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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Most Rightardia political posts have been moved to Facebook.

Rightardia moved most of the political articles to FB many years ago. 

The Facebook page is at

https://www.facebook.com/rightardia


Send a friend request if you want to see the private page.


The change was necessary for troll control.

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Found rogue DNS server adresses on Windows 7


You need Domain Name Services (DNS) to connect to the Internet.  Essentially when you type an alphanumerical Uniform Resource Locater (URL) such as http://www.cnn.com, the DNS server converts this human readable address to an Internet Protocol IP) address such as 157.166.226.26.



Most home routers use a local DNS address such as 192.168.1.1 and will pass the request for DNS services to the cable modem. The DNS address is important because you will not be able to browse the Internet if the address is incorrect.

Likewise, if you are using a virtual Private network (VPN), you don't want commonly used DNS servers to respond to your requests for an IP address.

The DNS server can log your IP address and as well as the IP address of the web site you wish to visit. This defeats the point of the VPN. In fact, there is a DNS leak test fix for Windows to make sure you VPN connection does not communicate with insecure DNS servers.

I was checking my wireless connections when I noticed my Windows wireless adapters were using the DNS addresses of 156.154.70.22 and 156.154.71.22. Have to believe some sort of stealthy malware changed the DNS addresses on my Windows PC. My PC should not have been able to browse he Internet at all, but Firfox browser has been working fine,

Did find out ho owns the these addresses from Abongo.com:

156.154.20.22
Sterling, VA, United States
Provider: NeuStar

NeuStar, Inc.
45980 Center Oak Plaza Network Operations Center, Sterling, VA 20166 US
+1-866-638-6622 +1-866-638-6622

Neustar offers internal and external managed DNS services that play a role in directing and managing traffic on the Internet, cloud-based DDoS attack protection and website performance management tools.

Check your network configuration in Windows and make sure the DNS server address is correct. Comodo claims its DNS severs are secure: if you need a DNS address, try these:

Comodo Secure DNS

8.26.56.26
8.20.247.20

 source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neustar

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What the election of Republican president would portend.


1. The Republicans would try to rationalize a war with Iran.

2. US diplomacy would stop and a neo-conservative like John Bolton would probably become Secretary of State. The US ambassador to the UN would take a belligerent stance. Diplomatic efforts with Cuba would cease. 

3. Keystone XL would be built directly over the biggest aquifer in the US. Environmental regulation would be relaxed, fracking would increase and federal lands sold of to corporate interests. 

4. The National Labor Relations board would be filed with GOP lackeys and all labor complaints would be voted down. 

5. Two Supreme Court justices are expected to retire after 2016: Justice Ginsberg and Justice Scalia. A 5-4 conservative majority in the Supreme Court would become 7-2. Any law the Republicans didn't like would be challenged in courts with the intent of getting the law stuck down.

A 5-4 conservative majority in the Supreme 

Court would become 7-2.

6. The IRS would see additional severe budget cuts and the auditors would be directed to audit Earned Income Tax Credit returns from the poor rather than tax filings form the most affluent Americans. (GW Bush actually did this while he was president).

7. Republicans would attempt to reduce or eliminate the Estate Tax and the capital gain taxes as well as flatten federal income tax under the guise of “tax reform.” This would, indeed, make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

8. Republicans would “reform” welfare by cutting funds to food stamps (SNAP) and school lunches.

9. The Retirement age for Social Security and Medicare would be raised. Republicans would divert revenues from Standard Medicare to Medicare Part D. Essentially Standard Medicare would again subsidize the privatized Medicare program that was never properly funded.

10. The GOP would attempt to privatize the VA with a voucher program. This is easier said than done become many vets have very serous disabilities and a “one size fits all” voucher program would be unworkable. 

11. The reproductive rights of women and he human rights of the LGBT communities would now be attacked at the federal level.

12. New immigrants would be sent home without little due process. In contrast, the HI-B Visa program would be expanded to let more educated and high tech foreign workers into the country. New immigrants generally compete for jobs that high school dropoutswant; yard, work, fast food, roofing and other construction jobs. HI-B visas let foreign workers take information technology and university positions. 

Do you really think the next election doesn't matter? 


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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rise of Nations fix


Rise of Nations (RON) is  a real time strategy (RTS) game  developed for Windows XP. It works intermittently or not at all on Windows 7and 8. In fact, it doesn't play  well with my Windows 7 third party firewall and nearly trashed the Windows install.

