Veterans Roundup: Ecstasy, Alcohol and Much More

Posted by Fred Wellman

FDA expands access to ecstasy drug for PTSD therapy
Stars and Stripes, Nikki Wentling (@nikkiwentling)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration designated MDMA as a “breakthrough therapy” to treat PTSD in 2017. Last week, the FDA announced it would allow more people to access the treatment, thus expanding its use as a PTSD treatment around the country through a study with an organization called the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS. The study has reportedly shown positive results, especially among veteran patients. One study site resulted in 68% of participants no longer showing PTSD symptoms after their second session. Of the 26 participants in that study, 22 were veterans. With this expanded access, patients outside of the ongoing clinical trials will be able to have access to MDMA assisted therapy. MAPS reports that 120 locations have asked for access to the program. PTSD is a problem for many people in the world and this unusual study is showing a lot of promise for everyone, not just veterans. Not every treatment works for every patient, but having a large swath of options is key. This sounds like another good addition to the range of treatments and it’s good to see the government supporting it. – Fred Wellman, CEO and Founder of ScoutComms

Drink up with these 5 veteran-made spirits
We Are The Mighty, Tessa Robinson (@T_T_Robinson)

Military veterans succeed as entrepreneurs for many reasons, including our ability to work in teams, our leadership experience, being able to exercise discipline by staying focused and on task, being able to perform under pressure and a willingness to sacrifice certain levels of comfort in order to complete a mission. These skills, taken alongside a culture of appreciation for sitting down and throwing back a cocktail or more with good friends to reminisce about our days in service, has led to many vets storming the brewery and distillery scenes, sharing their passion and skills for making award winning spirits. We all have enough negativity in our lives, so for my write-up this week I wanted to focus on something that warms my soul. Drinking alcohol may not be the best way to cope with the current state of our nation, however, sipping on a nice, sultry veteran-made bourbon can help ease anxieties brought on by the never-ending stream of hubris taking place in our nation’s capital. We Are The Mighty released this article sharing five veteran-made spirits that we want to elevate in this week’s ScoutReport. We love veteran-owned businesses and want to make sure these are on your radar for when you need to buy that next wedding or birthday present, or for when you are throwing your next get together with friends. While writing this, I am actually wearing one of my favorite t-shirts that I bought at Hotel Tango a couple of years back, one of the distillery’s mentioned. I had the honor of visiting this incredible business and meeting its owner, Travis Barnes, while attending a conference at Purdue in Indiana. Hotel Tango crafts all kinds of spirits that you can take home with you to share and I promise its inviting atmosphere is one you will never forget. Check them out on your next trip to Indy, along with the others mentioned in the article. There aren’t any women veteran-made spirits mentioned in this one, but trust me, they are out there. Stay tuned for our next ScoutInsight piece that will focus on women veteran brew masters and brewery owners. As always, drink responsibly. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my deep gratitude for those who don’t drink and are staying strong on their journeys with sobriety. Sober bars are a growing social trend across the country, which is really great, and another opportunity for veteran entrepreneurs to consider for their next business venture. In closing, to our readers I say, “My friends are the best friends. Loyal, willing and able. Now let’s get to drinking! All glasses off the table!” With or without alcohol, cheers friends! – Kiersten Downs, PhD, Research Director at ScoutComms

New law addresses lack of available, affordable child care
Stars and Stripes, Caitlin M. Kenney (@caitlinmkenney)

Military families face many financial challenges. One of the most prominent challenges happens to be finding affordable, trustworthy child care. Along with this, child care centers are in dire need of more employees as the demand continues to grow. A new law addresses some of the issues that military families are presented with when looking for good quality child care, starting with authorizing $121 million for construction at child care centers. The Navy has increased the number of Child Development Centers, though the demand continues to grow rapidly. The signing of this new law ensures that additional assessment of the child care system will be done, and that more potential employees will be trained and hired, helping the military spouses who are staffers when they move to new bases. 

Navy housing nominee ‘livid’ about housing problems
Military Times, Karen Jowers (@karenjowers)

Solutions to address the ongoing military housing crisis developed further last week when Charles Williams, a retired Navy admiral nominated for assistant secretary of the Navy, said during his confirmation hearing that he intends to “lay out a plan in fairly short order” to tackle issues like “mold, lead paint, [and] rodent infestation” that plague the Navy’s privatized housing. Williams noted that “problems with housing reach into readiness,” and said, “I’m kind of livid about this because as a commanding officer, it’s about taking care of our people, and we’ve let them down.” He also said that he’s “willing to take legal action…including potentially recommending criminal charges if fraud or other wrongdoing is found.”

New security measures after NAS Pensacola shooting should provide a ‘much higher degree of confidence,’ Esper says
Task & Purpose, Tara Copp (@TaraCopp)

Since the shooting at NAS Pensacola early last month, the Pentagon has established “additional safeguards” to ensure the safety of military bases, including “prohibitions on international students having access to firearms and continued monitoring while they are in the United States.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis praised the Pentagon’s actions and called them “significant.” Navy Capt. Tom Kinsella said that in town halls following the shooting, most “concerned residents…are supportive of the international students,” but have a “natural apprehension,” asking, “What are we doing to make the base safer?”

VA leader must demonstrate commitment to ending harassment
The Hill, Kayla Williams (@kwilliams101)

In this opinion piece, contributor Kayla Williams expresses displeasure over the “breathtakingly inappropriate response” from Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie regarding staffer Andrea Goldstein’s claim of sexual assault that she experienced at the D.C. VA Medical Center. Wilkie wrote to Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Rep. Mark Takano (D. Calif.), saying that “VA is a safe place for all Veterans to enter and receive care and services,” as well as stating her claims were “unsubstantiated.” However, Williams points out that even VA’s research disputed Wilkie’s assertion that it is a safe place when “one in four women veterans reported having experienced sexual harassment.”

Veterans have filed more than 1,000 lawsuits accusing 3M of making defective earplugs
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dee DePass (@DeeDePass)

This month, there were an additional 300 lawsuits accusing 3M of “knowingly making defective earplugs that caused vets to lose hearing during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan or while training on U.S. military bases.” 3M denies the allegations, stating that they worked with the U.S. military to develop the earplugs, and that the “design reflected the direction and feedback of individuals acting on the military’s behalf.” 3M is also battling lawsuits related to chemicals known as PFAS, which are now “allegedly contaminating rivers, drinking water, groundwater and soil.”

Thousands of Korean-American Vietnam veterans could receive VA health care under this bill
Connecting Vets, Abbie Bennett (@AbbieRBennett)

Currently, Korean Americans who fought in the Vietnam War as U.S. allies don’t receive VA health care. Rep. Gil Cisneros, D-Calif, is working to change this through the Korean American Vietnam Allies Long Overdue for Relief (VALOR) Act, which would grant these veterans access to VA health care, entitling them to hospital and home care, as well as other medical services. Cisneros, a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said, “Korean American Vietnam veterans may have served under a different flag during the Vietnam War, but they served with the same duty, honor and valor as our United States service members.”

Fred Wellman

Fred Wellman, CEO and Founder of ScoutComms, brings us his weekly review of veteran news via The Scout Report. Fred served over twenty years as an Army officer in both aviation and public affairs. Follow Fred on Twitter @ScoutComms

This entry was posted on Monday, January 27, 2020 11:56 am

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