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JULY 2022 EDITION

US Bases in Europe Await

Imminent Arrival of COVID-19

Shots for Kids Under 5

See page 28

Monthly Newsletter

WWW.M2CC.US

This is What Living

With Covid Looks

Like

Is Covid back?

It never really went away.

But yes, we are at the start of

the third wave to strike the

UK since December. About

1.7 million people were

estimated to have had the

virus last week, according

to the Office for National

Statistics (ONS) up 23 per

cent in a week, after a 43 per

cent jump the week before

that. Levels are at those seen

at the end of April, when the

last wave was on its way out.

Weren’t vaccines meant to

stop us catching Covid?

Vaccines are good at saving

lives a paper published

last week by Imperial

College London found that

nearly 20 million deaths were

prevented in the first year of

the vaccination programme

and preventing severe

illness, but they are not

particularly effective at

stopping people catching the

virus.

Data from the ONS last

month suggested protection

against reinfection started to

decline after just two weeks

of vaccination, and tended

to disappear after about 90

days.

“Vaccines protect you from

infection for a short amount

of time and it wanes pretty

quickly,” said Jonathan Ball,

professor of virology at

Nottingham University. “So

we were always going to

be susceptible to infection.”

But even if it does not stop

the virus entering the body,

once the infection is lodged,

the vaccine is pretty good at

clearing it away. “That’s the

thing that prevents you from

getting seriously ill,” said

Ball. And that protection is

likely to persist long-term.

Should we be worried?

Not yet. Cases are on the

rise, and each infection

can be unpleasant not to

mention disruptive but

vaccines mean people who

contract the virus are far less

likely to get seriously ill.

Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, the

former deputy chief medical

officer, believes Covid is now

Continued on page 12


2 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JULY 2022 EDITION

The honorees who'll receive medals from Biden "have

overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive

accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated

their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable

among us, and acted with bravery to drive change

in their communities, and across the world, while

blazing trails for generations to come," the White

House said.

American Airlines has

Parked 100 Jets Due to

Pilot Shortage

WASHINGTON President Joe Biden will present

the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential

Medal of Freedom, to 17 people, including actor

Denzel Washington, gymnast Simone Biles and the

late John McCain, the Arizona Republican with

whom Biden served in the U.S. Senate.

Biden will also recognize Sandra Lindsay, the New

York City nurse who rolled up her sleeve on live

television in December 2020 to receive the first

COVID-19 vaccine dose outside of clinical trials in

the United States, the White House announced Friday.

Biden's honors list, which the White House shared

first with The Associated Press, includes both

living and deceased honorees from the worlds of

Hollywood, sports, politics, the military, academia,

and civil rights and social justice advocacy.

The Democratic president will present the medals at

the White House next week.

Biden himself is a medal recipient. President Barack

Obama honored Biden's public service as a longtime

U.S. senator and vice president by awarding him a

Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 2017, a

week before they left office.

The honor is reserved for people who have made

exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values or

security of the United States, world peace or other

significant societal public or private endeavors, the

White House said.

Biles is the most decorated U.S. gymnast in history,

winning 32 Olympic and World Championship

medals. She is an outspoken advocate on issues that

are very personal to her, including athletes' mental

health, children in foster care and sexual assault

victims.

Lindsay became an advocate for COVID-19

vaccinations after receiving the first dose in the U.S.

outside of clinical trials.

McCain, who died of brain cancer in 2018, spent

more than five years in captivity in Vietnam while

serving in the U.S. Navy. He later represented Arizona

in both houses of Congress and was the Republican

presidential nominee in 2008. Biden said McCain

was a "dear friend" and "a hero."

Washington is a double Oscar-winning actor,

director and producer. He also has a Tony award, two

Golden Globes and the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime

Achievement Award. He is a longtime spokesperson

for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The other 13 medal recipients

Sister Simone Campbell. Campbell is a member

of the Sister of Social Service and a former executive

director of NETWRK, a Catholic social justice

organization. She is an advocate for economic justice,


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 3

overhauling the U.S. immigration system and health

care policy.

Julieta Garcia. A former president of the University

of Texas at Brownsville, Garcia was the first Latina

to become a college president, the White House

said. She was named one of the nation's best college

presidents by Time magazine.

Gabrielle Giffords. A former U.S. House member

from Arizona, the Democrat founded Giffords, an

organization dedicated to ending gun violence.

She was shot in the head in January 2011 during a

constituent event in Tucson and was gravely wounded.

Fred Gray. Gray was one of the first Black members

of the Alabama Legislature after Reconstruction. He

was a prominent civil rights attorney who represented

Rosa Parks, the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr.

Steve Jobs. Jobs was the co-founder, chief

executive and chair of Apple Inc. He died in 2011.

Alan Simpson. The retired U.S. senator from

Wyoming served with Biden and has been a prominent

advocate for campaign finance reform, responsible

governance and marriage equality.

Richard Trumka. Trumka had been president of

the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO for more than a

decade at the time of his August 2021 death. He was

a past president of the United Mine Workers.