After recovering Windows, I reinstalled RON. After the install, I used Explorer to get  into the CD-Rom and executed  rise.exe form the CD-Rom on the D-drive. You can use the DOS box to do this as well. Type cmd is the little window at the bottom of the`Windows 7 menu:

Enter "cmd" at the bottom of the Windows 7 menu and go to the D-drive.

A DOS box will open
When I entered the Rise executable  command, Windows indicated a file patchw32.dll was missing. Checked  the RON directory under the MS Games directory and noticed the .dll fie had already been installed.

Figured out this was a "path" problem. Recalled that Windows 7 has a System or System32 directory for .dll files. After looking around, I found the Windows 7 directory for .dll files in c:\windows\system.

Copied the patchw32.dll file to the C:\windows\system directory and started RON with the windows shortcut on the desktop. The program has worked perfectly ever since.

CodeWeavers claims to have an installable that will allow you to play the game on a MAC or Linux based PC.

Having experimented with Wine and Play On Linux with Rise of Nations, strongly enecourage you to check out the trial to make sure the installable really works before you purchase the CodeWeavers software.

If you have Steam, you can also play Rise of Nations extended edition online. 


sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_of_Nations
https://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/crossover/rise-of-nations


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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Russian Victory Day rehearsal.

video

Sputnik News has big limitations on  reuse of the original article, but it did provide an embed for video. Victory Day is on May 9.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Buying new or used car.

Do some research first


Don't be 'Barefoot Pilgrim' 


That’s  slang term for an unsophisticated buyer. A barefoot pilgrim is someone who has taken on more risk than necessary or entered into the purchase carelessly, without doing the proper research

Have been buying new and late model used cars for nearly half a century.  First thing you need to do is research the car. I started using the ConsumerReports Auto Buying Guide in the 1990s. if you go online, you can even get a price for the car of your dreams.

You can buy a month subscription to ConsumerReports Online for about $7. Once you drill down to the engines and features of the car, you will get a cost coupon you can take to the dealer,

Of interest, if you have USAA insurance, you can log in to your account and use the USAA Auto Buying service. There is no cost and once you have identified, the engine, drive type and options you will be able to print out a coupon you can take to a dealer. The ConsumerReports and USAA bottom line prices are identical!

Suggest you talk to two or three dealers. If a dealer refuses to talk price on the phone, email  or by fax, find another dealer. Tell the dealer if you are a ConsumerReports/USAA member or use another auto buying service like Costco.

Can you beat the online ConsumerReports or USAA prices?

The short answer is yes. The different auto manufacturers have promotions and my car was purchased in a promotion month.

Be aware that auto dealers receive hold backs. A the end of each year, the dealers get 10s of thousands of dollars back from the auto manufactures, depending on their annual volume.

Finance considerations

Have suggested in the past that large banks be avoided,  Credit unions and smaller local community banks are a better option for an auto loan.

If you want to expedite the purchase of the car, go to your credit union and get pre-authorized. The bank will pull your credit and and if everything is satisfactory, issue you a draft somewhat over the amount of the purchase.  Essentially,the bank is issuing you a line of credit.

Once you are finished with the dealer sales person, you will be turned over to finance. When you present the draft, the finance officer will generate a purchase order that will be faxed to the bank.

You can now drive away with the car.

Watch out for dealer financing

Years ago I wanted to purchase a Mercury Cougar for my spouse. The dealer was offering 0 per cent financing and asked if I would finance the car through their corporation. I told them I would call my credit union and compare loan costs. Whoever had the better deal would get the finance the loan. As I recall, the credit union had a 4 per cent interest rate. Even with the higher interest rate, the monthly car payments were less through the credit union.

How can that be?

Dealers may tell you they are not making money on the deal and will want you to finance through them so they can get a finder's fee of $500 from your credit union or bank. My credit union offers no auto dealers finder's fee, so such a comment was bogus.

Dealers can also add charges for documentary stamps (doc stamps) which may add $20 to the monthly cost of the loan. The finance officer explained the credit union had computed the loan payment incorrectly. Actually,he was trying to hide the monthly cost of the doc stamps.

The credit union does not require doc stamps Of course, why would you want to finance doc stamps? When you purchase a home, this a one time charge.

The auto dealer may also try to sell you a warranty. Now think about that for a minute. Most new cars have a full 36 month or 36,000 mile warranty, whatever comes first. Why would you need another warranty on a new car?

