Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

Heat rash is common when the mercury climbs

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FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Heat rash is common in the warm summer months, but military personnel and amputees may be especially at risk. The common term “heat rash,” also known as “prickly heat,” and the medical term “miliaria,” usually refer to a collection of small, two- to four-millimeter reddish bumps on the skin. These are caused by a temporary blockage of the sweat glands, resulting in skin irritation.

Any activity or condition that induces sweating can lead to heat rash, including hot and humid environments, physical activity, fever, and clothing or gear blocking or rubbing the skin. Anyone can be affected, including children and adults of both sexes, said Navy Capt. Peter Shumaker, chairman of the department of dermatology at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

He noted that treatment and avoidance of heat rash focus on decreasing the factors that worsen sweating – for example, by moving to a cooler (air-conditioned) environment or wearing loose, breathable clothing. Showering or bathing to cool the skin can also help resolve heat rash symptoms.  

When the symptoms include itching or irritation, mild topical corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone may be used, as well as topical antibiotics. “It is also important to seek medical attention for persistent cases or those with severe symptoms, to ensure the appropriate diagnosis is made,” Shumaker said.

For amputees, sweating and skin blockage are a regular part of life. Shumaker said the rubber liners that are worn under prosthetic devices are like wearing a diving suit for 12 to 18 hours per day. For such patients, additional interventions are often required to reduce sweating and improve the fit and comfort of their prosthetics.

These interventions may include procedures once thought to be only cosmetic. Military dermatologists such as Shumaker, who has more than a decade of experience treating patients injured in wartime, have played a major role in these efforts.

“Dermatologists in uniform have been instrumental in repurposing existing technology that is often used for cosmetic purposes in the civilian world, to serve the needs of our wounded warriors,” he said.

For example, Shumaker continued, laser hair removal and injection of botulinum toxin (Botox) to reduce sweating have been game-changing advances that are becoming routine in military treatment facilities, yet are still relatively uncommon in the civilian world.   

Sweat reduction is one way those with amputations can lower their chances of developing heat rash. Particularly in the summer months or in hot climates, Shumaker suggests taking periodic breaks from the prosthetic in a temperature-controlled environment. In addition, daily application of a non-irritating roll-on antiperspirant under the prosthetic liner may also be helpful. If this is not enough, he notes, physicians with appropriate expertise may use treatments such as Botox injections for temporary relief from excessive sweating.

 “Not all Botox injections and laser treatments are for cosmetic purposes,” said Shumaker. “We shouldn’t just assume they are frivolous procedures – they are procedures that can add significantly to the quality of life of our wounded warriors.”

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Final eight teams set for the 2018 ALWS

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Out of over 3,500 teams nationwide, the final eight American Legion Baseball squads have punched their tickets to Shelby, N.C., for the 2018 American Legion World Series (ALWS), Aug. 16-21. They are Braintree, Mass., Post 86; Wilmington, Del., Post 1; Randolph Count, N.C., Post 45; Gonzales, La., Post 81; Midland, Mich., Post 165; Dubuque Count, Iowa, Post 137; Meridian, Idaho, Post 113; and Las Vegas Post 40. Both Michigan and North Carolina appeared in the 2017 ALWS.

Teams will be divided into two pools, the Stars and the Stripes, with the top two in each pool advancing to the knockout round.

Follow the American Legion World Series on Twitter, Facebook and use the hashtag #ALWS18. And follow along here. The ALWS mobile app makes it easy to follow game coverage. The app, available through the Apple Store and Google Play, keeps baseball fans connected with game schedules, pairings, scores, video highlights, photos and more.

