering group of veterans at a Stony Brook nursing home, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) on 17 FEB excoriated the Department of Veterans Affairs for failing to implement a 2-year-old congressional mandate requiring it to pay for severely disabled veterans living in nursing homes. At least eight patients at Long Island State Veterans Home have been forced to pay some or all of their care out of pocket, according to Schumer and the home. Two of them have died while waiting for the law to come into effect. One of the veterans living at the hospital is Omaha Beach survivor Julian Oleaga, 88, who has paid more than $90,000 since he was admitted last year for leg and back injuries that have left him unable to walk.  

"Congress did its part, it's the VA that is holding the money," said Oleaga, of North Babylon, who has turned to relatives for assistance. "Of course that's not right."

    The Veterans Benefits, Healthcare, and Information Technology Act of 2006 was signed into law with much fanfare by President George W. Bush. The then-chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Steve Buyer (R-IN 4th), said at the time that the bill included $3.2 billion to enhance health care "for the veterans returning home today, and those who served in the past." 

The law provides nursing home coverage for veterans who have a 70% or greater service-related disability and who require nursing home care. There are 4,800 veterans on Long Island with at least a 70% disability, Schumer said. VA spokesman Terry Jemison said on the morning of 17 FEB that he was looking into the status of the program. At 5 p.m. he said he still could not find an answer. 

Schumer said that, although the VA is expected to reimburse veterans when it begins implementing the law, there is no reimbursement provision for families should a veteran die before then. Guido Izzo, 87, who came to the $250-per-day nursing home two years ago after Parkinson's disease led to a spate of falls, said he and his wife spent about $15,000 of their joint resources for his care before depleting their resources and becoming eligible for Medicaid. "If I pass away before this is settled, she loses it all," Izzo said.

     The VA never spelled out how a new, federally mandated reimbursement plan would work for 135 state veterans homes across the country. Without those regulations, states could not file for reimbursements. As a result, veterans have paid for their own care out of retirement savings and social security benefits. The federal government "shouldn't be balancing its budget on your strong backs," Schumer told veterans. Schumer aims not only to force the VA's compliance with the Veterans Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act, but also to have the agency pay back veterans for costs they have incurred since former President Bush signed the bill 22 DEC 06. According to a Long Island State Veterans Home release, "VA staff has indicated to Sen. Schumer's office that the regulations are undergoing the Office of Management and Budget review process." 

The VA already had come under criticism during the Bush administration for failing to simultaneously prepare for the needs of World War II veterans and the injuries of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, 80% of patients at the Stony Brook facility depend on Medicaid for their care, which they become eligible for after they have spent all of their personal savings. "I had money in the bank," said John Budrick, 90, a blind veteran. "They took it all."

[Source: Newsday E-edition Martin Evans article 18 Feb 09]

Surviving Spouses Payments   December 29, 2008

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced immediate actions to quickly identify and pay surviving spouses who are eligible to receive a one-time compensation or pension payment for the month of the veteran's death. Surviving spouses most likely to be effected by this processing problem are those who never applied to VA for survivors' benefits following the death of a veteran. 

Surviving spouses are encouraged to contact the Survivors' Call Center at the toll-free telephone number 1-800-749-8387, Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm central standard time. Inquiries may also be submitted through the Internet at the Veterans Benefits Administration website at:

"VA to Provide Payments to Eligible Surviving Spouses"

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced immediate actions to quickly identify and pay surviving spouses who are eligible to receive the deceased veteran’s VA compensation or pension benefit for the month of the veteran’s death.   

This benefit is only payable to surviving spouses of veterans who were receiving VA compensation or pension benefits at the time of their death.   

Because VA does not always know if a veteran is survived by a spouse, some surviving spouses have not received the month-of-death benefit to which they are entitled.   

If you are a surviving spouse of a veteran who was receiving VA benefits at the time of death and believe you may be eligible for the month-of-death benefit, please go to and provide the information requested.   VA will determine your eligibility.   