A used car is a different story. Most banks or credit unions will offer used car warranties as part of the monthly finance charge.

The credit union advised us to buy an additional warranty one month before the new car warranty expired. This made more sense to my spouse and I.

Some auto dealers will also try to pad the finance charges with loan insurance. That might sound like a good idea, but essentially you are buying insurance for the dealer, If you were to default on the loan, the dealer  get the loan insurance payout. The dealer should be paying for this insurance, not the auto buyer.

However, he credit union offered life insurance for the auto. If either my wife or I died during the term of the loan, the auto would be paid off. You may be able to get this insurance up to the age of 72.

Recommend auto buyers get pre-qualified at a bank or credit union. The dealer has a different view of finance charges than the bank. From the writer's perspective, the banks approach to the auto warranty, doc stamps and auto insurance is more beneficial to the buyer,.

Likewise, after the dealer has accepted your offer for the car, do you really want to set in the finance office for another two hours getting additional sales spiels.

The draft from the credit union or bank will save time and you should be able to drive away in your new vehicle in another 15 minutes after giving finance the bank draft.

An automobile is the second most expensive purchase you will make in your life. Do some research before your purchase a vehicle. It can save you thousands.

source: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/barefootpilgrim.asp

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Herbicide test and storage areas in FL during Vietnam.

These are the diseases associated with AO exposure and the locations where these herbicides were tested or stored in FL. . if you are vet and were at one of the locations in this article during your service, you can file a Veteran Affairs claim for disability if any of the following medical conditions have developed.
If are a civilian or vet who lives near one of the locations in this article, you may have the basis for a federal tort that could be filed in the nearest federal district court. You can represent yourself in a federal court or try to find an attorney who has represented clients in federal court.
Avoid ambulance chaser attorneys who have never presented a case in a federal court. Federal court procedures are more rigorous than state or municipal courts.
  • AL Amyloidosis
    A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs
  • Chronic B-cell Leukemias
    A type of cancer which affects white blood cells
  • Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
    A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
    A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
    A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
    A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart, that leads to chest pain
  • Multiple Myeloma
    A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue
  • Parkinson’s Disease
    A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement
  • Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
    A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure.
  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
    A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
  • Prostate Cancer
    Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men
  • Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer)
    Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
    A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues


Orlando, Fla., at Army Grove Air Force’s Tactical Center
March 14, 1944, April 12, 1944
Ammonium thiocynate, zinc chloride, sodium nitrate, sodium arsenate, sodium fluoride.
The purpose was to determine means of accomplishing defoliation of tropical forest vegetation by application of a chemical agent.
Yes
Marathon, Fla.
March 21-23, 1944
Zinc chloride, ammonium sulphamate, ammonium thiocynate.
The purpose was to determine means of accomplishing defoliation of tropical forest vegetation by application of a chemical agent. Spraying was done here.
Yes
Near Lake George, Fla.
Spring 1944
Zinc chloride
The purpose was to determine means of accomplishing defoliation of tropical forest vegetation by application of a chemical agent. Spraying here.
Yes
Orlando, Fla., and Cocoa, Fla.
1944
Ammonium thiocyanate and zinc chloride
Tests were conducted in 1944 by the Army in Orlando and Cocoa areas of Florida to determine the value of ammonium thiocyanate and chloride as marking and defoliation agents.. They were conducted initially at ground level and later from aircraft.
Yes
Bushnell Army Air Field, Fla.
February 1945
LN *phenoxy
Small plot experiments were commenced to test the effectiveness of LN agents. Various trials were done under contract with the USDA, aided by personnel at Camp Detrick, Md. Here, it was aerial spray experiments on potted plants.
Yes
Bushnell Army Air Field, Fla.
February-April 1945
2,4-D and its ammonium salt
Trials, performed by Chemical Warfare Service personnel from Camp Detrick, Md., tested the practicability of severely injuring or destroying crop plants sprayed from smoke tanks mounted on tactical aircraft.
Yes
Avon Air Force Base, Fla.
February-April 1951
butyl 2,4 D
Trials were conducted at Avon Air Force Base by U.S. Army Chemical Corps with personnel of the Air Force and Navy to determine the practical effectiveness of spraying pure anticrop agents from at low volume from aircraft. C-47 and Navy XBT2D-1 aircraft with various nozzles were used.
Yes
Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
November-December 1952
2,4-D, 2,4,5-T: 143 and 974, respectively
Two trials. Chemical Corps: Concerned with basic fundamental work, using 2,4-D, Air Force: Concerned with evaluating prototype large capacity spray system for aircraft installation using 2,4,5-T, primarily. Used 3 atomizing nozzles: Bete Fog Nozzles, Whirljet Spray Nozzles, and Fogjet 1.5F50.
Yes
Avon Park Air Force Base, Fla.
Spring 1954
butyl 2,4-D, butyl 2,4,5-T, Isopropyl 2,4-D
Series of tests were conducted to study the behavior of chemical anticrop aerial sprays when released from high-speed jet aircraft. The Navy F3D jet fighter was used with Aero 14A Airborne Spray Tanks to disperse the anticrop agents.
Yes
Jacksonville, Fla.
July 18-21, 1962
Agent Purple, Fuel Oil, Mix
The HIDAL was used successfully on an H-34 helicopter to spray herbicidal materials. Therefore, it had not been calibrated previously. Spray tests were performed to do so. This was done under order by OSD/ARPA.
Yes
Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., C-52A test area
1962-70
Agent Orange (1962-68), Agent Purple (1962-68), Agent White (1967-70), Agent Blue (1968-70)
Capt. John Hunter discussed vegetation changes and ecological studies of the two-square mile test area which had been sprayed with herbicides over the period 1962-70.
Yes
Apalachicola National Forest near Sophoppy, Fla.
May 3-8, 1967
Basic desiccants and Agent Orange, Agent Blue
During the period of December 1966 through October 1967, a comprehensive short-term evaluation was conducted by personnel from Fort Detrick’s Plant Science Lab in coordination with contract research on formulations by chemical industry and field tests by USDA and the University of Hawaii.
Yes
Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
June 11, 1968-Sept. 12, 1968
Agent Orange, Bifluid #1, Bifluid#2, Stull Bifluid
A spread factor study was performed by the Army to correlate the spherical drop sizes of Agent Orange and Stull Bifluid defoliants. It involved development of new techniques to determine spread factors over an extended range of drop sizes. A spinning cup drop generator was used.
Yes
Two areas in Florida and Georgia, one in Tennessee
1968
Bromacil, Tandex, monuron, diuron, and fenuron
In 1968, emphasis was given to soil-applied herbicides for grass control. Applications were made by a jeep-mounted sprayer on small plots or by helicopter on larger plots.



sources:
https://www.vetshq.com/herbicide-tests-usage-storage-outside-vietnam/

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Republicans are vicious in their presidential attacks


Recall the Bush presidency quite vividly. GW's public speaking skills were marginal and he often made comedic misstatements called Bushisms. Her are some examples:

''I'm the commander — see, I don't need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president.'' George W. Bush, as quoted in Bob Woodward's Bush at War
"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That's the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009
"Anyone engaging in illegal financial transactions will be caught and persecuted." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2008
"And they have no disregard for human life." --George W. Bush, on the brutality of Afghan fighters, Washington, D.C., July 15, 2008

Bush was a boob that led the US into two unnecessary wars. His Ownership Society polices caused the sub-prime mortgage crises and the Great Recession. According to Wikipedia, he is ranked in the bottom 25 per cent of US presidents.

According to a US News and Ward Report article by Kenneth t. Walsh, Bush received an overall ranking of 36 out of 42 former presidents—in the bottom 10 from US historians.

Democrats and comedians had a field day with the inarticulate president. However, I don't recall the same viciousness, slander or libel that is occurring today during the Obama presidency. 

Republicans, on the other hand, strarted attacks the minute the president took office.

Jim Demint on pending health car legislation in July 2009:  

If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.

“Break him” is a term plantation owners used in the antebellum south about misbehaving salves.

After that the president was attacked on his religion and left a black Christian church whose pastor was too controversial for the GOP. He was then accused of being Muslim who was born in Kenya. GOP operatives even forged an Obama Kenyan birth birth certificate. Apparently the forgers were not too bright and didn't realize that Kenya didn't exist as a country on Obama's birth date. 


Anther wing nutz, Orly Taitz, ran around in feral court system filing groundless law suits it didn't stop until a federal judge fined her for wasting the court's time.

Doandl Trump is still espousing Taitz' birther movement. Obama to even cracked a joke saying "no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald" during the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner.


Racism has also been a big part of the GOP program to embarrass the president. Racist propaganda is still common today.