The following is a schedule of the 2018 ALWS games:

Thursday, Aug. 16 – Senior Citizens Day

Games available on or the WatchESPN app

10 a.m. – Wilmington, Del., Post 1 vs. Dubuque County, Iowa, Post 137

1 p.m. – Gonzales, La., Post 81 vs. Braintree, Mass., Post 86

4 p.m. – Randolph County, N.C., Post 45 vs. Midland, Mich., Post 165

7:30 p.m. – Meridian, Idaho Post 113 vs. Las Vegas Post 40

Friday, Aug. 17 – Youth Academic Achievement Day

Games available on or the WatchESPN app

4 p.m. – Wilmington, Del., Post 1 vs. Gonzales, La., Post 81

7 p.m. – Dubuque County, Iowa Post 137 vs. Braintree, Mass., Post 86

Saturday, Aug. 18 – Military Appreciation Day presented by USAA; Special Salute to Women Veterans

Games available on television on ESPNU, or online at WatchESPN, or with the WatchESPN app

1 p.m. – Midland, Mich., Post 165 vs. Las Vegas Post 40

4 p.m. – Randolph County, N.C., Post 45 vs. Meridian, Idaho, Post 113

7:30 p.m. – Gonzales, La., Post 81 vs. Dubuque County, Iowa, Post 137

Sunday, Aug. 19 – Medical Community Day

Games available on television on ESPNU, or online at WatchESPN, or with the WatchESPN app

1 p.m. – Braintree, Mass., Post 86 vs. Wilmington, Del., Post 1

4 p.m. – Midland, Mich., Post 165 vs. Meridian, Idaho, Post 113

7:30 p.m. – Randolph County, N.C., Post 45 vs. Las Vegas Post 40

Monday, Aug. 20 – American Legion Family Day

Games available on television on ESPNU, or online at WatchESPN, or with the WatchESPN app

4 p.m. – Semifinal

7 p.m. – Semifinal

Tuesday, Aug. 21 – Championship Tuesday

Championship game is available on ESPNU, online at WatchESPN, or the WatchESPN app

7 p.m. – Championship game

Stars pool:

Region 3: Southeast - Randolph County, N.C., Post 45

Region 5: Great Lakes - Midland, Mich., Post 165

Region 7: Northwest - Meridian, Idaho, Post 113

Region 8: Western – Las Vegas Post 40

Stripes pool:

Region 1: Northeast – Braintree, Mass., Post 86

Region 2: Mid-Atlantic – Wilmington, Del., Post 1

Region 4: Mid-South – Gonzales, La., Post 81

Region 6: Central Plains – Dubuque County, Iowa, Post 137


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DoD, Air Force medical leaders visit JB Charleston

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JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. Defense Health Agency leadership visited Joint Base Charleston recently, to better understand the unique mission sets of the base and the needs of beneficiaries served by the 628th Medical Group as it transitions to fall under DHA management.

The 628th MDG will be one of the first military treatment facilities within the Air Force to transition to the DHA supervision.

“The transition to DHA management for beneficiaries of the 628th Medical Group will be seamless,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Trevor Schar, 628th MDG deputy commander. “The medical group will continue to offer the same services and commitment to delivering first rate healthcare to the patients we serve every day.”

The visit allowed senior medical leaders including Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, Defense Health Agency director and U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, a chance to develop a better understanding of the medical services provided by the 628th MDG as well as the strengths and challenges of delivering high quality healthcare in the Charleston region. It also provided the opportunity for the DHA to field and answer questions from JB Charleston leadership and Airmen at the 628th MDG regarding the transition of Air Force military treatment facilities under one combined administration known as the Defense Health Agency.

This visit consisted of a consolidated mission brief, a strategic discussion with military medical senior leadership, a medical group facility walking tour and ended with an in-depth question and answer session on the transition.

“I know there are a lot of questions you might have,” said Bono. “We are very interested to hear what your thoughts are and what we can do to make this transition as easy as possible.”

By October 2021, all military treatment facilities to include overseas facilities are scheduled to transition to DHA management. The intent of the transition is to create a single, integrated military health system designed around delivering healthcare and ensuring military medical readiness for years to come.

"This is a shared collaborative responsibility," said Hogg. "There are some things that are purely readiness, some that are purely benefit, but there's a lot that's connected. We will work together to accomplish the job and ensure integration occurs."

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

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Legacy Run online registration extended to Aug. 23

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Online registration for the 2018 American Legion Legacy Run has been extended to the final stop in Anoka, Minn., on Aug. 23, to allow for those who register late or join the ride in progress to register easily.

To register online, click here.