When you reach the web page to ask your question, please select:
·           “Question” for the Type of Inquiry. 
·           “Survivors Month of Death Benefit” for your Topic.   
On the second page of the web form, please make sure to include:
·           Your full name, address and contact preference (e-mail, phone number, or US Mail), 
·           And, the veteran’s 
.         First and last name, 
.         Social Security Number or VA claim number, 
.         Veteran’s date of birth, 
.         Branch of service, 
.         Service number, if you have it, and, 
.         Service dates, if possible.


Silver Stars Awarded 3/3 Alumni

Three 3/3 members have been latently awarded Silver Stars.  This is after years of the awards having been submitted, and working their way through the bureaucracy.  Better late than never, though.

All awards were for actions by these men, individually on April 30, 1967.

Congratulations to Ray Calhoun, Donald Hossack, and Tommy Wheeler for this long past due recognition.  Well deserved!   Official awarding in planning.

Additionally, several belated Purple Hearts have been awarded, the latest being Richard Beard.  Others are in the works.

There are so many acts of heroism and sacrifice that were overlooked forty years ago, but it’s never to late to report them and get recognition awarded.


VA Travel Reimbursements

    Service-disabled and low-income veterans who are reimbursed for travel expenses while receiving care at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities will see an increase in their payments beginning 9 Jan 09. 

     A recently passed law allows VA to cut the amount it must withhold from their mileage reimbursement.  The deductible amount will be $3 for each one-way trip and $6 for each round trip -- with a calendar cap of $18, or six one-way trips or three round trips, whichever comes first.  The previous deductible was $7.77 for a one-way trip, and $15.54 for a round trip, with a calendar cap of $46.62. 

     "I'm pleased that we can help veterans living far from VA facilities to access the medical and counseling help they deserve, especially in the current economic climate," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.  "Together with the increased mileage rate approved last month, we can further reduce the financial hardship some veterans undergo to use our superior health care." 

     In November, Peake announced VA's second increase in the mileage reimbursement rate during 2008, from 28.5 cents to 41.5 cents a mile.  

     Service-disabled and low-income veterans are eligible to be reimbursed by VA for the travel costs of receiving health care or counseling at VA facilities.  Veterans traveling for Compensation and Pension examinations also qualify for mileage reimbursement.  VA can waive deductibles if they cause financial hardship.


According to a Marine Pilot:

In addition to communicating with the local Air Traffic Control facility, all aircraft in the Persian Gulf AOR are required to give the Iranian Air Defense Radar (military) a ten minute 'heads up' if they will be transiting Iranian airspace.

This is a common procedure for commercial aircraft and involves giving them your call sign, transponder code, type aircraft, and points of origin and destination.

I just flew with a guy who overheard this conversation on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai. It's too good not to pass along. The conversation went something like this…

Air Defense Radar: 'Unknown aircraft at (location unknown), you are 
in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.'

Aircraft: 'This is a United State s aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.'

Air Defense Radar: 'You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!'

Aircraft: 'This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send 'em up, I'll wait!'

Air Defense Radar: (no response ... total silence)


The Company Commander and the First Sergeant were in  the field. As they hit the sack for the night, the First Sergeant said,  "Sir, look up into the sky and tell me what you see?"

        The CO said, "I see millions of stars."

        1st Sgt.: "And what does that tell you, sir?"

CO: "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of  galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant.   Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Top?"

        1st Sgt.: "Well sir, it tells me that somebody stole our *$%&$&% tent."


Reb, Ray and the Snake:

Warren and I were cave mates on top of the Rockpile looking due North at the DMZ. Reb took care and pride in his collection of knives and a while back I had gotten a new machete from home and gave him my old one.  Boy did that make his day. 

Warren was a rifleman and I was a grenadier.  He cared little for his rifle but his knives were spotless.  

We had been up there quite a while and one day we got mail and I had a care package from home.  Included in the package was some new white socks.   What a treat!

Warren and I stood watch on a 50% basis.   I went to sleep first that night and was laying on the last rubber lady still holding air on the Rockpile.  Something pulled on my sock and it was hard enough to wake me up.   

I looked and saw that a rat had his teeth in the toes of my new socks.   Man was I pissed and slammed him against the cave wall and he went squeaking off.  Warren asked me what was all the commotion, and when I told him he said it served me right for not giving him a pair.

