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America’s Defend Freedom Tour Coming to Tampa July 31

Concerned Veterans for America’s Defend Freedom Tour is coming to TPepin’s Hospitality Centre in Tampa on Friday, July 31st, from 6:009:00 p.m.

CVA will rally support for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care reform—among other pressing issues affecting veterans, members of the military, and their families—at this event.

It’s been a little over a year since news broke that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals across the country put veterans on secret waiting lists to give the appearance of access to timely medical care. While VA administrators pocketed bonuses for fudging the numbers, veterans faced excessive wait times and in some cases even died while waiting for an appointment. However, the issues with the VA do not end there.

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U.S. veterans face radically different waits for benefits depending on where they live. An interactive map created by The Center for Investigative Reporting has tracked that phenomenon for the last three years. Credit: Shane Shifflet for Reveal.

To view the interactive map click here.

A little over a month ago, The James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa was pointed out as having a major pest control problem. An infestation of rats, rodents, roaches, and feces were found in their facilities. Employees knew about the infestation problem, which included kitchen and food service areas. Shockingly, the Infection Prevention Coordinator was more concerned with ending up on the news for these problems than risking patient safety.

“It is shocking and quite frankly it is disgusting that we are allowing VA hospitals to remain open while rats, rodents, and cockroaches infest their facilities,” said CVA Military Advisor and Navy SEAL Veteran Jason Redman.  “These men and women fought for our great country and risked their lives time and time again only to come home to second class treatment.  Fundamental changes and reforms need to happen at VA hospitals across the nation, but they need to start right here in Tampa.”

Through the Defend Freedom Tour, CVA is bringing together veterans, military families, and patriotic Americans to preserve the freedom and prosperity that we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend.

Event Information

Admission to the Tampa Defend Freedom Tour is FREE and includes a complimentary barbecue dinner.

This event features an amazing lineup of inspirational speakers: Gold Star Mother Karen Vaughn; decorated Army Ranger and New York Times best-selling author Sean Parnell; Green Beret and Stability Institute Founder Scott Mann; and Navy SEAL and author Lieutenant Jason RedmanMadison Rising, the nation’s most patriotic rock band, and Ayla Brown, country music performer, will perform live.

Register on Eventbrite. For more information, go to www.DefendFreedomTour.com.

RELATED ARTICLE: VA struggling with promise to end long benefits waits this year

Hidden Camera: Veterans Administration ‘Turning Veterans into Drug Addicts’

Project Veritas caught on hidden camera, Deputy Veterans Administration Chief of Patient Services (for the entire VA) Maureen McCarthy, MD, said many of our military veterans “have drug problems, some of which are caused by us and our prescribing.”

In the undercover video, she admitted that the combination of “opiates, like morphine and benzodiazepine like Ativan and Klonopin” are like “candy” for a lot of veterans, “it’s like they want it, they want it, they want it.”

“He had a ten foot step ladder and a rope,” says Bob Cranmer, the father of a Marine Iraq veteran named David who recently took his own life. “And for some reason decided to hang himself.”

On average each day, twenty-two U.S. veterans take their own life. In David’s case, he waited over a year to be seen by the VA, and when they did eventually see him, they prescribed him a combination of opiates and psycho-pharmaceuticals very similar to the ones described by Dr. McCarthy in the undercover video. When you watch the video above/on the right, you will see one VA official after another saying what Nurse-Anesthetist Joe Salmon admitted: “The VA does push pills.”

“In my opinion, they are creating drug addicts,” opined a senior volunteer at a New York Veterans Administration facility.

A VA facility in Wisconsin is under heavy fire for patient deaths due to over medication. This video illustrates that the over-medication problem extends to facilities in Pittsburgh, Little Rock, Buffalo, Minneapolis and the DC area. As an institution, the VA is far too eager to simply write prescription after prescription and quickly move on to the next patient, instead of dealing with the actual problems veterans face on a daily basis.

Bob Cranmer blames his son’s suicide on the VA. So do a lot of VA staffers, when caught on undercover video. Watch it here to find out why.

Our veterans deserve better!

HOLLYWOOD BEWARE: The Article 15 Crew is Making a Movie by Mat, JT, Rocco, Cody, Brad, and Zach

Range 15 was spawned from the veterans that make up Ranger Up and Article 15, the two largest military lifestyle brands on the planet.  For years, we’ve given you badass clothing and videos, but last October, while sitting in a bar and drinking an inappropriate amount of alcohol, we decided to join forces and make the greatest movie ever.  Then we sobered up and realized we didn’t really know how to make a movie.  Then we got drunk again and realized that God hates a coward.