All riders and passengers who registered online before Aug. 1 will be mailed the registration packet with patches and map book materials before national staff departs. Those who registered on or after Aug. 1 will be mailed their registration packets on or after Sept. 1 (while supplies last) as staff returns from convention duties.

So far, 526 participants have registered for the Legacy Run, which will leave Hutchinson, Kan. – where Post 68 will host kickoff events – on Aug. 19 and arrive in Minneapolis for the 2018 National Convention. The ride will make stops in Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin before finishing Aug. 23 at Anoka Post 102 in Minnesota.

At various stops along the way Legion Riders will take part in wreath-laying ceremonies at various memorials and cemeteries, as well as make lunch and dinner stops at Legion posts whose charters all date between 1919-1921. Legion Riders also will have the opportunity to meet with American Legion Legacy Scholarship recipients at the final two stops of the ride.

The Legacy Run raises money for the Legacy Fund, which provides college assistance for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as children of post-9/11 veterans with a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher.

For those who want to support the Legacy Run but cannot participate, the ability to donate online will be available until the close of the 2018 National Convention. To donate, click here and then click on “supporter” in the drop-down box.

The 2017 Legacy Run raised a record $1,224,653 – the fourth straight year the ride raised more than $1 million.

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Legion Baseball regionals: Day 4 recap

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We are one day away from finding out which eight teams will earn a trip to Shelby, N.C., for the 2018 American Legion World Series (ALWS).

ALWS games begin on Thursday, Aug. 16, and run through Championship Tuesday on Aug. 21. Games will featured on ESPN3, ESPNU and WatchESPN.

For brackets, schedules and live stats click here. To follow the action on the Legion Baseball app, click here. Follow along as well on Twitter and Facebook.

Region 6 features live streaming, which can be found here. Thanks to generous American Legion Baseball supporters, select Region 6 games can be found here and select Region 8 games are being live streamed here.

Below is a recap of the eight regionals heading into Sunday:

Region 1: Northeast – Shrewsbury, Mass.

Game 14 – 1p.m. ET – Braintree, Mass., Post 86 vs. Shrewsbury, Mass., Post 397

(If Shrewsbury wins Game 14) - Game 15 – 5 p.m. ET –-Braintree, Mass., Post 86 vs. Shrewsbury, Mass., Post 397

Massachusetts will be represented at the 2018 American Legion World Series. But which Bay State team will it be? The Braintree has an advantage, needing to win just one of the two days on Sunday after remaining unbeaten in a 10-3 win over Southington, Conn., Post 72. They will have to contend with the hot bats of the host team, Shrewsbury, which has posted the following run totals in its four games: 10, 10, 11, 17. Six players had multiple runs for Post 397 on Saturday in a 17-7 win over Portland, Maine. These final two teams competed in the department championship on Aug. 1, with Braintree winning a 14-8 slugfest.

Region 2: Mid-Atlantic – Purcellville, Va.

Game 14 – 1 p.m. ET - Souderton, Pa., Post 234 vs. Leesburg, Va., Post 34

Game 15 – 4 p.m. ET - Wilmington, Del., Post 1 vs. Winner of Game 14

Wilmington almost made it to Sunday unscathed, playing a topsy-turvy and back-and-forth contest with Souderton. Wilmington fell behind 5-0 but rallied to take a 7-5 lead in the top of the fifth. Souderton leveled in the bottom of that frame, but Wilmington scored one run apiece in the sixth and seventh inning to take a 9-7 lead into the last frame. Souderton wouldn't go away, however, scoring three in the bottom of the seventh to walk off as winners and stay alive. Wilmington will advance automatically to a winner-take-all Game 15 and will play the winner of Game 14, Souderton and Leesburg. The host team used a 9-2 win to stay alive over Broad Street Park, N.J. Post 313.

Region 3: Southeast – Asheboro, N.C.

Game 14 – 1:30 p.m. ET - Randolph, N.C., Post 45 vs. Troy, Ala., Post 70

(If Troy wins Game 14) - Game 15 – 4:30 p.m. ET - Randolph, N.C., Post 45 vs. Troy, Ala., Post 70

It’s down to two in North Carolina as the hosts, Randolph County, remained unbeaten with an 11-1 win over Tallahassee, Fla., Post 13. With a chance at a return trip to Shelby, Randolph needs just one win in two chances against Troy. Cole Smith pitched a shutout for Alabama to stay alive and to eliminate Lyon County, Ky. Post 68. These two teams played a 6-5 game on Thursday, with Randolph holding on to win.