We were doing 2 hours on and 2 hours off and Warren ended up with the sunrise watch.   That watch was always a killer as you were tired and as the sun came up you often nodded off. I was sleeping on my air mattress and felt some movement underneath my right arm.  

Thinking about the rat I saw a tail and grabbed it and as I got up I saw the tail grow into a snake.   I let it go and was screaming as it scared the crap out of me.  It was small, green and had that familiar pit viper head.  

Warren awoke from a dead sleep came running in with his machete and chopped up the snake and rubber lady into tiny bits.

I suspect I didn't get bit because it was still cool and the cold blooded critter was pretty slow.  We later found that the snake was a bamboo pit
 viper and commonly known as a two-stepper.  I gave Warren his own pair of new socks!

Thanks Warren "Reb" Pittman   Rest in peace old brother, 

Ray Calhoun


Re:  Vet’s Insurance (Private vs VA)

The Department of Veterans Affairs claims this is their "mission." The slogan — extracted from the last paragraph of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address — is proudly inscribed on a metal plaque of at the entrance of the V.A. headquarters in Washington. The Obama administration made a mockery of this pledge by proposing to charge veterans' private insurance companies for treatment of service-connected injuries, wounds or sickness. Had the White House not rescinded this immoral and unethical proposal, the V.A. could have been sued for false advertising. 
The "O-Team" claimed that charging veterans' private insurers for service-connected medical care would have "saved" $540 million. How they concocted this number is anyone's guess, but the affront offers a window into the kind of "thinking" going on in this administration. 
It also started a wildfire among America's vets. Some described the proposal as part of "a conspiracy against our military." Veterans' blogs cited administration deliberations on allowing U.S. military personnel to be prosecuted by the U.N. International Criminal Court, talk of allowing practicing homosexuals into the Armed Forces and deep cuts in defense spending in the midst of a war as part of a pattern of anti-military bias. 
Whether it is malevolence, ideology or incompetence that is driving these strategies, none of this helps recruiting or retaining the brightest, best educated, trained, led and equipped military force the world has ever seen. Had this ploy worked, the new recruiting pitch to some bright young person about to graduate from high school would have to include the warning: "If you are wounded in the service to your country, we're going to make you pay for any medical care you receive after we get you off the battlefield." 
On the same day that this "private payer for war wounds" travesty was being discussed at the White House, we also learned that $6.4 million of our tax dollars were given to an AIG executive as a "retention bonus." Apparently the O-Team's half-baked idea for a military "retention bonus" was to have those wounded in war find private insurers to cover the cost of their service-connected medical care. 
The scheme was dead on arrival. V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki — who should have known better than to defend it — was raked over the coals in a House Veterans' Committee hearing on March 10. At a White House meeting on Monday, March 16, the "O-Team" — with "the man himself" attending — tried to jam the idea down the throats of Veteran's Service Organizations. 
By Tuesday, members of both houses and both parties on Capitol Hill were paying attention as the blogosphere filled with ire from veterans and their families. On Wednesday, House Republicans sent a letter to the White House denouncing the proposal as a breach of faith in "a solemn obligation to our nation's veterans." A few hours later Speaker Nancy Pelosi was applauded for announcing that the "O-Team "has made the decision that combat-wounded veterans should not be billed through their insurance policies for combat related injuries." 

Oliver North  (excerpted from his FoxNews column)


3/3 Deployment Send Off

Doc Hoppy - Feb 26, 2009   What a revelation tonite.  Was on the internet showing off our public website areas, on our active duty crew, to SgtMaj Baldwin and 1stSgt Michael Burke.   They seemed impressed.  Then I logged-in on our alumni database to show them how we handled things there …  Plugged in the name Burke ... and 1stSgt Burke noticed one name on the list ... a 1stSgt Robert W. Burke.

He said "That was my father's name!"  

I opened the file ...

He said "That's when my dad died!"  

Turns out he is the son of our Robert Burke!   What a surprise!  Got him access.   He's hooked!  Long story short... I think we've finally made the connections to get these younger guys involved in order to keep 3/3 alumni going long after our Nam alumni have mustered out.