Knowing we needed a director good enough to make our vision a reality and crazy enough to read our script and not call the authorities, we broke into Ross Patterson’s house in the middle of the night and flashbanged his bedroom.  When the smoke cleared, he was in sitting in his smoking jacket wearing an eye patch, pipe in hand.  “I’ll make your movie,” he said.  “But first, you’ll have to dance for me.” We promised we’d never talk about what happened next.

We’re making the military movie you’ve always wanted someone to make: relentless ball busting, guns, explosions, hot chicks, booze, and more guns. We will not dramatically salute each other.  We will kill lots of shit, all while using our weapons correctly.  Again, there will be hot chicks.  Mat will probably sleep with all of them.  And I mean that both in the movie and in real life.  Seriously, that guy has a real problem. Tim Kennedy may or may not be oiled up in a loin cloth.

So who are we?

If you already support us, then you know us as the jackasses willing to do pretty much anything for your amusement.  If you don’t, we’re nine veterans who got out of the military and believe in the American Dream that anything is possible if you work your ass off. Six of us are regular dudes that served in the infantry and special operations.  One of us (Tim Kennedy) fights in the UFC.  Two of us (Dakota Meyer and Leroy Petry) were awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary valor.  They also make a fine quiche.

What’s the money going to do?

It’s going to make the best movie possible.  That’s what.

Hollywood wants our movie.  They want to take it, castrate the script, cast a boy band to play us, and then spend two miserable hours hashing out how war is hell.

Fuck that.

Let’s do this our way, blow some shit up, and make the best military movie ever.

We’ve personally pushed all in on this.  We aren’t wealthy people, but we’ve sunk every dime we can sink into this movie, and this is by far the biggest project any of us have ever taken on.  We can’t finish this, and give Hollywood the middle finger, without you.

If we raise $325k we can make this movie, and that will be awesome.

If we can raise more, though, we can chase our dream of having Carl Weathers charging forward on a white stallion against the enemy horde, or James Van Der Beek playing Russian Roulette Double Dutch, or really anything that involves either Kate Upton, Emma Stone, or Mila Kunis.  Anything.  Seriously, ladies.  Call us.

Bottom Line: The more we raise, the more badass your movie becomes.

  1. Bigger explosions.
  2. Crazy special effects.
  3. Non-stop Act of Valor style knee slide shooting.
  4. Forget about 3.  That’s not happening.
  5. Hot chicks.
  6. Even bigger explosions.
  7. More badass celebrity cameos.
  8. Viper semen.
  9. Did we mention hot chicks?

It’s a Perk-gasm.

Ranger Up and Article 15 exist because you allow us to with your support.  Range 15 is no different.  And we want to reward the people that support us with amazing perks that no one else will ever get!

  • Exclusive Content – everyone that contributes to this movie is going to get access to a secret Facebook group where we will post behind the scenes photos, videos, and updates.  We’ll even hold livestreams from time to time so we can interact with you guys.
  • Exclusive Gear – We’re going to launch posters, shirts, and even a challenge coin in this campaign that will NEVER be seen again.  And if you want the ultimate collector’s item, we’ll even sign them for you!
  • See it before anyone else – Get one of the movie perks (either digital or DVD) and you’ll see this thing before it hits theatres, Netflix, Hulu or your mom.  And if you want to know what the hell happens before it even comes out, we’ll send you a digital download of the script, or even a printed signed copy of the script itself!
  • Not content with being a Voyeur?  Push all in. – Yeah, it’s nice to be a part of it from a distance, but you need more than that.  Get a special thanks in the film credits, be an extra in the film, or even be listed as a producer of the film.  If even that is not enough, we have the “Second Best Package” where you will literally play Mat Best for a scene in the movie, or the Big Dick Playa (or Playerette) Dan Bilzerian Package where you will ride in on a white horse, save the crew, deliver a poignant speech, and ride off into the sunset at a key point in the film.

Can’t Contribute Right Now?  You can still help!

Look, we get it.  Sometimes your ammunition and whiskey budget has to take priority over your make the greatest movie ever made budget.  Help us out by sharing our campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.  Hell, do it on MySpace if you want.  Justin Timberlake might see it.

Bottom line, anything you can do is really appreciated!  We need all the help we can get.

We do not cover travel and accommodations for any package but “Second Best” and “Big Dick Playa Role”

Are you a company that wants to get involved?

Write nick@rangerup.com to hear about how to join the amazing companies above in our film!

Florida veterans hit with massive property insurance rate increase on Veterans Day

Many of Florida’s 1.6 million veterans have their property insurance with United Services Automobile Association (USAA). USAA’s membership base is primarily active duty military, military retirees, veterans and their families. Over the Veterans Day weekend policyholders received their new USAA policies. Florida’s veterans were shocked that, for a second year in a row, they are being hit with a massive increase in property insurance rates. Most of Florida’s veterans are on a fixed income.

