NATEODA NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2022

NATEODA_Emblemv2_FINAL

Vice Commander Woodward (Woody) Eastwood

6th Edition of the NATEODA newsletter

1 September 2022

This project is the sole effort of Woody Eastwood, and it is not to be 
assumed that the 
Association will continue this in the future.

National Officers
James E Duncan – Commander
Woody Eastwood -Vice Commander
Lew Weinberg – Treasurer
Stu Steinberg – Adjutant
Bobby Steagall – Webmaster
Ted Carlson – Webmaster
John C Scott – Director
Chet Heidl Director
Irvin Banta III, National EOD Association Chaplain
Bob Leiendecker, National EOD Association Historian
SGM Mike Vining, US Army retired, our “go-to” for anything “EOD”
Thomas Manders – Manager of the NATEODA Facebook Group
 Vietnam Veterans Chapter
Michael Tavano – Commander Vietnam Veterans Chapter
Dave Tipton – Director/Quartermaster
Adjutant -Vietnam Vets Chapter
Stu Steinberg – Coordinator of Veterans Benefits

Note from the NATEODA Commander

James E Duncan

To: All NATEODA Members

I would like to see everyone at the Convention. We have had quite a few to register so far. I would like to see more, a lot more, to make it a great convention, this being our first convention in three years I was really hoping for a tremendous turn out.

Our Vice Commander has worked hard on getting our members up to date with his newsletters, posting information on the website and Facebook group and direct emails to you. So please review the website and Facebook and get all the information that is available to you, it is great.

One of the questions that we alway get is “what is going on, we never get any information?”, so now you have a chance to keep up to date on everything by going to our website and Facebook group page.

As Commander, I have worked hard on keeping our Association going by using our emails, website, Facebook and visiting with members. I am looking forward to seeing you all in St. Louis, Missouri.

James E Duncan

Commander

National Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association


The Convention has been our major focus, these last few months. We hope to have an informative and fun get together. It has been way to long since we have seen our dear ole friends. Brother Dave Tipton and Julie Kline (Host of the St Louis, Convention) has worked tirelessly to bring you an exciting and eventful conference. Be sure and give them a large Thank You.

I have been trying to think of ways to increase our revenue and membership, I seek your ideas and suggestions.

Donations are always welcomed!

Your donations help us carry on the Association business and to help those less fortunate than us.


 

We continue to work on the upgrade to the website. The developer seems to be dragging his feet.

If you have good administrative skills and some extra time we could use you on some projects.

I hope you have found these newsletters beneficial, and informative. If you have suggestions or ideas about what I should include, send me an email at: vicecommander@nateoda.com


VA Benefits

The PACT Act and your VA benefits

The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.

The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. This law helps us provide generations of Veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.

Our VA Coordinator Stu Steinberg is ramped up and ready to help our members with filing claims or applying for benefits.

New VA Rules Under the PACT Act

Stu Steinberg, NATEODA Veterans Benefits Coordinator vetbenefits@nateoda.com

What is the PACT Act and how will it affect VA benefits and care?

The PACT Act will bring these changes:

  • Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
  • Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures
  • Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation
  • Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care

Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures.

If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits. The VA added more than 20 burn pit and other toxic exposure presumptive conditions based on the PACT Act. This change expands benefits for Gulf War era and post-9/11 Veterans.

These cancers are now presumptive:

  • Brain cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
  • Glioblastoma
  • Head cancer of any type
  • Kidney cancer
  • Lymphatic cancer of any type
  • Lymphoma of any type
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Reproductive cancer of any type
  • Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type

These illnesses are now presumptive:

  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
  • Emphysema
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Based on the PACT Act, we’ve added 2 new Agent Orange presumptive conditions:
  • High blood pressure (also called hypertension)
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

The Election is in full swing,  If you have voted thank you, if you have not yet voted, please do so as soon as possible.

Current Status of the election

89 ballots submitted of 239 eligible voters (2 spoiled, 5 opened) — 37%
4 ballots added after the election started. (new members)
241 emails sent – 0 notices queued
5 notices undeliverable.

The results will be announced on Thursday, 15 September 2022 at the Convention, for those of you that do not attend the convention, I will email you the results.


Meet and Welcome our Newest and Renewing Members for the month of August!

