It looks like there might be things happening on the Veteran's healthcare front. A breathy tweet
from Dear Leader is extolling the virtues of some recent proposals and technology solutions. I mean, really. It's going to be the best VA we can possibly have.
President Trump announced new efforts Thursday to use technology to improve veterans' healthcare.
Initiatives include using video technology and diagnostic tools to conduct medical exams. Veterans also will be able to use mobile devices to make and manage appointments with Veterans Administration doctors.
"We call it 'anywhere to anywhere' VA healthcare," Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Thursday.
A medical doctor, Shulkin wore his white coat to the White House announcement, during which he demonstrated the technologies for Trump.
"This will significantly expand access to care for our veterans, especially for those who need help in the area of mental health, which is a bigger and bigger request, and also in suicide prevention," Trump said. "It will make a tremendous difference for the veterans in rural locations in particular."
A regulation will need to be issued for the services to be provided anywhere in the country.
I mean really, the depth of thought, and the attention to detail are just breathtaking.
Moving on, I've got two stories, maybe related, maybe not. I'm sure you heard about the V-22 Osprey crash
off the coast of Australia that cost us the lives of three Marines? There's also a US Navy sailor that apparently fell overboard in the same area.
As we ramp up more activity in and around the Korean Penninsula, there's likely to be more incidents like these.
A day after a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crashed in waters off of Queensland, Australia, after launching from an amphibious assault ship, an Australian hydrographic survey ship located the wreckage of the aircraft, officials said.
The HMAS Melville detected the location of the crashed Osprey on Sunday, and an embarked dive team from the Royal Australian Navy is now beginning recovery operations near the site, officials from III Marine Expeditionary Force said early this morning.
"Dive team members finalized planning in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy aboard USS Bonhomme Richard," a III MEF spokesman, Capt. Eric Flanagan, said in a statement. "The dive team plans to commence recovery operations using a remote operating vehicle this evening."
The Osprey, which belonged to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, the air combat element of the deployed 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, crashed Saturday around 4 p.m. local time after launching from the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard during the course of routine operations.
Aboard the Osprey were 26 troops assigned to the 31st MEU; 23 were quickly recovered, and a search-and-rescue effort was launched for the remaining three Marines. But after 11 hours of searching, officials announced that they were suspending the search for survivors and transitioning to recovery efforts.
The three Marines lost in the crash have yet to be identified. It's not clear if recovery teams have yet located the remains of the fallen.
The Navy has identified Lt. Steven D. Hopkins as the USS Stethem sailor who was reported overboard from the guided-missile destroyer in the South China Sea on Aug. 1.
On Friday, the Navy announced it had suspended its search for Hopkins.
Hopkins was reported missing about 9 a.m. as the ship transited 140 miles west of Subic Bay, Philippines, a Navy statement said. An investigation into the disappearance is underway.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmate, their family, and the officers and crew of USS Stethem," Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander of Task Force 70, said in the statement. "I appreciate greatly the dedication and professionalism shown by all who participated in the search efforts."
Originally from Texas, Hopkins joined the Navy in 2009 and reported to the Stethem in July.
The Stethem, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was assisted in the search-and-rescue operation by the USNS Amelia Earhart, USNS Vice Admiral K. R. Wheeler, a Navy P-3 Orion aircraft, and ships and helicopters from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Navy officials said. Two Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy frigates that had been shadowing the Stethem joined the effort on Wednesday.
Approximately 10,000 square nautical miles of ocean was searched in 79 hours, the statement said. When Hopkins was not found after more than three days, the effort was called off at 4 p.m. Friday Japan time.
"After an extensive search, with help from [Japan and China], we were unable to locate our Sailor," Capt. Jeffrey Bennett, commander of Destroyer Squadron 15, said in the statement. "I offer my deepest condolences to the Sailor's family, friends, and the Stethem Steelworkers."
"This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it." - from Hunt for Red October