Senior Chief Geoff Ross USN (Ret.) from Navarre, Florida in an email to WDW – FL writes, “Today your friendly Senior Chief got into a pissing contest with his homeowners insurance company USAA. They just can’t stop jacking up my rates this time almost doubling my policy. So in my polite and cordial tone I called them up and politely told them where to shove their new rate. The lady actually was very nice and tried very hard not to lose me as a customer after 14 years with this company.”

A Sarasota County veteran who has been a member of USAA for thirty-nine years, saw the property insurance on his modest home go up $741.95. According to his USAA policy, “Of this amount, $693.26 is due to a rate increase, and $48.69 is due to other changes initiated by you or us.” Nothing changed on his home in 2013, which was built in 1990, and he changed nothing on his policy other than increase his deductibles in 2012 to reduce his premium. He raised his risk to keep his costs down, as he is on a fixed income.

WDW – FL contributor Ruth Roman wrote, “Flood insurance premiums for Floridians are expected to rise sharply as the result of new rate hikes which have gone into effect October 1, 2013.  ‘They are not aware of what is about to hit them,’ said Pattit Latshaw of St. Petersburg-based Wright National Flood Insurance Co., the largest underwriter of federal flood insurance in the U.S. The repercussions of these hikes will be devastating for homeowners and small businesses alike.”

When the Sarasota veteran contacted USAA about why the dramatic and costly increase he was referred to paragraph 6 of his policy which states in bold letters, “IN RESPONSE TO FLORIDA LEGISLATION SB1486, LAW AND ORDINANCE COVERAGE IS AN IMPORTANT COVERAGE THAT YOU MAY WISH TO PURCHASE. YOU MAY ALSO NEED TO CONSIDER THE PURCHASE OF FLOOD INSURANCE FROM THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM. WITHOUT THIS COVERAGE, YOU MAY HAVE UNCOVERED LOSSES. PLEASE DISCUSS THESE COVERAGES WITH YOUR INSURANCE AGENT.”

The Sarasota veteran’s USAA policy also states in paragraph 9, “Your policy does NOT cover loss due to flood from any source. For information about obtaining flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), call USAA at (800) 531-8722, or contact the NFIP directly.”

The NFIP website states, “In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the NFIP is run. As the law is implemented, some of these changes have already occurred, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some – but not all — policyholders over time.”

Florida is hardest hit as it is both flood and hurricane prone. The Sarasota veterans home is not in, but is near, a floodplain. The Sarasota, Florida veteran also noted that his property insurance policy includes coverage for: Volcanic Eruption; Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet; Explosion; Riot or Civil Commotion; and Aircraft.

If the Sarasota veteran’s home is not in a flood plain then what caused such a dramatic increase in his annual property insurance premium? Answer: Surcharges.

His USAA policy statement under “surcharges” lists the following:

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FUND $2.00
FL HURRICANE CATASTROPHE FUND (FHCF) PREMIUM RECOUPMENT $276.45
FL HURRICANE CATASTROPHE EMERGENCY ASSESSMENT $48.51
CITIZENS EMERGENCY ASSESSMENT $37.32
FL INSURANCE GUARANTY ASSOCIATION RECOUPMENT $22.12

Total – $386.40

Chief Ross noted something else strange when talking with his USAA insurance agent.

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Chief Ross’ Koi fish pond. For a larger view click on the image.

“Well what was interesting was this fact. I put in a Koi fish pond a few years ago in my backyard. Its pretty cool and it has fed many Blue Herons in the past that swoop in and steal my aquatic buddies. But check this out. The lady on the phone said I have a beautiful house and my back yard is lovely with a lovely pond. Let me tell you boys and girls I did not tell my insurance company I put in a Koi pond. There is only one way you can see this feature due to my location and that is from the air,” notes Ross.

Ross concludes, “Using my superior skills of decisive intellect and previous life hanging out with CIA operators I conclude these people took aerial pictures of my house to see if I am adding improvements, pool, etc.I am so isolated out here surrounded by trees etc. the only way to see in my back is from above. I asked the lady how did she know I have a fish pond in my backyard and she did not reply. I could here her shuffling the pictures of my home around in her hand. Boys and girls if you have homeowners insurance with USAA and you put in a swimming pool or add on a new room they will know about it…… look above you for the satellite taking pictures. Skinny dippers beware.”

So veterans across Florida are faced with either paying the higher premiums, taking on more risk to reduce their property insurance rate or cancelling their USAA policy. Happy Veterans Day 2013!