With all of the mud balls thrown at the president, little has stuck to him. It's like the president has an impenetrable force field around him. 

Think the GOP is seeing some payback. Keystone XL went down in flames after an extensive multi-year lobbying effort. Had the Republicans worked with the Democrats on an a bipartisan infrastructure bill, Keystone XL might have had a chance

Speaker John Boehner tried to close the Department of Homeland Security down and that backfired into his face. One Senate Republican is already whining about the filibuster, something Senate Democrats had to endure for the last six years.

At this point, much of the Republican bickering has degraded into petty insults such as “I despise the president.” Why does Joe Blow despise the president?

Who knows and who cares!


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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Buying a modern laptop



There are a lot of  bargain laptops for sale,  but many use old technology that you should avoid. Watch out for laptops with:

1. less than 4 GB of RAM, a trick Apple Computer uses to cut costs.

2.  Celeron Processors

3. Parallel ATA hard dives.

4. other 32-bit processors

Modern laptops and PCs use 64-bit processors such as the AMD x86 64 bit processor. These processors can address up to 8 MB or RAM while 32-bit processors can only address 4 GB.

The Celeron technology works with all 32-bit processors, but not with all 64-bit.

Celeron processors can run all IA-32 computer programs, but their performance is often significantly lower when compared to similar CPUs with higher-priced Intel CPU brands. For example, the Celeron brand will often have less (L2) cache memory, or have advanced features purposely disabled. These missing features can have a variable impact on performance, but is often very substantial.


It gets worse because the older laptops use the parallel ATA hard drives that are slow. Modern hard drives are Serial ATA hard drives that run at 7200 RPM instead of the older PATA speeds which run at 5400 RPM. The newer SATA controllers also improve HD performance 

The new SATA drives do not use a ribbon cable to connect to a laptop or a PC. Both the power supply and data cables are different on the newer HDs, 




 Old school PATA connectors are on the top and the new school SATA HD connectors are at the bottom. 


The newest hard drives are not mechanical, but sold state dives (SSD). The larger SSD's require a serial ATA connection. Some of these drives are hybrid and have both a solid state and mechanical sdies. Unfortunately, the largest SSD drives with a PATA interface is 128 GB. Anything larger uses the newer SATA interface. The minimum HD space to install Windows 7 and 8 is 20 GB for the 64-bit operating system. Linux requires far less space. 
 
SD cards


Realistically Windows need about 30-60 GB of HD space. Linux can run on a 128 GB SSD drive because it is a meaner and leaner OS.The writer is using about 150 GB on a Linux laptop, A 128 SSD drive It would work but I would have to place most of my data files on a USB thumb drive or a secure digital  (SD) card. 

If you purchase a laptop, buy one with a 64-bt CPU and operating system, at least 4 MB of RAM and a SATA HD.  

This will allow you to upgrade RAM up to 8 MB and also install a a large SSD or hybrid drive at a later date. This will extend the life of your laptop. 

Most of the earlier generation laptops have few upgrade options.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celeron


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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Veteran Affairs Dependent Indemnity Compensation


The Veteran Affairs Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program works like this. If a veteran has service-connected disability and dies from that particular disability, he widow, widower or parents may be eligible for DIC compensation.

There are many ifs, and and buts. For example, if the surviving spouse receives compensation under the Department of Defense Survivor Benefit Program (SBP), the DIC benefits usually become a tax offset. You cannot normally get both SPB entitlements and DIC benefits.

If the surviving spouse remarries, DIC benefits may be terminated at the date of that marriage. In addition, parents of a decreased veteran my be able to receive DIC benefits,but there are income restrictions.

"A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC."


Social Security has no offsets for compensation or pensions received from the VA. One person who contacted the writer is saying that the VA has a means test for DIC, but the writer  was not able to find any information on means tests except for parent's applying for DIC.

As mentioned earlier, there are DIC offsets for spouses  who receive entitlements from SBP as the spouses of deceased retired vets from the armed services.

Likewise, if a spouse receives DIC and remarries, the DIC benefits will terminate in certain circumstances.

Now that gay couples can marry in the majority of US states, these couple need to aware that a gay marriage could result in the termination of DIC.

This is a complex area and survivors are encourage to contact counselors in VA veteran centers, veteran service officers or attorneys for assistance. To see more:

http://benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/types-dependency_and_indemnity.asp

http://www.military.com/benefits/survivor-benefits/dependency-and-indemnity-compensation.html

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