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Check Six: Dod Retirement Luncheon – 10 years ago

Retiree News Photograph

This photograph was taken on April 17, 2009 at the DOD Retirement and Awards Luncheon. Maj Gen Peter “Skipper” Pawling was one of the many retirees honored that day. In the photograph are (L-R): Ronald Han, Skipper, David “Snake” Snakenburg, and Robert “Rob” Lee.

These luncheon were held semi-annually at the Hale Koa Hotel. The Human Resources Office (HRO) were usually the luncheon organizers with CMSgt Debbie Brownhill leading the committee.

Deaths from falls are soaring — here’s how to prevent them

From the MarketWatch website

Older Americans, beware: Falling can be dangerous, even deadly.

The number of deaths from falling tripled between 2000 and 2016, from about 8,600 to more than 25,000, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The rates of death from falls more than doubled, from 52 per 100,000 in 2000 to 122 per 100,000 in 2016.

The elderly are most at risk, the data show. The rate of death from falling was 42 per 100,000 for those between 75 and 79, compared with 591 per 100,000 for people 95 and older. The reasons for these stark increases were unknown, researchers said, and there may have been some overestimation or underestimation of deaths.

But falling is a danger, and it can lead to serious injuries and diseases.

Army’s New Expert Soldier Badge Will Demand Mastery of Warrior Skills

From the Military.com website

The U.S. Army on Friday unveiled the Expert Soldier Badge, a new skill badge designed to recognize soldiers who demonstrate a mastery of physical fitness, marksmanship and critical skills necessary for combat.

Beginning in fiscal 2020, soldiers from occupational specialties other than infantry, medical and Special Forces will have the chance to take Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) testing, a challenging battery of tasks that is equivalent to testing for the prestigious Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) and the Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB), according to a June 14 Army news release.

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Check Six: Two HIANG Members – 10 years ago

Retiree News Photograph

This photograph shows James Townsend and Carswell “Caz” Ross. It was taken on December 12, 1009 during the annual Department of Defense Christmas tree trimming. Individuals hang ornaments on the tree in the hallway at the State DOD headquarters.

Jim was the A3T, Operations and Training Officer at Headquarters, Hawaii Air National Guard. He served in this State position for about ten years and retired in 2011. Prior to this position, he served over 30 years in the Air Force and the Hawaii Air National Guard. His last assignment was the commander of the 201st Combat Communications Group where he later retired as a colonel.

Caz worked for over 30 years at the Office of Veterans Services prior to his retirement. Caz continues to volunteer for many veterans related events during the year. Militarily he served in the Air Force and the HIANG in various positions for over 30 years. Caz retired as a chief master sergeant. Caz’s son Skyler is a staff sergeant with the 297th Air Traffic Control Squadron.

A Patient’s Guide to High Blood Pressure

From the U.S. News & World Report website

It’s easy to ignore high blood pressure, or hypertension, until health complications strike. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the impact of high blood pressure until they develop heart disease, have kidney damage or suffer a stroke.

The official standard for high blood pressure recently changed, with the threshold lowered to 130/80 mmHg. More than 100 million Americans now have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. As guidelines and treatment parameters shift, you may not know whether you have high blood pressure or how to safeguard your health.

More than ever, patients are encouraged to track their own progress and take proactive measures to reduce their risks. The good news is that if you’re among the many people diagnosed with hypertension, there’s plenty you can do to manage it, prevent complications and bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.

Where to Find Help for Difficult Caregiving Tasks

From the nextavenue website

Caring for a family member, friend or neighbor whose health is compromised by illness, injury or age can be among life’s greatest challenges. And the results of a new AARP study confirm that many non-professional caregivers are doing more medical and nursing tasks than ever.

Home Alone Revisited highlights the breadth and complexity of the tasks demanded of today’s family caregivers. A follow-up to AARP’s 2012 Home Alone study, the new study shows more caregivers are assuming responsibility for particularly demanding procedures once considered the exclusive domain of medical professionals, such as managing incontinence, pain and special diets.

Among the study’s major findings:

Today’s caregivers provide intense and complex care managing health conditions, including pain.

Caregivers who are socially isolated or have no choice in caregiving are more at risk for experiencing difficulties with complex care.

Health systems are not doing enough to prepare unpaid caregivers.

The results reflect the perfect storm of an aging population, escalating health care costs and shortened hospital stays.