New Members

Bruce Kruizenga

Chad Juhlin

Mark Woodsom

Michele Goddette

John Culp

Brian Hamilton, Sr

James Tate

Renewing Members

Roger Hess

Tom Porritt


I plan to add a Featured member each month to the newsletter

If you would like to nominate an EOD Tech to feature, email me at vicecommander@nateoda.com


This Months Featured Member

This months featured member is:

Joseph E Cannata, the founding member of the National EOD Association and

Holds Membership Card #1.

Joe now resides in an assisted living home in St. Petersburg, Florida

Joshua StJohn presented Joe with a Certificate of Appreciation from the National EOD Association.

Certificate of Appreciation.png

Here is Joe’s story, as told in a recent interview with Joshua StJohn, member of the NATEODA, thank you Joshua!

In order to tell you the story of the founding of the National EOD Association, I need to tell you a brief history of my service.

I went into the Army National Guard when I was 16. Assigned to the 27th Yankee division, 101st field artillery. I am just a kid and they had me all dressed up in the fatigues, the M1 rifle, the web belt with hand grenades, you know the whole thing. So, one night they put us out in the trenches and waiting for the B team or whatever to come in, and I didn’t understand how it could be so cold in upstate New York in the summer. I just kept falling asleep and my rifle would fall down they kept yelling at me for this, and finally, at the end of the night I said, I had enough of this, this is the worst night of my life. Shortly after that, I joined the US Air Force.

I went into ammo, in the Air Force in 1956. I was engaged to a girl to get married. So, one day I walked into the squadron area and went to the bulletin board, and they had an advertisement for two schools one was the ammo inspecting school in Ohio, the other was EOD in Indian Head, Maryland, and I looked at EOD and it says several requirements you have to be A. be a five-level which I was. B that you get a top-secret clearance and, I thought I wasn’t going to get a top-secret clearance because I had been court-martialed and thrown in the stockade for 25 days. I thought they weren’t going to give me this because I kind of wasn’t qualified. So, I put my name on the board, I’m not going anywhere, anyway, I am not qualified for EOD and my opinion on EOD, is you had to be nuts to do something like that, and if anything happens to you, you deserve it.

About a month or so later at a formation, the first sergeant came out and he called my name and he’s congratulating me, you’ve been accepted, and I said accepted? what the hell was I accepted for? I didn’t do anything, and he said you’re going to EOD school. I said what? what do you mean by EOD school? and my friends came up to me and said jeez what balls you have, and I thought this must be a joke. I didn’t mean this, and I couldn’t get away from it, and I couldn’t back down in front of all my friends because I would never hear the end of it, and I said Well, I’m on a new tour, and the schools in Indian Head, MD outside of Washington DC, I’ll go out to Washington screw around for a few days, take a test and flunk it, and come back, yeah you know, what’s the shame for that? nothing absolutely nothing and so I told my master plan to Joan, I guess I’ll be back in a week or two you know don’t get upset.

So off I went to EOD school and One of the first things that shocked me was this Navy Chief with a cigar hanging out the corner of his mouth, he welcomed us to EOD school. We are here to help to fill the gaping holes in our ranks, a salty talk, I like salty talk and he handed out the papers, pencils and pens, and all the paraphernalia, and he said you all write this down, you will commit this to memory and you will never under any condition forget it again, “Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name”…..  I should have gotten up and walked out the god damn door. You know that is not that they don’t give you plenty of warnings. I’ve never done anything so hard in my life, we tested every Friday and when I finished one book, I would pick up another book to study. I kept on thinking I was going to flunk every test.  I came close a few times, but you know I still kept on making it. The weapons of destruction that we have is mind-boggling, you know never mind the last six weeks of nuclear, the conventional, biological, this would boggle my mind and I strolled up and passed another test which I thought I was going to flunk. But in the end 9 out of the 33 of us graduated.  While Joan was at the house screaming where are you, while still at Indian head and I bummed along and along, and I graduated, I’m saying how the hell did I do this you know I wanted nothing to do with this to anyone that does this for living is nuts and deserves anything that happens and so when I went back to Utah and Joan is going on and she’s pissed. I wonder why, looking at this, I wonder why, and I let the marriage thing slide because you cannot take a woman into that job. You cannot in my opinion and God help the woman who does.