Wilma Vaught. A brigadier general, Vaught is one

of the most decorated women in U.S. military history,

breaking gender barriers as she has risen through the

ranks. When Vaught retired in 1985, she was one of

only seven female generals in the Armed Forces.

Raúl Yzaguirre. A civil rights advocate, Yzaguirre

was president and CEO of the National Council of La

Raza for 30 years. He served as U.S. ambassador to

the Dominican Republic under Obama.

Father Alexander Karloutsos. Karloutsos is the

assistant to Archbishop Demetrios of America. The

White House said Karloutsos has counseled several

U.S. presidents.

Khizr Khan. An immigrant from Pakistan, Khan's

Army officer son was killed in Iraq. Khan gained

national prominence, and became a target of Donald

Trump's wrath, after speaking at the 2016 Democratic

National Convention.

Diane Nash. A founding member of the Student

Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Nash organized

some of the most important 20th century civil rights

campaigns and worked with King.

Megan Rapinoe. The Olympic gold medalist and

two-time Women's World Cup soccer champion

captains the OL Reign in the National Women's Soccer

League. She is a prominent advocate for gender pay

equality, racial justice and LGBTQI+ rights who has

appeared at Biden's White House.


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WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 5

Focus on Oversight a Key for Success at

CoreCivic

In the corrections industry, maintaining high standards of

operation is imperative to meeting the needs of the individuals

in our care. That's why CoreCivic adheres to a stringent set of

guidelines set forth by our own standards, as well as those of our

government partners and the American Correctional Association

(ACA).

Founded in 1870, the ACA is considered the national benchmark

for the effective operation of correctional systems throughout

the United States. To become accredited, a facility must achieve

compliance with ACA mandatory standards and a minimum of

90 percent non-mandatory standards. CoreCivic facilities adhere

to ACA standards, and in 2020, CoreCivic earned an average

ACA audit score of 99.6 percent across all facilities.

Key ACA audit areas include facility personnel, resident reentry

programs, resident safety, health care, and more.

holds our facilities and staff to a high standard. To be able to

represent our facility and receive reaccreditation in person is an

honor."

Adhering to ACA standards is only one part of CoreCivic's

commitment to robust oversight. When government partners

utilize CoreCivic's services, we are held not only to our own

high standards and those of the ACA, but we are often held to

the same or higher accountability of our public counterparts

through stringent government contracts, unfettered access to

our facilities for our partners, and hundreds of on-site quality

assurance monitors.

We provide access to our government partners, with most of

our facilities having government agency employees known as

contract monitors who are physically on-site to ensure we are

operating in line with partner guidelines.

Recently, the ACA held in Nashville, Tennessee, its 151st

Congress of Corrections, an annual convention that brings

together corrections professionals from across the country. In

addition to various workshops and events at the convention, the

ACA Commission on Accreditation also held panel hearings to

award accreditation to correctional facilities that meet the ACA's

rigorous requirements. Listed below are the seven CoreCivic

facilities that earned reaccreditation this year, with mandatory/

non-mandatory scores:

• Bent County Correctional Facility - 100/99.0

• Citrus County Detention Facility - 100/100

• Eloy Detention Center - 100/100

• Lake Erie Correctional Institution - 100/99.3

• Saguaro Correctional Center - 100/99.8

• Stewart Detention Center - 100/100

• Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility - 100/100

"The accreditation process is very important," said Warden

Fred Figueroa from Eloy Detention Center, one of the seven

CoreCivic facilities that was awarded reaccreditation. "ACA

To maintain our own high standards, annual on-site audits covering

all operational areas are administered to ensure compliance with

contractual and regulatory obligations and corporate-mandated

requirements. Each CoreCivic Safety facility is audited by our

internal quality assurance division, which is independent from

our operations division. Facilities are expected to be audit-ready

year-round, maintaining continuous compliance with numerous

applicable standards.

CoreCivic employs 75 staff members dedicated to quality

assurance, including several subject matter experts with extensive

experience from all major disciplines within our institutional

operations.

"A lot of hard work goes into preparing for these audits,"

Figueroa said. "Once they're complete, the staff can see their

accomplishments and feel proud."

Having multiple levels of oversight helps CoreCivic maintain

a safe environment for those in our care. By holding ourselves

accountable to our own high standards, along with our

government partners' and ACA's standards, CoreCivic continues

to be a trusted partner working to better the public good.


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8 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JULY 2022 EDITION

Navy Implements New

Policies to Make it

Easier for Victims to

Report Sexual Assaults

The first dubbed the “Safe-to-Report policy” protects sailors,

Marines and U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen reporting incidences

of sexual assault from being disciplined for minor misconduct in

which they might have participated while they were victimized,

according to one of the new policies.

The idea is to encourage victims to report their assaults without fear

of punishment for behavior that might be discovered in an ensuing

investigation, such as an underage drinking, curfew violations or

having an “unprofessional relationship with the accused,” the Navy

said in a statement issued Friday.

“Choosing to report a sexual assault is already a major decision

for a survivor. It is a first step to accessing the services they need

and the justice they deserve.” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said

in the statement. “Removing this barrier empowers victims and

survivors they should not have to choose whether to implicate

themselves by reporting a crime committed against them.”