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Check Six: Queens Hospital – 160 years ago

From the Images of Old Hawaii website

From Wikipedia | click to enlarge

The Queen’s Hospital (now called The Queen’s Medical Center) was founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV. In King Kamehameha IV’s initial speech to the legislature in 1854, the King voiced his desire to create a hospital for the people of Hawaiʻi. At that time, the continued existence of the Hawaiian race was seriously threatened by the influx of disease brought to the islands by foreign visitors. Queen Emma enthusiastically supported the dream of a hospital, and the two campaigned tirelessly to make it a reality. They personally went door-to-door soliciting the necessary funding.

Today, the Queen’s Medical Center is largest private hospital in Hawaiʻi, licensed to operate with 505 acute care beds and 28 sub-acute beds. The medical center has more than 3,000 employees and over 1,200 physicians on staff.

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A Daunting Task: Cleaning Out a Late Loved One’s Home

From the nextavenue website

After a parent or another loved one dies, one of the hardest tasks is cleaning out their home. Whether or not it’s the home you grew up in, the house or apartment will likely hold some memories and going through the contents can be emotionally draining.

John D. Moore, a licensed psychotherapist in Chicago and editor of Guy Counseling, says, “In many cases, the child (or children) of the deceased aren’t properly prepared for the torrent of emotions” that can erupt from sorting through a parent’s belongings after they have passed.

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4 Nuts That Cut Your Heart Disease Risk

From the Everyday Health website

Recently, I set up an experiment in a grocery store. I placed four nut mixes on a shelf. Each was labeled differently. One promoted men’s health. Another was labeled as a heart-healthy mix, while a third was just a wholesome nut mix. Finally, the fourth one made no claims at all regarding health; it was just labeled as a deluxe combination of nuts.

I consider myself an amateur when it comes to nuts, I asked passing customers which one was best and why. The responses were as variable as the people.

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Check Six: Two Maintenance Group Members – 10 years ago

Retiree News Photograph

This photograph shows Norman Kaleo and Gerald Gapol. It was taken at the luncheon following the departure of the 154th Wing’s last F-15 Eagles on September 22, 2009.

Both Norman and Gerry served in the 154th Wing’s maintenance complex for many years before retiring.

Thousands of disabled veterans may get refunds of VA home loan fees

From the Military Times website

More than 53,000 disabled veterans may be owed refunds totaling about $189 million in home loan fees they were incorrectly charged by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to estimates from the VA Inspector General in a report issued on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Auditors said they found it “troubling” that senior Veterans Benefits Administration officials were aware in October, 2014 that thousands of exempt veterans were owed refunds, but didn’t take adequate action to issue refunds.

Nearly 73,000 exempt veterans were incorrectly charged an estimated $286 million in funding fees for their VA home loans from 2012 through 2017, auditors estimated. During that period, VA issued about $97 million in refunds to 19,700 of the veterans — leaving an estimated 53,200 who may still get refunds.

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Is That Prostate Cancer Worth Treating? Chromosomes May Tell

From the Health Day website

To treat, or not to treat: That remains one of the tough conundrums for men with prostate cancer and their doctors, because some tumors may be aggressive, while others may take decades to cause harm.

Now, new research suggests that tracking specific changes in the number of chromosomes inside prostate cancer cells might help solve the riddle.

Besides giving new insights into how prostate tumors form and spread, the chromosomal data might someday “be employed clinically to inform risk stratification and treatment” decisions for patients, according to a team led by Angelika Amon, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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June 14th: The Birthday of the U.S. Army

From the U.S. Army Center of Military History website

When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the modern sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies.  They had no unified chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by informal agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders.  The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies from which they were raised.

In the spring of 1775, this “army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stand a chance against Britain’s seasoned professionals. Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army.  Reportedly, at John Adams’ request, Congress voted to “adopt” the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision.  Also on this day, Congress resolved to form a committee “to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army,” and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City.  Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.

George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775.

Savvy Senior: Air travel tips for older passengers

From The Oklahoman website

Dear Savvy Senior: My son is getting his Ph.D. next month and I would like to fly my parents in from across the country for his graduation, but I have some concerns about the flights. My dad is 82 and has trouble walking long distances and uses an oxygen tank for his COPD. What airport or airline services are available to help elderly passengers?

Flying across the country can be exhausting for anyone, but for seniors with health issues or physical limitations it can be extremely challenging.

Here are a few flying tips and a number of resources that can help.