Tonite Dan Ryan, Rod Consalvo, Skip Wray and myself chowed down at the O club with SgtMaj Baldwin and 1stSgt Burke.   We'll meet with the Bn CO tomorrow, and the full Bn tomorrow evening followed by Warrior's night.  

It's a gas!  Wish ya wuz here!

Doc Hoppy 

Buzz Heckerman - Feb 27, 2009        Well, the reunion with Doc and the other 9 guys is over; it came to an end about 11:pm last night.  I can't speak for the other guys, but I had one hell of a good time with the new 3/3 at 29 Palms.

I will tell you this, those guys are just like us, and they have some good stories to tell. This will be the first time for some of our younger Brothers going to Iraq and the second time for others. 

I found out that my eyes are bigger then my stomach as I could not eat every thing that they gave me to eat.  It's hell getting old LOL .  Doc will be posting pics and name probable later to day. So stand by for his update.           


Doc Hoppy - Feb 27, 2009      My Marines left me to deal with the Officers and Staff NCO's on my own tonite.   Managed to provide 'em with a few pitchers of beer and drinks.   Talked with LtCol Goff, who is not only impressive, compassionate and capable, but is simply a great guy too.  Doc Hoppy (the Flyin' Ponytail Express) hobnobbin' with the brass ... whooda thunk it?

My parting words to the Col. were:  "Remember Sir, you may hold the pink slip on these men for now, but they will always be OUR 3/3's Marines."

He grinned and said:   "I know, Doc, and I'll take good care of them for you!"

Perfect ending to an incredible couple of days!

The Bn CO, LtCol Goff, was presented with 3/3 coin #0005 and SgtMaj Baldwin presented #0009.   Otto Lehrack also sent a pair of autographed books for same.   The new 3/3 poker chips made it here in time, and most of them were passed around to some of the young crew.  They appeared to enjoy them.  Wish we would have had enough to give to all hands.

Skipper McAdam addressed the troops briefly (in the dark) at the formation on Thursday night.   It was short, sweet, and ended ... to resounding Ooh Rahs and boot stomping ... with:   "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil ... cuz I'm the toughest M***** F***** in the valley!"  The young guys loved it!  It set the tempo for the remainder of the evening.  

The legacy continues ....   

These young men are incredible.   They are so very well trained, equipped and motivated it is awe inspiring.   All of the "Geezer Platoon" were duly impressed and left with elevated spirits and smiles on their faces!  It's been a whirlwind tour, but spectacular.  Film at 11                                    

Doc Hoppy

PS:   More on 1stSgt Burke ... Mac McClain served with the elder Burke, as well as Dan Ryan.   Both got to share some tales with him. 

Doc,  As you are well aware, I had the time of my life with these young Marines. Skip Wray asked me how I would feel if my grandson would become as centered and focused as these Marines. I said that I would be ecstatic.

They had a ton of questions about Vietnam. The weather, the insects, the snakes, the "Rock" apes, the tiger, and the enemy (Viet Cong, and NVA) all came up, several times, as I was approached constantly.

I will be walking on a cloud for a little while. This will take some time to wear off.  Semper Fi.            

John Smeltzer

Skip Wray - Mar 1, 2009        Members of 3/3 Vietnam Alumni.   If you live in the local area and didn't attend this meeting in the desert, you missed an opportunity of a lifetime. It was awesome! 

The Marines, Officers, Staff NCO's, and NCO's made us feel warmly welcome.   Captain McAdam's inspiring speech set the tone for the night...... we are Grunts, with them, in the dirt, and proud to be there, drinking beer and talking about the battalion.   Al Niece and I spent time with our company (Lima), and were duly impressed.   Yet all of the battalion were just as impressive.

These guys make you proud to be an Marine, but more proud to be an American.   Their training, equipment, and leadership is superb.   They come from every part of the United States, then are forged into this elite fighting force, yet they look at themselves as regular guys.   They are far from regular, they are dynamic and impressive.   I was in complete awe of these Marines, and felt humbled in their presence.    I would like to recommend to Doc Hoppy that the eleven of us who attend this soiree at Camp Wilson be known as the "Desert Rats", a name we'll wear with pride.   This was such a special event, it was and indelible moment in my life and in my fellow attendees lives, and we deserve a special moniker to identify the moment.