I had gotten hurt while in the Air Force. After a while, I decided to try and reenlist in the Air Force. So, I did the physical and ended up flunking, so I appealed that, and then I got the letter from the Air Force surgeon general stating that I am medically unfit, and that unfit put me in the hospital for years, and so I was up shit’s creek when I was 22 years old after all the work I did and all I accomplished in the Air Force. A company heard about what I could do, and they tried to give me a job offer in North Africa, disposing of leftover munitions from Second World War. I wanted to take that job, but I was unable to pass their physical.

So, after about 10 years of screwing around, I had to admit that I was crippled and I applied for disability at the VA, but I didn’t know that you were supposed to file within the first two years after you get out, and here I’m doing this at year 10. During this time, I spent about 10 years in and out of the hospital. When I was filing my claim at the hospital, they asked what branch I was in, I told them, Air Force. What was your job, I said EOD and the 2 Marines who were helping me file had no clue what the job was and frankly didn’t have a clue about helping me with my disability, even though that was their job. I got no help from them, and they wouldn’t even tell me when I had appointments scheduled. So, I’m saying to myself, I am going to do something about this and find some people that will work with you, that will have your back and will back you up on what you’re saying. I went beating the bushes and I couldn’t find a damn thing about the EOD group or organization. Nothing, absolutely nothing, no matter where I called and whatnot. I finally said to myself if I can advertise in the DAV or another veteran magazine. Hopefully, I’ll get something.

I put an ad in the back of a DAV magazine and said, “looking for men interested in joining an EOD Association” or something to that effect and I mailed it off. The response I got back was people having an EOD ball. I would also get letters saying this is terrific and how much is the ticket and I’m just out here looking for guys. So, I wrote up another ad and I put it in a DAV magazine, that was countrywide and that one brought in 14 guys. I called them all and talked to them and told them what the plan was. Since it worked so well, I decided to put an ad in one from Massachusetts and it was like 15 responses. So now I got about 30 guys, so now what the hell do I do with them and how do I get this organization going? So, I’d ask for volunteers to be officers in the group, and nobody said anything.  I said what the hell am I going to do I came up with an idea so I’d call up some guys and say how do you spell cat? and he said c a t, I say wonderful you’re the secretary, I hung the phone up and I called another one up how much is 1 plus 1? his reply was 2, I said congratulations you’re the treasurer and the next one, I said who was the first president of the United States? I get the reply, George Washington, this is wonderful you’re the commander and hung up and it looked good. I put their info on fancy paper but none of them quit, they did complain that I took advantage of them. Then we started and I gathered up about 40 men and then I get ahold of Papy Cline and he’s a legend. He did 39 years and 6 months United States Army as a senior master sergeant he was in EOD from the Second World War on, and he was also an army boxing champion for the army for a couple of years as well.

Anytime I would get a response from my ad I would call them and talk with them. Let’s just say my phone bill was crazy during this time. Papy did give me a list of about 700 names of people who went to the EOD memorial ball and out of that, I pulled 400 men and the National EOD Association from that point on took off. Another person who helped me greatly during this time was Kyle Bergstrom who was close to a saint, and I had been using him for advice since the day I had the idea of doing this. He was a national chaplain for the DAV, off and on for 20 years. He was a commander in Massachusetts and Kyle had one leg because of a Chinese mortar, that got him in Korea, only two weeks before the war ended and all he wanted to do was get back to his men. Without the help from Kyle and Papy joining, which is probably the two most important people to have. Because without those two I wouldn’t have been able to get this association off the ground, and you have to have people like that helping you because you can’t do it yourself alone. I never had any master plan for the creation, and I literally tripped every step of the way. This is why it took almost 3 years to create the National EOD Association.

A message for current members is to be there for each other. It’s always nice to get together and shoot the crap with those that have gone down the same road as you went down. Have a few drinks with each other to let some steam off, and without it what happens is it starts building up and it really gets to people. You got to watch the drinking because I’ve watched so many men get destroyed, absolutely destroyed with the booze and the drugs. They would separate themselves from fellow veterans and they felt alone like they didn’t have any place to go or groups to help them through tough times. This was another reason I decided to create the National EOD Association. You got to get together with the guys occasionally because without it you can get lost. The longer you stay away from it, the worse it gets. I’ve seen friends of mine commit suicide because they felt alone and isolated and these friends weren’t EOD, they were infantry. We are all brothers, and we should have each other’s backs and help each through the good and bad times.


