Saturday, April 21, 2018
Military News

VA calendar lists wrong date for Independence Day

Attention, veterans: Ignore your 2014 Department of Veterans Affairs calendar.

Independence Day does not fall on July 3 this year.

About 357,000 VA calendars given to veterans across most of Florida, southern Georgia and Puerto Rico mistakenly label Thursday, July 3, as Independence Day and remind veterans that VA outpatient clinics are closed today for the holiday.

Apologies to the Founding Fathers. The Fourth of July still falls on July 4. So VA clinics actually will be closed Friday, not today.

A VA spokeswoman said the error was not noticed by agency proofreaders before the calendar went to the printer in late 2013, and regional VA officials decided to distribute the calendars rather than reprint them at great cost.

The calendar contains monthly "wellness messages" for veterans on maintaining good health.

"I don't know who made the mistake," Mary Kay Hollings­worth, a VA regional spokeswoman in Florida, said Wednesday. "We had a number of different people look at it. But we were focused on the wellness messages. It was an honest mistake."

The president of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine in Farmington Hills, Mich., which produced the calendar under a $210,000 contract for the VA, said he was unaware of the error until the Tampa Bay Times told him about it.

The president, Don Powell, said any printing error was ultimately his responsibility, even if VA proofreaders missed it.

"I am the president of the company, and I obviously take responsibility for everything we do," Powell said. "I feel somewhat red-faced about it."

Powell later called back the Times and said the institute had spotted the mistake before the calendar was printed. But he said the company that was hired by the institute to print the calendar failed to fix the error.

Powell said he did not know the name of the printer.

The institute's contract with the VA includes the printing of an annual report for regional VA leaders and a quarterly wellness magazine for veterans. The cost of just the calendar, which contains monthly tips for veterans on maintaining good health, was not immediately available.

Powell said he would have ordered a reprint of the calendar at no extra cost to the VA had the agency asked, but it didn't.

Of all the federal holidays to get wrong in a calendar for veterans, a patriotic holiday is one to avoid, said Dan Cruser, 66, of New Port Richey.

Cruser said he picked up a copy of the calendar at the VA's New Port Richey clinic and quickly noticed the error while waiting for an appointment.

"That's kind of an embarrassment," he said. "When I saw it, I thought, 'Who's the … idiot who did this?' "

The calendar has all of the other holidays correct. Christmas still falls on Dec. 25.

Contact William R. Levesque at [email protected] or (813) 226-3432. Follow @WilliamRLevesqu.

 
Comments
Howard Altman: Tampa company analyzed strike on Syrian facilities

Howard Altman: Tampa company analyzed strike on Syrian facilities

After President Donald Trump announced the U.S., France and England had carried out attacks on three Syrian chemical weapons centers, a Tampa company began its own analysis of the bomb damage.The analysis, by geospatial intelligence firm Radiant Solu...
Published: 04/20/18
Howard Altman: Air Force turns to original Phillie Phanatic to develop mascot

Howard Altman: Air Force turns to original Phillie Phanatic to develop mascot

Air Mobility Command, the Air Force headquarters overseeing MacDill Air Force Base, wants to develop its own mascot to help interest children in a career with the flying branch. And they are turning to the original Phillie Phanatic, David Raymond, fo...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18
Trump says U.S. to decide on response to ‘atrocious’ Syria chemical attack in 24 to 48 hours

Trump says U.S. to decide on response to ‘atrocious’ Syria chemical attack in 24 to 48 hours

Washington PostWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that his administration would be making "major decisions" about its response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria within the next 24 to 48 hours, decrying the action as "atrocious" and...
Published: 04/09/18

North Korea tells US that Kim Jong Un ready to discuss nukes

Associated PressWASHINGTON — North Korea’s government has communicated with the United States to say that leader Kim Jong Un is ready to discuss his nuclear weapons program with President Donald Trump, officials said Sunday, increasing the likelihood...
Published: 04/08/18
Air Force pilot killed in Iraq helicopter crash honored at Tampa funeral

Air Force pilot killed in Iraq helicopter crash honored at Tampa funeral

TAMPA — Air Force Capt. Andreas O’Keeffe was the kind of guy who lived to help others, which is why he was in the co-pilot seat aboard an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter when it took off March 15 from a base in western Iraq.A graduate of Tampa Bay Technic...
Updated one month ago

4 Marines killed in helicopter crash in California

LOS ANGELES — Four Marines were killed when their helicopter crashed while they were practicing desert landings in Southern California, the Miramar air station in San Diego said Wednesday. The Marines took off from a ground-combat center in the city ...
Updated one month ago
Howard Altman: Syrian pullout creates concerns

Howard Altman: Syrian pullout creates concerns

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace on Tuesday, Army Gen. Joseph Votel did not sound like a guy who was planning on pulling American forces out of Syria."We are in Syria to fight ISIS," Votel said about the Sunni jihadi group. "That is our missio...
Updated one month ago
Haley VA director personally presents clinic plans to Sun City Center

Haley VA director personally presents clinic plans to Sun City Center

SUN CITY CENTER — Blanche Sullivan was undeniably impressed.Joe Battle, director of the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics, took time out of his busy schedule to drive to Sun City Center and personally facilitate the March 30 town hall mee...
Updated one month ago
International commandos to show off capabilities in Tampa again in May

International commandos to show off capabilities in Tampa again in May

Be afraid Mayor Buckhorn.Be very afraid.The bad guys might be after you again.You know the ones. They show up every other year in Tampa and capture you, only to see you rescued by a cadre of international commandos swooping in on helicopters, inflata...
Updated one month ago
For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?

For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?

JACKSONVILLE BEACH — Adam Fuller credits a simple, one-word command — and a black Lab mix named J.D. — for helping to save his life. "Cover," he tells J.D., who is sitting to his left in a grassy field next to a park playground. The dog calmly walks ...
Updated one month ago