Before the “Safe-to-Report” policy, which went into effect

Wednesday, victims “may have had to choose whether to implicate

themselves for misconduct by reporting an assault,” according to

the Navy.

“Collateral misconduct by the victim of a sexual assault is one of

the most significant barriers to reporting because of the victim’s fear

of punishment,” Navy Force Resiliency assistant director Andrea

Goldstein said in the statement. “We’re committed to removing

barriers to reporting, restoring victim’s trust, and improving victim

care.”

While commanding officers can now spare disciplinary action

for victims in such cases, they can still take nondisciplinary

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WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 9

administrative actions if warranted, such as referring a victim to

substance abuse treatment, according to the policy.

Also Wednesday, the Navy implemented a new “No Wrong Door”

policy aimed at ensuring victims of sexual assault seeking help

don’t fall through the cracks by attempting to seek care from an

office or agency that might not be the right fit for their needs.

Before the policy, finding the right care could be confusing because

the Navy offers a host of victim care services from multiple offices,

including the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program,

Family Advocacy Program, Military Equal Opportunity Program,

Victim Witness Assistance Program, medical professionals,

Victims’ Legal Counsel and chaplains, according to the service.

“Individuals who experience sexual assault, sexual harassment, or

domestic abuse should receive the care and support they need --

without delay,” said Ashish Vazirani, interim director of the Navy

Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and Suicide Prevention and

Response Office. “Regardless of which supporting professional

they contact, the answer should be, 'I will help you’.”

The policy now requires Navy personnel in care and support offices

to ensure victims get a “warm hand-off to the appropriate service

provider,” according to the policy.

“This warm hand-off will include direct connection, introduction

to the responsible staff, and follow-through to ensure the needs of

the person seeking care are met,” the Navy said in the statement.


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VISIT OUR

WEBSITE AT M2CC.US


12 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JULY 2022 EDITION

not much worse than a bad

the one in six people in this

There has been no significant

which is growing 35 per cent

case of the flu. He told the

group who have not taken

increase in the number of

faster than the previously

BBC Today programme on

up the offer of a spring

Covid patients in intensive

dominant Omicron BA.2,

Friday: “Covid can disrupt

booster.

care wards. And deaths are

is expected to make up all

parts of your life when

you’re poorly, but in terms

of its lethality, the picture is

much, much, much closer

to seasonal flu than it was

when it emerged.”

Aren’t hospital cases

rising?

Yes, admissions are up 41

per cent in the last week.

And among the elderly and

vulnerable, Covid can still

There have also been a

number of outbreaks in

care homes. But it is worth

pointing out that of the 6,400

patients in hospital with the

virus, only 37 per cent were

admitted for Covid. The

rest are “incidental” cases

those who arrived in

hospital for something else

but then tested positive for

the virus.

down to between 40 and 50

a day, compared with 1,200

at the January 2021 peak.

What is driving the wave?

Two new variants have

emerged, each slightly

different mutations of

the Omicron strain that

has dominated in the UK

since December. The new

variants BA.4 and BA.5

make up 61 per cent of

cases. The new variants are

more transmissible than

previous strains, though it

is not clear whether that is

because they are inherently

more infectious or because

they are better at evading

our immunity.

When will we get the next

jab?

The spring booster

programme for vulnerable

be deadly, particularly for

cases. Eventually BA.5,

people and over-75s is


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 13

still running. The autumn

different levels of immunity,

amount of serious disease

positive patient requires

booster programme will

depending on whether we

should still be kept in check

isolation, taking up further

start in September and is

have been infected with the

unless really significant

resources. During the height

likely to include over-65s

early Wuhan strain, Alpha,

variants emerge.”

of the Omicron waves in

and vulnerable people,

although government

advisers are weighing up

whether to extend this to

over-50s. Younger people

are unlikely to be eligible.

By September Moderna’s

new vaccine a “bivalent”

jab that contains the original

vaccine as well as a new

Beta, Gamma, Delta or

Omicron or not at all.

Some of us have had two

vaccines, some four, and

we have received different

mixes of Moderna, Pfizer-

BioNTech and Oxford-

AstraZeneca.

Roughly speaking, though,

infection seems to provide

Eventually, he believes,

these will become less and

less frequent, and within

a few years will become

annual waves, striking in

winter like the flu. Paul

Hunter, professor of health

protection at the University

of East Anglia, said a

big wave this summer

January and April, a peak of

17,000 beds were taken up

with Covid patients. If the

new wave reaches anything

like that number, it will

put serious pressure on

the health service. Doctors

point out that repeated

waves could also increase

rates of long Covid.

formula tweaked to tackle

stronger and more durable

could even be beneficial,

Will that affect my chance

the new variants should

protection against further

topping up our immunity

of getting an ambulance if

be available. Moderna said

infection than does

and reducing the chances

I need one?

its new vaccine boosts

protection against BA.4 and

BA.5 to far higher levels

than existing vaccines and

should give a longer-lasting

response.

Under the UK’s contract

with Moderna, we will

automatically receive

the newest version of the

vaccination. Last month’s

ONS report found people

who had been infected with

Omicron (or the BA subvariants)

had a 77 per cent

reduced risk of reinfection.