Craig Slaughter and Doc Hardin, I know you were there with us in spirit.   I could feel your presence, and I talked about you to the Marines.   To the SAW Marines and Weapons guys, Slaughter was mentioned, and to the Corpsmen, Doc was talked about.   You were there, trust me.  To John Smeltzer, Buss Heckerman, and Mike Lozano..... for your first 3/3 Association function to attend, you couldn't have chosen a better one and it was made better by your  presence. 

 To Doc Hoppy.........thanks for all the hard work in setting this up, and, thanks for the data base that all of you worked so hard on creating.   I know that First Sergeant Burke thanks you.  Dan Ryan, Rod Consalvo, Mac McClain, and Al Niece, it was great seeing you again.   Sam Samaniego it was good to meet you.   But to Captain McAdam. … Sir, it was the great speech you gave that set the tone for the entire evening.   Thanks to all of you for being there.

Semper Fi     Skip

To our young legacy in 3/3: 
Gentlemen, we are proud of you, in awe of you,
and welcome you as alumni of 3/3.  
Welcome aboard to Alpha 3/3!



The occurrence of Type 2, or adult onset, diabetes is increasing, particularly for the Vietnam Era veteran. For veterans of Vietnam, there is a statistically higher incidence of Type 2 diabetes. Because of this, the Veterans Affairs Department declared a link between Vietnam service and the disease. This means that if you have served in Vietnam and now have Type 2 diabetes, you are eligible for service-connected disability compensation and health care connected with this condition through the VA. The term "service in Vietnam" means that at some time between 9 JAN 62, and 7 MAY 75, you were in Vietnam. Service in the waters offshore or in the air does not qualify you unless during that time you set foot in Vietnam and have some way to prove it. For most veterans who served in Vietnam, their service is clearly shown on their separation papers, the DD-214.

     If you have qualifying service, you should obtain a statement from your treating doctor that you are currently being treated for the disease. The more detail you provide, the easier it will be for the VA to handle your claim, so try to get a copy of your treatment records for the past year. A successful claim could entitle you to monetary compensation and treatment for your diabetes. The evaluation will be assessed through a VA examination, during which a VA doctor will evaluate your current condition. The VA will then assign an evaluation through the rating process. The evaluation could be as little as zero percent disabling to 100% disabling, which would result in monthly compensation for your condition. Service connection can also be granted for secondary conditions directly related to the diabetes, for example, diabetic retinopathy. Once service connection has been established, you can reopen your claim if the condition progresses or other secondary conditions are discovered. In addition, if service connection is established, you are entitled to care for this condition at any VA medical facility. Medical care includes prescription drugs required to treat the condition. Both the medical care and prescription drugs are provided without cost for veterans service connected for the condition. If you've never filed a claim with the VA before, or you know someone who may benefit from this information, contact your local Veterans Service office. 

 “America’s 1stSgt“
 Michael S. Burke
  H/S 3/3

  1st Sgt Michael S. Burke, currently the 1stSgt of H/S 3/3, is the son of 1stSgt Robert W. Burke who served with H/S 3/3 (and Kilo and Lima) in 1967-68.

He was our point of contact for coordinating our “Geezer Platoon’s” assault on 29 Palms in late February.  11 of us met with the Bn and shared some time, conversation, and a lot of medicinal brewskies.

We attended the Bn formation, where Capt Bill McAdam (M—H&S 67-68) gave a brief homage to the troops, followed by chow, brews, and volumes of conversation.  All hands from our “platoon” and a few others donated a sizable amount to assist with the “medicinals” for our young Marines.  They were most appreciative. 

In addition, I had ordered some poker chips for our guys to give to Marines they conferred with.  They were also a big hit.  I’ll be ordering more to make available as a newsletter support apparatus.  They will be available soon.  See picture below (they are in full color).

These new Marines and FMF/Navy are absolutely awesome.  We’ll be attempting to get a crew together to welcome them back home, and likewise for future deployments to war zones, as required.

The Bn presented each of us with a “citation”, 3/3 Coin (active duty), and a 3/3 decal.  It was an honor to meet with them and show our support!

Semper Fi