Virgin Island Warriors at Best

```````````````````````` warrior competition

                                                      Army Sgt. 1st Class Ronnie Reynolds

           By Shannon Collins

Army Sgt. 1st Class Ronnie Reynolds, son of Margret Reynolds, Williams Delight, St. Croix, was one of 24 soldiers selected Army wide to compeFORT LEE, Va. - Deep within the wooded confines of this military encampment, the son of a St. Croix woman has a map, compass, rifle, physical endurance and depth of tactical knowledge to propel him through the rigors of competing against the Army's top soldiers.te in the Best Warrior competition. The event is an annual competition where 12 noncommissioned officers and 12 junior soldiers from the Army's 12 major commands demonstrate their proficiencies in skills critical to the success of every soldier. Soldiers selected for the competition mastered a series of benchmarks throughout the year and won in their local command levels in order to be selected to compete for Army-wide Best Warrior competition.

Reynolds is a small group leader with the U.S. Army Medical Department NCO Academy, located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He said he was honored to represent his unit at Best Warrior.
"It meant a lot, and I'm glad they had faith in me to represent them, the Army Medical Department," said Reynolds, a 1996 graduate of St. Croix Central High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in 2011 from Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa.
Reynolds said his family inspires him to compete and that he will continue to compete to test himself to see how he stacks up to his peers.
Best Warrior events included a physical training test, land navigation, urban warfare simulations, Army aptitude tests and a number of tasks deemed essential for survival on the battlefield in today's operating environment, such as casualty evaluation and weapons marksmanship. Some soldiers exercised two to three hours per day, running five to eight miles, lifting weights, marching with more than 100 pounds of gear on their backs, training on their weapons at the shooting range, practicing land navigation and more to prepare for the annual competition.

Yet Another


Air National Guard Airman Jalisa M. Richardson graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Richardson is the daughter of Brenda Jenkins of Cleveland, Ohio.
She is a 2008 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

For Women Vets

VA Launches Hotline to Answer Questions on VA Health Care and Benefits for Women Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new hotline — 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636) — to receive and respond to questions from Veterans, their families and caregivers about the many VA services and resources available to women Veterans.The hotline is staffed by knowledgeable VA employees who can provide information about benefits including health care services for women.

Learn More About the Women Veterans Hotline...

Featured Virgin Islander

 March 20, 2013 Anniesha C Paul

Air Force Airman Anniesha C Paul graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Paul is the daughter of AnneMarie Stuart and granddaughter of Alexandrine Laurent, both of Estate Lovenlund, Charlotte Amarlie.
She is a 2011 graduate of Charlotte Amarlie High School.

Standing Tall

Vernon J. Forbes

Vernon J. Forbes has been promoted to the rank of technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
Forbes is a vehicle operator dispatcher assigned to the 59th Medical Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The technical sergeant has served in the military for 18 years.
He is the son of Ena C. Spencer of Lindberg Bay, and Cecil O. Forbes Sr. of Contant, both of St. Thomas.
Forbes graduated in 1994 from Charlotte Amalie High School, St. Thomas.

Assisted Living Center In Christiansted Late 2012

Imagine a place where flowers, along with the sounds of friendship and laughter, dance with the breeze. A place of warmth decorated with fine furnishings, stunning artwork and, more often than not, the scent of
something delicious baking in the kitchen. A place where independence thrives but help is only a call away. A place where you are always like family.

Welcome to the Assisted Living Concepts.a program to serve seniors who don't want or need a nursing home, but who are weary of home upkeep, in need of a little personal assistance or simply desire to have more friends and interactions with others. For Veterans, who are seniors or disabled, in need of assistance with at least 1 activity of daily living, who served at least 1 day of active duty during World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, or the Gulf War, the rent is $700 per month for a dual occupancy room or $1,200 for a single occupancy room.

The center wiill feature the following :
24-Hour Care: Compassionate and Dedicated Care Unique to each Resident's Needs,a 2,500 square foot lounge and dining area. Movie Night in PJs.Medication Management, Daily Housekeeping,and Personal Laundry and Linen Service. Coupled with Resident Centered Activities, Full Meal Services and Snacks. Balanced, Home-style Cooking that includes Resident Favorites - we welcome your input! so please comment on this Concept.

