The Old Glory Relay is a national-level event sponsored by the veterans’ organization Team Red White and Blue. Team RWB is a series of state chapters dedicated to enriching veterans’ lives and is composed of veterans, veterans’ families and friends who gather for social, athletic and outdoor events.

The relay consists of volunteer runners, walkers, and cyclists carrying a United States flag through various states between Sept. 11 and Nov. 11. Team RWB has a special relationship with the VFW, and the intent of the Rhode Island portion of the Old Glory Relay this year is to honor VFW posts by centering flag relay events around five Rhode Island VFW posts.

When: For the state of Rhode Island, the relay is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 17.

What and where: The Rhode Island portion of the Old Glory Relay will be divided into five portions involving Bristol (Oct. 16), Newport (Oct. 16), North Kingstown (Oct. 16), Wakefield (Oct. 17) and Westerly (Oct. 17). 

Proposed plan:

Saturday, Oct. 16

Bristol — Runners will carry a U.S. flag from the Post 237, 850 Hope St., Bristol, to the Rhode Veterans Home, 480 Metacom Ave, Bristol, and back to Post 237. The flag will then be relayed to Newport by vehicle.

Newport — Runners will carry the U.S. flag on a 2-mile route through Newport that begins and ends at Post 406, 141 Pelham St., Newport. The flag will then be relayed to North Kingstown by vehicle.

North Kingstown — Runners will carry the U.S. flag on a 2-mile route through North Kingstown that begins and ends at Post 152, 44 Beach St., North Kingstown. The flag will then be secured until the next leg of the relay in Wakefield.

Sunday, Oct. 17

Wakefield — Runners will carry the U.S. flag on a 2-mile route through Wakefield that begins and ends at Post 916, 155 High St., South Kingstown. The flag will then be relayed to Westerly by cyclists.

Westerly — Cyclists will carry the U.S. flag through the town of Westerly and finish at Post 8955, 113 Beach St., Westerly. The flag will then be secured until transfer to the Connecticut portion of the Old Glory Relay.

Show your pride for Old Glory by joining us on either one of these two days. This event is open to the entire community. Point of contact for this event is state VFW Surgeon Dave Hellner. Email Dave for additional information and to register at jagerndorf@aol.com.

Federal study finds cannabis beneficial for PTSD treatment

For veterans diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and looking for alternative ways to treat it, the first FDA-regulated study on the benefits of smoked cannabis yielded favorable results this year.

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study published on March 17 in PLOS ONE, the peer-reviewed journal specified levels of improvement among participants using smoked cannabis blends with a 9 percent THC concentration.

“This study served as the first randomized placebo-controlled trial comparing the therapeutic potential of varying ratios of THC and CBD for treating symptoms of PTSD,” said Dr. Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, lead author of the study.

Bonn-Miller added that the next step of the study involves conducting larger, randomized, placebo-controlled trials.

“It would help determine the minimally-effective doses of THC needed to safely treat individuals suffering from PTSD,” Bonn-Miller said. “It will also mitigate risks of cannabis dependence in this vulnerable population.”

“One of the biggest takeaways from this study is that veterans with PTSD can use cannabis at self-managed doses, at least in the short term, and not experience a plethora of side effects or a worsening of symptoms,” said Mallory Loflin, a co-author of the paper and volunteer assistant professor of psychiatry at the UC-San Diego School of Medicine.

As of May 18, cannabis has been legalized for widespread medical use in 36 states and four U.S. territories, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Cannabis also has been legalized for both medical and recreational use in 16 states, Washington D.C., and two U.S. territories.

Cannabis is still prohibited for prescription use by the Department of Defense and VA. Meanwhile, the VA estimates that 11 to 20 percent of recent veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as many as one-third of all veterans, suffer from PTSD.

As approved and amended at its 118th National Convention in 2017, the VFW continues to stand and support federally funded research of medicinal cannabis for veterans being treated by the VA for service-related chronic pain.

Amancio-Falcone-Gaccione Post 8955

New members are always welcome to attend our next monthly meeting on Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Post Home, 113 Beach St., Westerly. Meetings are the first Wednesday of each month. The three qualifiers for membership in the VFW: Citizenship — U.S. citizen or U.S. National, honorable service; received a discharge of Honorable or General (under honorable conditions); or be currently serving, service in a war, campaign, or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters, or service in Korea for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days.

The mission of Project Outreach is to assist all veterans to gain access to the VA and eligibility for all benefits and programs they offer. The program is staffed by certified Chapter Service Officers that have attended the yearly Disabled American Veterans training. The service officer provides the proper VA forms and guidance to properly complete required documents to then ensure that they have proper representation at the VA. If a veteran is not in the VA system, he/she or their family are not eligible for all the great services and benefits the VA offers. Hours: VFW Post 8955, first Wednesday and third Monday of each month, 5 p.m.

This day in military history

1942 — Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold gives highest priority to the development of two exceptional aircraft–the B-35 Flying Wing and the B-36 Peacemaker–intended for bombing runs from bases in the United States to targets in Europe.

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