Those infected by Delta

had 57 per cent protection,

Alpha 41 per cent and the

early strain by 40.

of a Covid surge over the

winter. “Then we won’t

have Covid and flu causing

us problems at the same

time,” he said. “Influenza

this winter worries me more

than Covid, and the thing

that worries me more than

that is Covid and influenza

at the same time.”

That is the fear. Emergency

patients are waiting almost

two hours for ambulances

to respond to suspected

heart attacks and strokes,

while almost 600 people

waited longer than ten

hours outside A&E in

April. Adrian Boyle,

from the Royal College

vaccine. Last night Pfizer

Will we see more of these

Will the NHS cope?

of Emergency Medicine,

announced impressive

results for its tweaked

vaccine although it is not

clear whether it will be ready

for September. Companies

are also working on joint

flu-Covid vaccines, the first

of which are expected to be

ready late next year.

Most of us have now had

Covid. Does that increase

waves?

Almost definitely. Immunity

will rise and fall as waves

of infection and vaccination

campaigns come and go and

the virus evolves. “For the

foreseeable future, it’s not

unreasonable to assume that

every few months we might

see waves of infection,

which give you cold-like

Doctors’ biggest concern

is that even a small rise in

cases will take up muchneeded

beds that hospitals

can ill-afford to lose

while A&E departments

are overcrowded and

ambulances are outside

waiting to offload patients.

With so many Covid

patients taking up beds, it

said: “We continue to be

very worried about the

ability of ambulances to

respond. Losing a whole

bunch of other beds due to

Covid would just be a really

horrible situation [creating]

pressure on elective surgery

and ambulance waits. There

are some really difficult

trade-offs to be made there.”

our protection?

symptoms, and sometimes

does not matter whether

After 2½ years of the

pandemic, each of us has

they might be fairly

unpleasant,” said Ball. “The

they were admitted for the

virus or a broken leg any


14 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JULY 2022 EDITION

Military Women Say

DOD Reproductive

Health Care Far From

‘Seamless’ in Post-Roe

Era

Bari Wald kept it simple when asked

about her pregnancy: “We lost the

baby.”

The full diagnosis involved severe

fetal birth defects 19 weeks into

Wald's first pregnancy, a baby she

and her husband desperately wanted

but couldn't imagine bringing into

the world to suffer.

And because the military and its

insurer, Tricare, will not perform or

cover abortions for fetal anomalies,

even lethal conditions, it involved

a terrifying, failed abortion in a

foreign country that almost killed

her.

The two-week wait for definitive

test results was torture, said Wald,

an Air Force reserve officer and

Marine’s wife who at the time was

stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

“I remember feeling my son kick ...

and I didn’t know if I could survive

it,” she said of the uncertainty

during the wait for the test results

and the possibility that her fetus

wasn’t healthy.

By federal law, the military provides

for abortions only in cases of rape,

incest and danger to the mother’s

life.

The Defense Department has paid

for only 91 abortions since 2016,

according to a Defense Health

Agency spokesman.

Now, with abortion bans going into

effect in many states following the

Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v.

Wade, the Pentagon has scrambled

to respond.

“The department is examining this

decision closely and evaluating

our policies to ensure we continue

to provide seamless access to

reproductive health care as

permitted by federal law,” Defense

Secretary Lloyd Austin said June

22.

But Wald and other military women

who told their stories to Stars and

Stripes said it’s disingenuous to call

Defense Department reproductive

health care “seamless.”

They spoke of having to get their

care without military support, even

in cases when intended, longed-for

pregnancies went terribly wrong.

And they said that far from feeling

cared for, they felt abandoned by

the military at their most vulnerable

moments.

"It is the most isolating feeling

in the world," said Kali, an Army

officer's wife who asked that only

her first name be used to protect her

privacy.

Her delight about carrying a child

turned to horror and grief during an

ultrasound in April.

“Someone said the words ‘not

compatible with life,’ “ she said. “I

said, ‘What do you mean? We just

saw her moving!’ ”

Kali's 12-week-old fetus had

anencephaly, meaning major parts

of the brain and skull were missing.

The baby would most likely die in

utero or if delivered would certainly

die soon after being born.

"She wasn't going to make it, and

I thought the longer she stays in,

maybe the more she would develop,

and I didn't want her to suffer," Kali

said.

“And I couldn’t imagine walking

around and people saying, ‘Oh,

when are you due?’ ”

A week later, Kali stepped inside a

clinic in Baltimore alongside some

20 other women seeking abortions.

Her husband, who had written "the

sweetest, saddest letter" to their lost

daughter, waited in the car because

of coronavirus protocols.

Kali and her husband have since

made several donations to the clinic,

whose $950 fee she paid with her

credit card. “They were so, so nice.


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 15

They took such good care of me,”

she said of the clinic staff.

Their grief still runs deep.

"No one expects it will ever happen

to them. If it does, they should have

a choice," she said. "I've always

been pro-choice. But now I'm 12

times more pro-choice."

She said the Supreme Court’s

decision to overturn the landmark

abortion rights ruling made her

angry, sad and scared.