Photos of Joe’s interview

>>> Click here for Slide show of Joseph E Cannata<<<


Melissa {Mo} Tackitt will be at our Convention in St. Louis to give

you all the latest news about the EOD Warrior Foundation. Let’s

give her a large Welcome!

Facebook group “Remove the Stigma”


BOMB TECHS WITHOUT BORDERS

Lt Colonel John Culp will be a speaker at our Convention in St Louis.

John is a new member

Welcome to the National Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association and thank you for your service.

John and Donna Culp

The Mountaineer

The images of the war in Ukraine are horrific and the statistics are staggering. One Haywood resident is taking action, literally, by traveling first to Poland and then into Ukraine itself.

John Culp of Waynesville is on a volunteer mission on behalf of Bomb Techs Without Borders (BTWOB), a nonprofit founded “to prevent casualties caused by landmines, IEDs, and other explosive remnants of war,” according to its mission statement. This is not a government mission. Culp is volunteering his expertise to travel to the war zone on his own.

Culp retired from the U.S. Army as a Lt. Col. in Special Forces, with an interest and specialty in explosives, and continued working for the U.S. government as an explosives specialist.

A Charlotte native, Culp attended N.C. State, where he began in Army ROTC, later enlisting and becoming an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist, then training as a Special Forces Combat Engineer.

He was commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1978 as a second lieutenant and served in the U.S. and overseas, the bulk of his career as a Special Forces officer.

In 1997, Culp was detailed to a U.S. government agency and participated in the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq, inspecting ballistic missiles and chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.

Like Culp, his wife has long-time background in the military and federal service. She is the president of the WNC Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (WNC MOAA). He is an active member of WNC MOAA and treasurer for the local Special Forces Association Chapter, Chapter 17.

How the travel to Ukraine came about

The Culps watched the news reports of the dire situation of the Ukrainian people, wondering what they could do. WNC MOAA was raising funds already to support Ukrainian refugees in Moldova with the Moldova World Children’s Fund (MWCF).

It happened that the Culps’ church, Grace in the Mountains, conducted a study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor, who became a martyr in World War II, standing up to Hitler. For his anti-Nazi resistance efforts, Bonhoeffer was executed.

“Bonhoeffer saw what was happening and had to do something,” John said.

“Our church began learning about the life and teachings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian martyr,” said the Rev. Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, rector of Grace Church. “Few of us are ever in a position to even ponder offering the kind of sacrificial love that Bonhoeffer showed as he stood against Hitler and stood for righteousness.”

Inspired by the study and seeing social media posts of Ukrainian firefighters trying to deal with unexploded ordnance, John Culp began exploring ways to use his expertise. This search led him to Bomb Techs Without Borders. He reached out to the nonprofit, explaining his military and government background.

BTWOB asked him to serve as Country Coordinator for Ukraine. There Culp will prepare the way for BTWOB actions by reaching out to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) and other Ukrainian EOD and bomb disposal organizations and assessing the situation of explosive remnants of war (ERW) and landmines in Ukraine.

“Bomb techs bring a unique set of skills that are both an art, and a science with the ultimate goal of saving lives and reducing the threat of death and maiming that is inherent with explosives, and unexploded bombs,” said Donna Culp. “Through their efforts families, homes, and communities are given a leg up toward rebuilding lives that have been disrupted because of this senseless invasion authored by Putin.”


THE FINAL INSPECTION

The Soldier stood and faced God,

Which must always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining,

Just as brightly as his brass.

‘Step forward now, Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?’

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,

‘No, Lord, I guess I ain’t.

Because those of us who carry guns,

Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,

And at times my talk was tough.

And sometimes I’ve been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But I never took a penny,

That wasn’t mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime,

When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,

Though at times I shook with fear.

And sometimes, God, forgive me,

I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place,

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around,

Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,

It needn’t be so grand.

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don’t, I’ll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,

Where the saints had often trod.

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

‘Step forward now, you Soldier,

You’ve borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,

You’ve done your time in Hell.’

~Author Unknown~

It’s the Soldier,

not the reporter

Who has given us the freedom of the press.

It’s the Soldier,

not the poet,

Who has given us the freedom of speech?

It’s the Soldier,

not the politicians that ensures

Our right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

It’s the Soldier

who salutes the flag,

who serves beneath the flag,

and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

If you care to offer the smallest token

of recognition and appreciation

for the Military,

please pass this

I DID!!!



 

Scan me


…………That’s it for September………..

We hope to see you all in St Louis