Game 14 – 11 a.m. CT - Tupelo, Miss., Post 49 vs. Gonzales, La., Post 81

Game 15 – 2 p.m. CT - Bryant, Ark., Post 298 vs. Winner of Game 14

Teams dodged raindrops again in Region 4, but the games were completed and now three teams remain. Tupelo and Gonzales won in must-win contests to stay alive and set up a morning faceoff for a shot at Bryant for the title. Tupelo scored 11 runs, all in the final three innings, to rally to top Columbia, Tenn., Post 19, 11-7. Gonzales handed Bryant its first loss, 6-1. Bryant had a bullpen game, likely in order to save arms for Sunday with a spot guaranteed, but now only gets one shot at the championship and must win Game 15 to return to Shelby.

Game 14: 12 p.m. ET - Midland, Mich., Post 165 vs. Danville, Ill., Post 210

(If Danville wins Game 14) - Game 15: 3 p.m., ET - Midland, Mich., Post 165 vs. Danville, Ill., Post 210

Both Wisconsin teams were eliminated as Danville took care of Sheboygan Post 83, 1-0, in a pitchers' duel in the early afternoon. Keegan West and Devonte Hicks split the five-hitter. In the nightcap, Midland remained unbeaten with a 5-2 win over Eau Claire Post 53. Midland will have two cracks at Danville, needing just one win to try and repeat as the Great Lakes champion. Midland beat Danville 10-3 in the winners bracket final on Friday.

Game 14 – 12 p.m. CT – West Fargo, N.D., Post 308 vs. Dubuque County, Iowa Post 137

(If Dubuque wins Game 14) - Game 15 – 2:30 p.m. CT – West Fargo, N.D., Post 308 vs. Dubuque County, Iowa Post 137

Region 6 features live streaming, which can be found here. West Fargo remains unbeaten despite a combined margin of victory of just six in its four games. Omaha, Neb., Post 1 was the latest team to fall in a nail-biter to West Fargo, 5-3. In the first game of the day, Dubuque County topped Rapid City, S.D., Post 22 to reach the final day of the tournament. Dubuque needs two wins to reach Shelby. On Friday, these two teams faced off and Dubuque ceded a 4-1 lead with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a walk-off walk to end it.

Game 14 – 1:30 p.m. MT - Meridian, Idaho Post 113 vs. Yakima Valley, Wash., Post 36

(If Yakima Valley wins Game 14) - Game 15 – 4 p.m. MT – Meridian, Idaho Post 113 vs. Yakima Valley, Wash., Post 36

There have been 192 runs scored in this regional already heading into Sunday after the bats showed up again on Saturday. Yakima Valley stayed alive to top Cheyenne, Wyo., Post 6 with a final score of 10-4. Meridian is up to 37 runs in this bracket after an 11-6 victory over Billings, Mont., Post 4. Meridian, as the unbeaten team, has two chances to win a spot at the ALWS. Yakima has a chance for revenge after falling to Meridian, 3-2, on Friday.

Game 14 – 12 p.m. MT - Las Vegas Post 40 vs. League City, Texas, Post 554

(If League City wins Game 14) - Game 15 – 3:30 p.m. MT – Las Vegas Post 40 vs. League City, Texas, Post 554

A three-run Aaron Roberts tie-breaking home run was the difference as Las Vegas bested Tucson, Ariz., Post 7, 7-3, to stay unbeaten. Post 40 in Nevada is one win away from having two separate sponsored teams reach the ALWS in consecutive years, as Henderson, also sponsored by Post 40, won the 2017 Series. Las Vegas will have to go through League City, however, after Texas rallied to score four in the top of the sixth to eliminate Petaluma, Calif., Post 28, 4-2. These two teams played on Friday, with Vegas winning 12-0.

Select games are streaming live on

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Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at