“We live in a blue state now, but

who knows where they’ll send us?”

she said.

In 1976, three years after Roe v.

Wade legalized abortion up to fetal

viability, the Hyde Amendment

banned the use of federal funds for

most abortions in the United States.

For years, the only abortions the

military would facilitate were those

for pregnancies that posed a threat

to the mother's life. Rape and incest

exceptions were added in 2013.

Severe and fatal abnormalities of

the fetus were never covered. For

Wald and her Marine husband, that

led to a nightmarish experience in

Japan.

hospital emergency room diagnosed

her with a lacerated cervix and

blood poisoning and started her on

intravenous antibiotics, she said.

Later that day, doctors decided to

induce labor. Her newborn son

weighed less than 13 ounces, she

said.

"I ended up having a compassionate

birth after being in a situation

nobody wants to be in," she said,

lauding the empathy the Navy

doctors and nurses showed her.

Seven years passed before Wald

could talk about the ordeal with

anyone other than the thousands

of women she found in a private

Facebook group who had undergone

similar tragedies.

Now the mother of two, Wald said

her trauma had broadened her

support for abortion rights.

“It definitely made me more

empathetic to the whole spectrum

of why women get abortions,” she

said. "Now I'm loud and proud.

It's not about me. It's about my

daughter.”

Lauren Bryar said she and her

husband, a Defense Department

civilian, were blindsided several

years ago when they learned at 23

weeks' gestation that the fetus she

was carrying had several genetic

abnormalities that would have

rendered their child profoundly

disabled.

Bryar has multiple sclerosis; her

husband has diabetes. Their son,

then 2 years old, is autistic. They

agonized but they knew they

couldn't care for a child with needs

so great.

“It was never a decision I thought

I’d make or that I wanted to make,”

she said. “I was at a point in my

life where I’d say, ‘Of course I’m

pro-choice, but I would never have

an abortion.’ Now I cringe when I

think of it.”

Tricare wouldn’t pay for the

abortion, but her private insurance

did. The military’s refusal to cover

abortion for fatal fetal abnormalities

has been upheld in at least two

federal court cases.

Federal judges ruled in separate

cases in 2002 that the military was

required to pay for the abortion of

anencephalic fetuses, according

to a 2013 Congressional Research

Service report. Both rulings were

reversed on appeal.

According to the ruling of one of

those appellate courts, the Supreme

Court had decided in a 5-4 ruling

that the right to abortion does not

include "a constitutional entitlement

to the financial resources" necessary

to exercise that right.

Continuing such high-risk

pregnancies can endanger a

woman’s health even more than

an uncomplicated pregnancy in

the U.S., which has a far higher

maternal mortality rate than other

high-income nations, according to

the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention.

Carrying a dying fetus to term

is potentially lethal and can also

severely harm a woman's mental

health, doctors say.

Five states with abortion bans

South Carolina, Louisiana,

Utah, Mississippi and Georgia

allow some exceptions for severe

fetal defects, according to the

Guttmacher Institute, a research

group that supports abortion rights.

Only two abortion-banning states,

Utah and South Carolina, make

exceptions for rape or incest, cases

in which the military has vowed to

provide access.

After amniocentesis tests came

back positive for severe fetal

abnormalities, Wald was handed a

pamphlet for a Japanese hospital.

When they got there, they were

told the procedure would take place

overnight and cost $5,000 cash up

front.

The doctor examined her roughly,

she said, using a glove from his

pocket that reeked of cigarettes. As

the procedure began, the pain was

unbearable and she started bleeding

profusely.

She called her best friend, an

ICU nurse in Arizona, to describe

what was happening. The friend

conferred with an obstetrician then

told her, "You need to leave that

place. It's not safe."

At home early the following

morning, Wald awoke weak with a

105-degree temperature. The Navy


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WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 17

veterans, many who face difficulties in traveling to VA centers outside

the tribal land.

"Today marks a milestone with our partnership with the VA [and] also

our Navajo Nation VA," Nez said.

Last month, Nez's office announced that the Navajo Nation VA met

the criteria and standards to be accredited through the federal VA's

Tribal Representation Expansion Project.

Navajo Nation Authorized

to File Benefit Claims for

Veterans

VA Secretary Denis McDonough recognized the tribal government

program's status during a visit to Gallup on June 28, t he Farmington

Daily Times reported.

"We've been negotiating this with President Nez and his team. They

are the first tribe to take up this new authority," McDonough said.

"I'm thrilled that we can announce that today and as importantly, put

it into action."

He added that this is part of the VA's work to make sure tribal nations

have a seat at the table. This includes having veteran service officers

on tribal lands who can submit veterans' benefits claims to the VA.

McDonough's visit came a day after it was announced that a group of

bipartisan senators ended the review process on recommendations by

the VA to close outpatient clinics in several states, including those in

Gallup, Española, Las Vegas and Raton.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez noted that the accreditation

achieved by the tribal government's VA will greatly help Navajo

There are now five Navajo Nation VA staff members accredited under

the project and who can process federal benefits claims for veterans,

according to a release from Nez's office.

