2004-09-16 / Seniors

Vietnam Vets’ Commander To Address JWV This Sunday

John Rowan, the State Commander of the Vietnam Veterans of America, will discuss similarities between American participation in Vietnam and Iraq, when he speaks at this Sunday’s meeting of the Kew-Forest-Woodside-Loitz Post 250, Jewish War Veterans of the USA; according to the JWV organization’s president, Spencer Polinger.

The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Rego Park Jewish Center, 97-30 Queens Blvd., Rego Park. The Ladies Auxiliary is co-host.

Polinger, who is a Vietnam War vet, described Rowan as “one of the leading voices in veteran’s affairs in the state of New York” in issuing the meeting announcement. The meeting was made more timely because of the sad news recently that the United States had sustained its 1,000th fatality in the Iraq War.

POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY: National POW/MIA Recognition Day was observed yesterday by Vietnam Veterans of America, Queens Chapter No. 32 in Glendale, according to its chairman, Peter D. Garon. The day is usually held on the third Friday in September, which would have been this Friday, according to Garon, but it was moved up because of the Jewish religious holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Garon also announced that his organization will hold a candlelight memorial service at the site of the Moving Wall in Cunningham Park, 196th Street and Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadows, on Wednesday, October 6 at 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The Moving Wall is a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It will be in Cunningham Park from Sunday, October 2 through Friday, October 8. The candlelight vigil will be held during this week-long period.

Garon stated that both the POW/MIA ceremony and the Moving Wall event affirm his chapter’s commitment to “honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice that those POW/MIA will not be forgotten. Freedom, healing, challenge, survival and dreams... those are just a few feelings that many will have when they visit the Moving Wall and attend the POW/MIA Ceremony.”

MEDICARE PREMIUM HIKE: In the brief quiet period, between the excitement of the Republican National Convention and the Labor Day weekend, Medicare officials announced the Medicare premiums for the almost 42 million program members will increase by 17 percent next year, the largest annual hike 40 years.

The $11.60-a-month increase will bring the monthly fee to $78.20. It covers Part B benefits, which include doctor’s visits, hospital outpatient care and medical equipment, and is deducted from beneficiaries’ monthly Social Security checks.

The 17 percent hike follows increases of 13.5 percent in 2004 and 8.7 percent the previous year, according to the Associated Press.

Medicare Administrator Dr. Mark McClellan said the increase was brought on by last year’s Medicare reform law pushed by President George W. Bush and rapidly rising health care costs.

Besides the Part B fee increase, the annual deductible charged to each beneficiary for Part B coverage will increase $10 next year to $110, another change mandated by the new Medicare law.

That means some 42 million beneficiaries are each paying an additional $938.40 per year for the premium increase, plus $10 more for the deductible—a total of $948.40, adding up to an additional $40 billion into the Medicare program.

PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS: The Rego Park Senior Center in Rego Park hosted a Prostate Cancer Awareness program last Tuesday, September 7, as part of a month-long series of similar events that will be held at select centers and senior living facilities in five states throughout September.

The program, attended by about 25 seniors, was sponsored by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, maker of Viadur, a palliative treatment for symptoms of advanced prostate cancer, according to a spokesperson for the firm.

Dr. Myron Murdock, a Maryland urologist, spoke at the Rego Park meeting.

He stated that the exact cause of the disease is not known and symptoms may go unrecognized, so annual testing is advised. According to the spokesperson, more than 300,000 men are diagnosed with the disease each year, some 14,470 of them in New York, and one in 10 die from it.

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