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Tim McGraw Awarded the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion for His Support of the Military and Veterans Community

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Tim Mcgraw, you never fail to put a smile on our faces, especially now during these exceedingly challenging times. Off the top of our heads, we recall how the country star has comforted us with his poignant commencement speech for this year’s graduates this past May. Then, in July, he surprised health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis by dropping in on their video meeting. In August, he performed at a virtual St. Jude festival alongside other country music greats like Keith Urban.

Whether we hear it in his music or see it in his sweet relationship with wife Faith Hill, it’s clear McGraw has a very big heart. Now, the country singer is wowing us again, this time with his dedication to helping the veterans community. As we learned from SoundsLikeNashville.com, McGraw is being honored with the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion Award by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. The award will be presented to McGraw at the foundation’s Heroes and History Makers virtual event on October 20, at 8 p.m. ET, which will be hosted by Senators Elizabeth and Bob Dole and also include appearances by Tom Hanks, Darius Rucker, and Savannah Guthrie, among other notable celebrities.

Having lost his own father to brain cancer, McGraw acts as the Honorary Chair of the Tug McGraw Foundation, which provides help to those with brain conditions, coming to the aid of many veterans and their caregivers through their work. “We are thrilled to honor Tim McGraw this year. He understands from both his personal experiences, and his support of other caregivers, exactly what our military and veteran caregivers go through on a daily basis,” said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in a statement posted on SoundsLikeNashville.com. “Inspired by what he learned from caring for his father, Tim has used his platform as one of our nation’s top entertainers to help the military community find resources for invisible injuries. This continues to be a critical need for caregivers, and an important component of our work at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.”

Previous recipients of the award are the award’s namesake, Tom Hanks himself, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. If you’d like to learn more or sign up for the event, click here.

WATCH: Alabama Man Who Mows Lawns for the Elderly and Veterans, Now Delivering Free Meals Too

Alabama Man Who Mows Lawns for the Elderly and Veterans, Now Delivering Free Meals Too

“I’m just mowing and doing what I love to do best: helping others.”

Congratulations on another amazing achievement, Mr.McGraw. Both on the music charts and off, it’s clear you’re an incredible person.

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Colorado Springs dentist provides free services to veterans

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — SmileCOS Dentistry is giving veterans their smiles back through the gift of free, same-day dental work.

In honor of “Freedom Day,” which is a nationwide effort by dentists to give back to the veteran community, SmileCOS is providing each veteran with up to an hour and a half of free dental work each. Procedures range from fillings to extractions.

All staff at SmileCos is working for free for the day, and they’re planning on seeing around 20 veterans Thursday, providing tens of thousands of dollars worth of services.

Dr. Andrew Miller with SmileCOS says many of the vets he’s treated today don’t have access to proper healthcare.

“We want to show them through action we appreciate their service,” says Miller. “Rather than just saying, ‘We appreciate your service.'”

Danielle Staiger, who served in the Air Force for 20 years, says events like this are invaluable to the veteran community.

Though she didn’t serve with the intention of seeking praise, she says it feels nice to be recognized.

“Doing dental work is very expensive, and having where I can come in and get a free day, it feels really nice,” says Staiger. “I felt like I was appreciated for serving my country for 20-plus years.”

Dr. Francisco Darquea, a dentist a SmileCOS, says the practice wouldn’t exist without the sacrifices made by U.S. veterans.

“We are really grateful to provide services for veterans,” says Darquea. “Without them, we would not have the freedom we have now. ”

Find a full list of businesses participating in Freedom Day here.

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Study: Veterans with acupuncture before surgery have less pain

Oct. 5 (UPI) — Veterans who have acupuncture before surgery reported less need for opioids for pain, a pilot study presented Monday at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2020 meeting shows.

“Six percent of patients given opioids after surgery become dependent on them, and veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental overdoses than civilians,” said study lead author Dr. Brinda Krish,.

“Clearly it is crucial to have multiple options for treating pain, and acupuncture is an excellent alternative. It is safe, cost effective and it works,” said Krish, an anesthesiology resident at Detroit Medical Center.

Researchers analyzed two groups of patients treated at John D. VA Medical Center in Detroit. The study’s principal investigator, physician anesthesiologist Dr. Padmavathi Patel, provided the acupuncture.

The first group included 21 patients who had traditional acupuncture, which involves the insertion of very thin needles at specific trigger points around the body to relieve pain, and 21 patients who did not.

The second group included 28 patients who received battlefield acupuncture, which a U.S. Air Force doctor developed to reduce pain without use of opioids on the front lines, and 36 patients in control group.

In both acupuncture groups, veterans reported significant reduction in post-operative pain and post-operative opioid use compared to control patients undergoing surgery without acupuncture.

“Some patients were open to trying acupuncture right away, and others became more interested when they learned more about the risk of opioid use,” Krish said.

“It’s easy, patients love it, it’s not just another medicine and it’s very safe. Because battlefield acupuncture was developed by an armed services doctor, veterans also were more willing to participate.”

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Local dentist practice offering free dental work to military and veterans on Freedom Day

MADISON, Ala. – This Thursday is National Freedom Day, where businesses offer their services to military personnel and veterans for free as a “Thank you for your service.”

Divine Expressions Family Dentistry in Madison is offering free dental services for veterans all day Thursday.

They ask that you call to make an appointment in advance by calling 256-837-1200.