Navajo Nation VA Director James Zwierlein told the Daily Times that

the employees work in the tribe's VA offices in Shiprock, Crownpoint,

Tsé Bonito, Chinle and Tuba City.

A sixth person is being trained to work in the Fort Defiance office, he

added.

The news release stated the staff members have taken in and submitted

83 claims into the federal VA system since May 2.

In remarks at the June 28 event, Zwierlein said these claims were filed

on behalf of Navajo veterans but there are more veterans, including

non-Navajo and non-Native American, in line for claims assistance.

McDonough also participated in a town hall with Nez, U.S. Sen.

Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández,

D-N.M. at the University of New Mexico campus in Gallup.

According to Nez's office, the group heard from veterans, members

of the Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council and state and tribal

leaders about health care, benefits claims and the need for expansive

care for traditional healing and mental health services.


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Thousands of San Diego Military Children on Day Care

Waitlist as Navy Scrambles to Address Need

San Diego Navy officials are scrambling

to alleviate the shortfall of child care

providers for the more than 4,000

military children waiting for spots in

its base day care centers, according to

Navy Region Southwest officials.

Staffing shortages brought on by the

pandemic have impacted a military

child care system that was already

strained before COVID-19 hit,

according to Janet Hooten, the child

and youth program manager at Navy

Region Southwest in San Diego.

Before the pandemic, military families

in San Diego could expect to wait more

than a year to have a child placed in a

Navy Child Development Center for

care, Hooten told the Union-Tribune.

Hooten declined to say how long

military families might wait today

for a spot. She said the tiered-priority

system means not everyone will wait

in the same line. However, she said

any military member up for orders that

could send them to San Diego should

get on the waiting list now.

"We encourage every family to put

their child on the waitlist as soon as you

know you will be leaving (the current

duty station)," Hooten said. "You don't

have to wait until you have orders in

hand."

In 2020, the Navy signed a deal with

Coronado Unified School District to

lease an under-utilized preschool for

Navy child care. While that opened

about 200 spots for kids, it only made a

dent in the waitlist.

Military child care is subsidized by the

Defense Department. There are day

care facilities on military bases as well

as in-home day care providers. But

with spots full, service members have

to seek costlier alternatives elsewhere

and the situation outside the military

system is also strained, according

to a University of San Diego study

published in April.

The military offers a fee assistance

program for these families, but it does

not cover the full cost, Hooten said.

Navy Region Southwest, which also

manages the child care centers on

local Marine bases, is short about 400

providers including the staff needed

for two new centers yet to open at

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Another new center at Naval Base

Point Loma is due to open in 2023, and

increased pay for military child care

workers is part of next year's proposed

Pentagon budget.

In San Diego, the Navy is offering

financial incentives to address its

staffing shortfall. Accreditation fees

for new hires are covered by the Navy,

as are sign-on, referral and retention

bonuses.

The Navy is holding a hiring fair at the

Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley

on Friday, where it will screen, interview

and make offers to candidates for

both its base child care and recreation

centers.

Military families needing assistance

with child care, or to get on the wait

list, can do so at militarychildcare.com.


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 21

Last Remaining

WWII Medal of

Honor Recipient,

Hershel ‘Woody’

Williams, Dies at

98

WASHINGTON The last remaining

Medal of Honor recipient from World

War II, Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, died

Wednesday at the age of 98, according to a

statement by the National Medal of Honor

Museum Foundation.

Williams was a 21-year-old corporal

during the Battle of Iwo Jima when his

“conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity”

on Feb. 23, 1945, earned him the nation’s

highest award for valor in combat,

according to his Medal of Honor citation.

At the time, he was the last demolition

sergeant standing from his unit. With four

riflemen covering him, he singlehandedly

used a flamethrower to destroy seven

enemy pillboxes from which Japanese

troops were firing machine guns, according

to the Pentagon.

"I hope every American will pause to

reflect on his service and that of an entire

generation that sacrificed so much to defend

the cause of freedom and democracy," he

said.

Williams was discharged in 1945 but

stayed in the Marine Corps Reserve

until retiring with 20 years of service,

according to the Pentagon. He spent more

than three decades working as a veterans’

service representative at the Department

of Veterans Affairs.

He also worked to honor the families of

the fallen through his Woody Williams

Foundation, which hosts outreach

programs, awards scholarships and has

helped construct 103 monuments honoring

Gold Star families across all 50 states,

according to the foundation website.

“An American treasure and an

extraordinary man both on and off the

fields of battle, he left an enduring legacy

of service to his country with his many

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initiatives on behalf of veterans and Gold

Star families,” the museum foundation

said. “Woody was truly one of the greatest

of the greats.”

On March 7, 2020, the Navy honored

Williams by commissioning the USS

Hershel Woody Williams, an expeditionary

sea base, in his honor.

With his death, there are now 63 living

Medal of Honor recipients, according to

the museum foundation. However, the

number of recipients will grow to 66 when

President Joe Biden awards Army Spc. 5

Dwight W. Birdwell, Army Spc. 5 Dennis

M. Fujii and Army Maj. John J. Duffy with

Medals of Honor on Tuesday.