You can expect more information as Assisted Living Concept progresses.

Yohana Manning is the lead person and you can reach him at 340-773-5878


A Virgin Island Soldier and The Commander in Chief

WASHINGTON - For the son-in-law of a Fredericsted couple, standing before "the boss" took on a new meaning for this military man, when he found himself standing before the Commander in Chief at the White House, Feb. 29.
Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class James Gaston Sr. was one of 78 service members chosen to join President Barack Obama and the First Lady as the White House held a black-tie formal dinner and tribute to Iraq War veterans and their families, to honor them for their service, sacrifice and commitment to the nation. His wife, Messelena Felicia Gaston, is the daughter of Clifford and Felicita Pemberton of Upper Love, Frederiksted.
Iraq War veterans where chosen from all across the nation and represented the more than one-million veterans who served there. Gaston, a 1979 graduate of St. Croix Central High School, Kingshill, represented Virgin Islands veterans of the Iraq War.
"It is an honor to be selected to join the President for dinner," said Gaston, who is currently a flight engineer instructor with Delta Company, 126th Aviation Company, Virgin Islands National Guard, Kingshill.
Other VIPs attending the dinner included Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, along with senior officials from all military branches. The event was named, "A Nation's Gratitude: Honoring Those Who Served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn."
Gaston deployed various times with Multinational Force-Iraq, U.S. Forces Iraq, and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Iraq between 2004 and 2011. He has 28 years of military service.
During the dinner, Obama said, "As your commander in chief, I could not be more proud of you. As an American, as a husband and father of two daughters, I could not be more grateful for your example of the kind of country we can be, and for what we can achieve when we stick together.
"You taught us about sacrifice - a love of country so deep, so profound, you're willing to give your life for it. Tonight, we pay solemn tribute to all who did," Obama said.

VA Posts Online List of Ships Associated with Presumptive Agent Orange

WASHINGTON (Sept. 2, 2011)- Veterans who served aboard U.S. Navy and
Coast Guard ships operating on the waters of Vietnam between January 9,
1962, and May 7, 1975, may be eligible to receive Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) disability compensation for 14 medical conditions
associated with presumptive exposure to Agent Orange.

An updated list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships confirmed to have
operated on Vietnam's inland waterways, docked on shore, or had
crewmembers sent ashore, has been posted at  

to assist Vietnam Veterans in determining potential eligibility for compensation benefits.

Over $2.2 Billion in Retroactive Agent Orange Benefits Paid to 89,000 Vietnam Veterans and Survivors for Presumptive Conditions‏

 WASHINGTON (August 31, 2011)- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today that more than $2.2 billion in retroactive benefits has already been paid to approximately 89,000 Vietnam Veterans and their survivors who filed claims related to one of three new Agent Orange presumptive conditions.

The Agent Orange Claims Processing System website located at may be used to submit claims
related to the three new presumptive conditions. They
can check the status of their claim with a premium account (confirming
their identity), and use a growing number of online services.

For more information about Agent Orange presumptives and disability
compensation, go to For questions about Agent Orange, Veterans may call VA's Special Issues Helpline at 1-800-749-8387 and press 3. 

About Face can also help contact us at 340-775-6292


VA Creates Women Veterans Call Center

WASHINGTON-Major Outreach Effort Launched

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has embarked on a major initiative to reach out to women Veterans in order to solicit their input on ways to enhance the health care services VA provides to women Veterans.

Women Veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the Veteran population. Of the 22.7 million living Veterans, more than 1.8 million are women. They comprise nearly 8 percent of the total Veteran population and 6 percent of all Veterans who use VA health care service.

The Women Veterans Health Care program has made significant changes in the last few years to enhance the health care offered to eligible women Veterans. This progress includes.

Adopting key policies to improve access and enhance services for women Veterans; Implementing comprehensive primary care for women Veterans;  Conducting cutting-edge research on the effects of military service on women's lives;  Improving communication and outreach to women Veterans. 

Providing mental health, homelessness and other services designed to meet the unique needs of women Veterans
For more information about VA programs and services for women Veterans, please visit:  About Face, is also available to assist with your questions..