- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I came across my dad’s dog tags and was wondering if you can help me understand the information on it.

The first line has his first name, followed on the second line by his middle name, followed on the third line by his last name. Next is 564-26-57. What does that represent? Then on the fifth line is “T 12-42.” That must be the month and year he enlisted? Then the sixth line reads, “USNR: O.”

Could you please decode this for me. Thank you!

Shelley H.
Via the Internet

Dear Shelly:

According to my sources, their best guess based on quick research is:

Line 1 — First name.

Line 2 — Middle name.

Line 3 — Last name.

Line 4 — Enlisted man’s service number or officer’s service jacket number.

Line 5 — “T 12-42.” These referred to immunizations — tetanus most likely — but the numbered codes stood for dates.

Line 6 — “USNR” is the United States Naval Reserve; the “O” stands for blood type — there was no positive (+) or negative (-) used in the World War II era.

I hope this information increases the special significance of this meaningful memento of your dad’s service to our country.


Dear Sgt Shaft:

I am writing to alert you to a free, confidential source of guidance on disability employment issues available to your members or constituents — the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

JAN is the leading source of information on workplace accommodations and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation. JAN’s customers include employers of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs, and its services are particularly valuable to small businesses without a dedicated in-house human resource function or facility manager. JAN offers assistance via phone or online.

We hope you will help us spread the word about JAN by:

• Posting a link to JAN’s website, AskJAN.org, on your organization’s website.

• Featuring JAN in your publication. A quick and easy way to do this is to use one of JAN’s drop-in articles. Alternatively, or in addition, you could send an e-blast about JAN to your members or constituents.

JAN is a service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Thank you, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Kathy Brannigan

Dear Kathy:

Thanks for the update. I urge all employers to utilize information supplied by your program. A disabled veteran is a too valuable a resource to waste.


Shaft notes

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Health recently held a field hearing to highlight the benefits of recreation therapy as a means to rehabilitate disabled veterans and restore them to optimal levels of functioning and independence.

The hearing was held in New Port Richey, Fla., in the state’s 9th Congressional District, which is represented by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a subcommittee member. Mr. Bilirakis was joined by Rep. Jeff Miller, a Veterans Committee colleague and fellow Floridian who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District in the western Panhandle.

Representatives of the James A. Haley Veterans Affairs Medical Center in nearby Tampa, Fla., testified, as did community providers and individual veterans who personally benefited from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recreation therapy program.

“I am proud that Florida is a national leader in providing recreation therapy to disabled veterans,” Mr. Bilirakis said. “Recreation therapy has proven to be an effective treatment that improves an injured veteran’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health through activities aimed at increasing self-sufficiency and quality of life.”

The objective of recreation therapy is to achieve a high degree of wellness and lifelong health. It is a patient-centered and activity-based therapy that takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Research and clinical evidence indicate that recreation therapy can provide a diversity of benefits to those with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities.

VA long has been a pioneer in using the tools of recreation therapy to treat veterans, and the recreation therapy curriculum has become one of the department’s most inventive and dynamic programs.

“Our wounded warriors have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect American freedoms,” Mr. Miller said. “They have earned and deserve every effective measure of therapy we as a grateful nation can provide.

“Recreation therapy is perfectly suited to veterans who are used to living an active lifestyle and show almost immediate positive responses when involved in this innovative program. I fully support VA’s endeavors in this regard and hope to see more disabled veterans benefiting from recreation therapy in the future.”



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