Army Staff Sgt. Edward N. Kaneshiro

will also be awarded a Medal of Honor

posthumously at the ceremony next week.


22 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JULY 2022 EDITION

Marine Corps Recruit

Depot Parris Island

Wages Battles, Not

War, Against Climate

Change

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. A gunman on a

rooftop opened fire on an Independence Day

parade in suburban Chicago on Monday,

killing at least six people, wounding at least

30 and sending hundreds of marchers, parents

with strollers and children on bicycles fleeing

in terror, police said.

Authorities said a 22-year-old man named as

a person of interest in the shooting was taken

into police custody Monday evening after an

hourslong manhunt.

The July 4 shooting was just the latest to

shatter the rituals of American life. Schools,

churches, grocery stores and now community

parades have all become killing grounds in

recent months. This time, the bloodshed came

as the nation tried to find cause to celebrate

its founding and the bonds that still hold it

together.

"It is devastating that a celebration of America

was ripped apart by our uniquely American

plague,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a

news conference.

“I’m furious because it does not have to be

this way... while we celebrate the Fourth of

July just once a year, mass shootings have

become a weekly yes, weekly American

tradition."

The shooting occurred at a spot on the parade

route where many residents had staked out

prime viewing points early in the day for the

annual celebration. Dozens of fired bullets sent

hundreds of parade-goers some visibly bloodied fleeing. They

left a trail of abandoned items that showed everyday life suddenly,

violently disrupted: A half-eaten bag of potato chips; a box of chocolate

cookies spilled onto the grass; a child’s Chicago Cubs cap.

“There’s no safe place,” said Highland Park resident Barbara Harte,

73, who had stayed away from the parade fearing a mass shooting, but

later ventured from her home.

Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said a police officer pulled

over 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III about five miles north of the

shooting scene, several hours after police released the man's photo and

an image of his silver Honda Fit, and warned the public that he was

likely armed and dangerous.

Police declined to immediately identify Crimo as a suspect but said

identifying him as a person of interest, sharing his name and other

information publicly was a serious step.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli

said at a news conference “several of the deceased victims” died at the

scene and one was taken to a hospital and died there. Police have not

released details about the victims or wounded.

Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said the five people killed at the

parade were adults, but didn’t have information on the sixth victim

who was taken to a hospital and died there. One of those killed was

a Mexican national, Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director for North

American affairs, said on Twitter Monday. He said two other Mexicans

were wounded.

NorthShore University Health Center received 26 patients after the

attack. All but one had gunshot wounds, said Dr. Brigham Temple,

medical director of emergency preparedness. Their ages ranged from 8


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 23

to 85, and Temple estimated that four or five

patients were children.

Temple said 19 of them were treated and

discharged. Others were transferred to

other hospitals, while two patients, in stable

condition, remained at the Highland Park

hospital.

The shooter opened fire around 10:15 a.m.,

when the parade was about three-quarters

through, authorities said.

Highland Park Police Commander Chris

O’Neill, the incident commander on scene,

said the gunman apparently used a “highpowered

rifle” to fire from a spot atop a

commercial building where he was “very

difficult to see.” He said the rifle was

recovered at the scene. Police also found a

ladder attached to the building.

“Very random, very intentional and a very

sad day,” Covelli said.

President Joe Biden on Monday said he and

first lady Jill Biden were “shocked by the

senseless gun violence that has yet again

brought grief to an American community

on this Independence Day.” He said he had

“surged Federal law enforcement to assist in

the urgent search for the shooter, who remains

at large at this time.”

Biden signed the widest-ranging gun

violence bill passed by Congress in decades,

a compromise that showed at once both

progress on a long-intractable issue and the

deep-seated partisan divide that persists.

Police believe there was only one shooter

but warned that he should still be considered

armed and dangerous. Several nearby cities

canceled events including parades and

fireworks, some of them noting that the

Highland Park shooter was still at large.

Evanston, Deerfield, Skokie, Waukegan and

Glencoe canceled events. The Chicago White

Sox also announced on Twitter that a planned

post-game fireworks show is canceled due to

the shooting.

More than 100 law enforcement officers were

called to the parade scene or dispatched to

find the suspected shooter.

More than a dozen police officers on Monday

evening surrounded a home listed as an

address for Crimo in Highland Park. Some

officers held rifles as they fixed their eyes on


24 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JULY 2022 EDITION

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WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 25

the home. A large armored

truck, marked “Police

Rescue Vehicle,” occupied

the middle of the road

near the residence. Police

blockaded roads leading

to the home in a tree-lined

neighborhood near a golf

course, allowing only

select law enforcement

cars through a tight outer

perimeter.

Highland Park is a closeknit

community of about

30,000 people located on

the shores of Lake Michigan

just north of Chicago, with

mansions and sprawling

lakeside estates that

have long drawn the rich

and sometimes famous,

including NBA legend

Michael Jordan, who lived

in the city for years when

he played for the Chicago

Bulls. John Hughes filmed

parts of several movies in

the city, including “Ferris

Bueller’s Day Off,”

“Sixteen Candles” and

“Weird Science.”

Pritzker, a Democrat,

promised support for the

community as well as to

bring gunman to justice.