Doctor Laurentis Barnett says this is the fourth year they have participated, and it’s their way to say “thank you.”

“What they live with PTSD and all the things that they go through, the emotional health that they need is often forgotten. So when I go in with an exam with any patient, I don’t just work on their teeth. You know I do a health check, to make sure they’re doing ok mentally physically emotionally, and spiritually. It’s about working on the total patient so with the veterans, it’s making sure we remember their mental physical spiritual, and their dental health as well

He says in past years they’ve seen many veterans who really needed the care, and hope that those who need it will come again on Thursday.

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Pairing service dogs with disabled veterans is goal of fitness challenge event this month | Local News

Hi! My name is Zero Suit Samus (or Samus for short), and I’m an energetic pitbull mix who needs some love. And I really mean that. I need a family who will cuddle with me because your penalty for not giving me cuddles is to hear the cry of my people. My foster dad says that based on my crying, I must have descended from pterodactyls, but that’s silly because pterodactyls don’t even like peanut butter. And I looove peanut butter. And treats. And strawberries. And watermelon. And anything, really. Honestly kid, if you give me your salad, I’ll eat it. Don’t want your broccoli? I’ll take care of your problem. See that toy? It’s in my stomach now. See that puke? Well, you can have your toy back.

Like all superdogs, I have an origin story: I ran across the highway and caused a 4-car pileup that I ended up underneath. It wasn’t my best choice, but it’s still a better love story than “Twilight.” I have to take daily medication now, or else I have pretty severe seizures. But I like to think of my epilepsy as my unbridled superpower that the world just isn’t ready for yet.

I’m a Tulsa native, but I’m still not a fan of the Bermuda grass around here – I get allergies in the summer, so that’s something you should know. Despite this, I still love running and rolling in the grass, and if you toss me a ball, I can jump and catch it in mid-air even when it’s 6-feet high. I’m not exaggerating. (Pterodactyl dogs never exaggerate.) And would you mind spraying me with a hose once in a while? I love playing in water, especially when it’s coming out of a tiny hose at jet-like speeds.

But if you have another dog in the home, then forget about it because I’m a single-dog dog. A lone wolf. A rebel. I will not share my toys, I will not share my food, and I will not share my family. I do just fine around other dogs in general, but once you introduce toys or food, then I get very territorial. Can we agree that I’ll be your only one?

By the way, I love kids. I don’t have these problems with other humans, so don’t worry about bringing me home to your young ones. I am loyal to the bone. Don’t believe me? Try going for a jog with me. I will keep pace with you the entire time, just running by your hip. Need me to lick the sweat off your face after an especially hot run? Baby, that’s what I’m about. I’m a good dog. My foster family says so, too. I will take care of you if you let me. I’m eager to learn, I don’t catch coronaviruses, and I’m housebroken. I won’t poop in your Cheerios. Unless that’s one of your commands, but why would it be? Don’t want your Cheerios? Just let me have them

New Jersey Veterans Homes Likely Failed to Acknowledge Covid-19 as Cause in Dozens of Deaths, Officials Say

A state-run nursing home for veterans in New Jersey failed to attribute nearly 40% of its likely Covid-19 deaths to the virus, according to the state’s own Department of Health.

The Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home, in Edison, N.J., attributed 62 deaths to the new coronavirus on the website of the state’s veterans’ affairs agency. But a Department of Health spokeswoman, Nancy Kearney, said late Wednesday that an additional 39 people probably died from the virus at the facility during a wave of infections there.

Another state-run veterans home, in Paramus, N.J., also likely had more Covid-19 deaths than the total it attributed to the virus, Ms. Kearney said. The likely undercount at the two facilities, among the deadliest in the state for the virus, was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The findings show how publicly reported nursing home mortality figures can fail to reflect the true toll the pandemic has taken on the facilities, which are home to some of the most virus-vulnerable people in the country.

A spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Kryn Westhoven, in a statement released Wednesday, said his agency “mourns each and every veteran that passes away in our Memorial homes…. Much like other long-term care facilities across the state and country, Covid-19 created unprecedented circumstances and demands within our veterans memorial homes. During this time, all deaths were reported to the Department of Health.”

The New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus, another state-run home for former members of the U.S. military, originally reported 81 Covid-19 deaths.



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The two state-run nursing homes have faced a barrage of criticism from families of deceased residents. The Paramus facility, which initially reported more deaths, has in particular come under fire.

In the early days of the pandemic, testing wasn’t widely available to residents at many facilities. A large number of deaths at Menlo in April, the peak of that facility’s outbreak, were attributed to other causes, such as pneumonia, even as the death toll soared above usual levels.

The Paramus facility reported 81 deaths linked to Covid-19. The health department’s Ms. Kearney said an additional eight patients at that facility probably died from the virus.

The state counted as probable deaths those that weren’t clearly explained by another cause where patients had Covid-19 symptoms, or autopsies found signs of Covid-19, Ms. Kearney said in an email, as well as some other types of deaths.

Veterans agency records viewed by the Journal show nearly 100 people died at the Menlo facility in April alone. That’s about as many as the facility typically loses in a year, historical records show.

Mr. Westhoven also said in an earlier interview that the department only counted deaths when a death certificate expressly listed Covid-19 as the cause. That accounting missed some cases where residents tested positive but still didn’t have Covid-19 listed on their death certificates.

William Hefele, a Navy veteran and Menlo resident, was hospitalized in early April