Friday, June 23, 2006

How many more?

Western Wisconsin soldier killed in Afghanistan

LADYSMITH, Wis. (AP) -- A 28-year-old soldier who liked the outdoors and thought about working in law enforcement was killed in Afghanistan, friends and the military said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Patrick L. Lybert is the second soldier who went to Ladysmith High School to die in combat in the past two months.

Lybert was killed on Wednesday with another soldier in Gowardesh when they encountered enemy forces using small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Lybert and Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti, 30, of Raynham, Mass., were members of the 3rd Squadron, 71st Calvary, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), out of Fort Drum, N.Y.

Last month another Wisconsin soldier, Army Sgt. Nathan J. Vacho, was killed by an explosive device in Iraq. He was a 1995 graduate of Ladysmith High School.


At 4:50 PM, Blogger GaryFisher said...

Cheerleader-in-chief John Scocos’ tenure insolvency plan calls for a bigger veteran’s museum and WDVA headquarters to be built within five years and named after Scocos.

The Thirty on the Square doesn’t fit Scocos ambitious plans anymore so it would be razed and a new structure built to expand WDVA offices and museum exhibits (as if parents are dragging their kids to see battle exhibits during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.) Myopically, WDVA doesn’t indicate where the estimated $21 million for the project will materialize from. But Scocos is already preparing its budget to present to the state Legislature next year.

Meanwhile, Scocos is also running out of former WDVA secretaries to name buildings after. The Board of Veterans Affairs recently accommodated Scocos by naming vet’s nursing home facilities after John Moses and Ray Boland. There’s more of the same.

His proclamation is to name an administration building at a veterans’ cemetery in northern Wisconsin the Italo Bensoni Administration Building. Rename the Oak Grove Building 128, Klein Hall. The admin building at the southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery would become the Edo Maccari Administration Building. And the Cottage 17 activity and admin building at the Southern Wisconsin Center is to be called Maurer Hall.

Whereas, Scocos is shortsightedly overlooking the fact that the state facilities could properly be named after Michelle M. Witmer, the National Guard's first woman killed in combat; killed in Iraq while on patrol April 9, 2004. Or Eric D. Clark, the U.S. Army specialist killed May 11 in Baghdad, Iraq; Pfc. Grant Allen Dampier, 25, a soldier from Merrill killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq; U.S. Marine Capt. Nathanael J. Doring, a Milwaukee School of Engineering grad who died in Iraq helicopter crash; Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaime S. Jaenke, 29, a U.S. Navy sailor from Bay City, Wis., who died when her vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in western Iraq; Petty Officer 1st Class Gary Rovinski, 44, of Roseville, Ill., who died from the same improvised explosive device that killed Jaenke; and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Patrick L. Lybert, of Ladysmith, who died in combat in Afghanistan.

Scocos also ignores former members of the Navy Nurse Corps and Army Nurse Corps who would also be good choices to name vet’s health care facilities after.

It’s evident that Scocos wants naming rights to please partisan political cronies while at the same time setting his agenda to have a building named after him.


At 3:47 PM, Blogger GaryFisher said...

Enronesque habits and fuzzy math at Scocos’ HQ

Ignoring the honorable men and women in uniform that have made the supreme sacrifice in Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s unlikely that Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs cheerleader-in-chief John Scocos ($118,452 a year salary) will name a veteran’s nursing home facility after veteran Army and Navy nurses anytime soon, either.

Instead, Scocos is fixated on $19.6 million of surplus cash allegedly accumulated at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King nursing home in Waupaca County. He stands in line to seize $16 million of long term care money to stem the precipitous slide of the Veterans Trust Fund into insolvency.

Siphoning money from King is imminent because it was signed into law even though the nursing home could use some of that money to make up for a shortage of 44 nurses that causes forced overtime for registered nurses working there.

Health care professionals have spent a great deal of time to achieve more protections against forced overtime and to urge the state Legislature to allocate more RN positions at King Home, to no avail.

After spending time on these issues, they ran into needless roadblocks with WDVA management or they would have gotten further in correcting the health care staffing shortage.

Almost every knows or should know that mandatory overtime in which nurses are exhausted after working two straight eight-hour shifts gets in the way of quality health care. Only the high-paid administrators don’t know when the positions can be filled. The vacancy rate includes three critical care nursing categories - nursing assistant, LPN and RN.

Someone has suggested that maybe WDVA senior management should take a pay cut instead.

Even so, 2005 Wisconsin Act 468 (SB 613) allows WDVA to siphon $16 million from the nursing home money to cover administrative expenses at WDVA headquarters in Madison. Among other things, it provides Scocos additional IT staff to generate more images of him on the WDVA website and in newsletters in which he takes all of the credit for any issue related to vets.

Very unlikely is a edifice named after Anthony “Anthony” Hardie ($89,930 a year salary), Scocos’ main gofer, or redundant King Home overseer Tom Rhatican ($86,493 a year). Unfortunately, both had their state car driving privileges suspended. Bill Crowley the leader at King is paid $92,553 a year for Rhatican to supervise him. WDVA deputy secretary Bill Kloster pockets $98,224 a year, which, apparently, he can’t make ends meet to have enough money to live on, since his wife is employed by WDVA in Madison, too. Nepotism works there.

In addition, 2005 Wisconsin Act 468 also mandates full tuition for Wisconsin veterans attending the University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical College System, estimated to cost $9 million a year for the UW System and nearly $2 million a year for the technical school system.

The tuition waiver effective in the fall of 2007 is without financial backing from the Legislature.

Bored board member Kathy Marschman, absent more often than not from meetings, won’t step down, even though her term ended over a year ago and U.S. Navy veteran Rod Moen was appointed to replace her on the board. The other holdout: Don Heiliger’s term on the board also terminated more than a year ago.

Marschman did not attend the meeting at King this June. Heiliger was there on Thursday, but claimed to be sick during the board meeting on Friday and did not attend.

Fitness Report: Has Scocos retired from the Army Reserve as a colonel? Is that why he has never served in Iraq or Afghanistan? Has he completed his challenging correspondence course to become a general?

At 1:06 AM, Blogger xcapman said...

Gary Fisher and Company (RD):

Your attacks are once again baseless. Your facts are lacking. I didn't even bother reading most of this trash, but I will point out two facts that continue to keep haunting you.

One, the possible transfer of funds from King to Union Grove are only if there actually are surplus funds that aren't needed by King. This has already been proven time and time again.

Next, do some reading about Gates Hall and realize that your Navy and Army Nurse Corps story is completely false too. Is this the third or fourth time you tried to bring this topic up with no success?

Point - How many times must we listen to repeated lies? Do you think by constantly repeating them that you will eventually convince the readers and eventually yourselves that they are indeed true and accurate despite being PROVEN WRONG on an extremely regular basis?

How can we read any of this and believe it when any sixth grader can read this completely unbiased and see how you are lying through your teeth?

Why do you guys keep this shallow and childish game up? I also have to wonder why you have to start this argument in this article? Are you actually waiting for Wisconsin servicemembers to die so you can write your trashy stories?

Here's a thought (following the memory of Xoff unconvincingly telling people to stick to the issues because he doesn't supposedly tolerate or encourage character attacks):

Why don't you stop your discriminating (reference to Gary Fisher making blatant anti-homosexual and insemination character attacks in the past) and work more on HELPING the veterans of this state by coming up with more great legislation to pass on their behalf.

Conclusion - Someone has suggested you two get right. That someone is me. The rest of the tiring veterans community likely agrees.

They don't want to read your trash. They prefer to read about how our citizens can best serve those who served.


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