“There are no words for the

kind of evil that shows up

at a public celebration of

freedom, hides on a roof

and shoots innocent people

with an assault rifle,”

Pritzker said.

Ominous signs of a joyous

event suddenly turned to

horror filled both sides of

Central Avenue where the

shooting occurred. Dozens

of baby strollers some

bearing American flags,

abandoned children’s bikes

and a helmet bedecked with

images of Cinderella were

left behind. Blankets, lawn

chairs, coffees and water

bottles were knocked over

as people fled.

Gina Troiani and her son

were lined up with his

daycare class ready to walk

onto the parade route when

she heard a loud sound that

she believed was fireworks

until she heard people

yell about a shooter. In a

video that Troiani shot on

her phone, some of the

kids are visibly startled at

the loud noise, and they

scramble to the side of the

road as a siren wails nearby.

“We just start running in

the opposite direction,” she

told The Associated Press.

Her 5-year-old son was

riding his bike decorated

with red and blue curled

ribbons. He and other

children in the group held

small American flags. The

city said on its website

that the festivities were to

include a children’s bike

and pet parade.

Troiani said she pushed her

son’s bike, running through

the neighborhood to get

back to their car.

"It was just sort of chaos,”

she said. “There were

people that got separated

from their families,

looking for them. Others

just dropped their wagons,

grabbed their kids and

started running.”

Debbie Glickman, a

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said she was on a parade

float with coworkers and

the group was preparing

to turn onto the main route

when she saw people

running from the area.

“People started saying:

‘There’s a shooter, there’s a

shooter, there's a shooter,’”

Glickman told the AP. “So

we just ran. We just ran.

It’s like mass chaos down

there.”

She didn’t hear any noises

or see anyone who appeared

to be injured.

“I’m so freaked out,” she

said. “It’s just so sad.”

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28 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JULY 2022 EDITION

relaxed restrictions in time for the

summer tourist season.

On Tuesday, the Italian Health

Ministry reported 69 deaths and

83,555 new infections, the highest

daily number of new infections since

April 20, according to the ministry

website.

US Bases in Europe Await Imminent

Arrival of COVID-19 Shots for Kids

Under 5

NAPLES, Italy U.S. military

hospitals in Europe are gearing up to

vaccinate babies and young children

against COVID-19 as the number

of infections caused by subvariants

continues to rise across Europe.

Doses of the vaccine for children

under 5 will be shipped to Air Force,

Army and Navy installations in

Europe starting Friday, according to

the Defense Logistics Agency.

The order consists of 4,000 doses of

the Pfizer shot and 4,600 doses of the

Moderna vaccine. It will be shipped

by commercial air, meaning most

locations will see the arrival of the

vaccines three or four days later, a

DLA spokeswoman told Stars and

Stripes.

The federal Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention earlier this

month cleared the way for vaccination

for those ages 6 months to 5 years

old, and in the U.S. inoculations for

that age group are already underway.

The Defense Health Agency, which

oversees military medical facilities,

couldn’t provide a specific time

frame for administration of the shots

for eligible children. But it said all

Defense Department sites had placed

pre-orders for the Moderna or Pfizer

pediatric vaccine or both.

Navy bases in Italy and Spain all

said in recent days that they expected

to receive the shots soon and would

post notifications on their Facebook

pages when they are available.

But Naval Support Activity Souda

Bay in Crete, which is dependentrestricted,

said parents who want

eligible children to get the vaccine

should call the base clinic by July

6 so it can determine how much to

order.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Army,

which serves the largest U.S. military

population on the Continent, expects

its allotment to arrive in early July,

said Gino Mattorano, spokesman for

Regional Health Command Europe.

Air Force families assigned to

Ramstein Air Base in Germany

are being directed to the Army’s

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

for the under-5 vaccine, a base

spokeswoman said last week.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 infection

rates and, in some cases,

hospitalizations and intensive care

admissions, are rising as health

officials grapple with the latest wave

of the virus after much of Europe

The percentage of ICU beds filled

with COVID-19 patients in Italy also

had risen to 3%, up one percentage

point in 24 hours but well below the

alert level of 10%, the Italian news

agency Ansa reported Tuesday.

In the last week, hospital admissions

related to COVID-19 grew by

17.7%, Ansa reported Wednesday,

citing an Italian Federation of Health

and Hospital Companies report.

Admissions in pediatric wards grew

by 13.3%, especially in very young

children ages 0-4, according to the

report.

Earlier this month, Italy extended

its mask mandate for most public

transportation until Sept. 30.

Airplane passengers are not subject

to the mandate.

Germany and Greece also are

reporting an increase in cases.

Greek officials are thinking about

reinstating COVID-19 restrictions in

the fall, the online news agency The

Greek Reporter said Tuesday.

European Union countries agreed

Tuesday to extend use of a

COVID-19 certificate designed to

ease travel between member nations

until next year, as governments

rethink COVID-19 strategies, The

Associated Press reported Tuesday.

For example, France’s health

minister, Brigitte Bourguignon,

recommended this week that people

wear face masks in crowded places

and on public transportation,

according to the AP report.

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