July 10, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Warrior Canine Connection (WCC), a nonprofit that breeds, trains and places service dogs with Service Members and Veterans with visible and invisible wounds, has named one of its future services dogs from its Commitment Litter “Rochel” after Air Force Sergeant Rachelle ‘Rochel’ Suzanne Hayman.

“WCC names all its puppies after Service Members and Veterans who have made significant contributions to our nation,” Alyssa Malaspina, who coordinates WCC’s Namesake Program. “We take special care to honor heroes such as Rochel Hayman, to those who’ve served as far back as World War II to the present day. Learning from our living namesakes, their families, widows, moms, dads, siblings and friends is a rich tradition that honors their military service and helps to keep their legacies alive.”

“I know Warrior Canine Connection, and I know the critical impact they have with what they do.  When I heard they wanted to name one of their dogs after me, I was speechless and overwhelmed.  It’s such a tremendous merit I don’t feel deserving of, but my children are so excited and proud, so I accepted.  I trust WCC Rochel will serve with love and kindness and to the best of her capabilities,” Hayman said.

Air Force Sergeant Hayman grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Sgt. Hayman planned to study broadcasting in college, but her path took a turn upon meeting an Air Force recruiter who told her that she could pursue her interests in radio and television while serving in the military. Sgt. Hayman was stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan for two years. While she predominately worked in radio, Sgt. Hayman had many opportunities to enhance her live shows with interviews of touring pop music artists. After being stationed in Japan, Sgt. Hayman served for two and a half years on the island of Crete, Greece at the now closed Iraklion Air Station in both radio and television.

Later, when Radio and Television Broadcasting Specialists were sought to volunteer for duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield, Sgt. Hayman saw an opportunity to continue her service and was subsequently assigned to a radio pod in Dhahran at the beginning of the Gulf War. Sgt. Hayman continues to be grateful for her opportunities to use her skills and gifts in a positive way and in service to our nation.  She is an active member in the Jewish War Veterans of the USA and Chairwoman of the JWV Gulf War Committee.

For more information, please contact Programs and Public Relations Coordinator Cara Rinkoff at (202) 265-6280 ext. 413 or

About Warrior Canine Connection
Warrior Canine Connection is a pioneering organization that utilizes a Mission Based Trauma Recovery model to empower returning combat Veterans who have sustained physical and psychological wounds while in service to our country. Based on the concept of Warriors helping Warriors, WCC’s therapeutic service dog training program is designed to mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other challenges, while giving injured combat Veterans a sense of purpose, and help in reintegrating back into their families and communities. For more information, visit

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) strongly supports renaming ten military bases which currently commemorate and celebrate Confederate generals.

“The Jewish War Veterans of the USA, our nation’s oldest active veteran’s association, was founded in 1896 by Jewish Civil War veterans, who fought for the Union against the rebel forces led by these generals,” says National Commander Harvey Weiner.  “We owe it to these men and to all who fought against slavery in the Civil War not to honor these traitors by naming American military bases after them.”

Weiner also says “These bases should be renamed for soldiers of diverse races and religions who received the Congressional Medal of Honor and who trained or were stationed at that particular base.”

JWV supports the amendment approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee as part of the NDAA to rename the bases, the standalone bill introduced in the Senate last week, as well as efforts in the House of Representatives to pass legislation that would set up a commission to make recommendations about renaming the bases.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

By Herb Rosenbleeth

This summer marks 30 years since the beginning of the Gulf War, which began as Operation Desert Shield and was soon followed by Operation Desert Storm, the combat part of the conflict.

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded and occupied Kuwait, an act which the United Nations Security Council condemned. President George H. W. Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher deployed forces to Saudi Arabia and urged other countries to do so as well. The goal of the Gulf War was to prevent Saddam Hussein from completely capturing Kuwait and to throw Iraqi forces out of the area of Kuwait which they were occupying.

Desert Storm, the name given to the combat operation, began on January 17, 1991, with an exceptionally powerful aerial and naval bombardment. There was great fear of what dangers U.S. and coalition forces might encounter. The Washington Post published a big editorial on the potential casualties we would face if Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against our ground forces. Many also believed that Iraqi forces were solidly dug in and that it could be a lengthy, hard fought battle to dislodge them.

Thankfully, the ground assault did not take long. The U.S.-led coalition quickly liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s forces were defeated and a ceasefire was declared only 100 hours after the ground campaign started. Aerial and ground combat were confined to Iraq, Kuwait, and to some areas on the border with Saudi Arabia. Iraq launched Scud missiles against certain military targets in Saudi Arabia and against Israel.

The Scud missiles targeting Israel resulted in the death of 74 Israelis and approximately 230 Israelis were injured. Most of these were indirect casualties, such as heart attacks. In response to the threat of Scud attacks against Israel, the U.S. sent a Patriot missile air defense artillery battalion to Israel along with two batteries of MIM Patriot missiles to protect civilians. One of the most damaging attacks caused by a Scud missile occurred in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, when a Scud missile hit the barracks of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, a reserve unit from Pennsylvania. The attack killed 28 soldiers and wounded more than 100 others.

While U.S. casualties from the fighting turned out to be extremely low, many returning soldiers reported a phenomenon known as Gulf War illness. This is a very important issue to this day, generally covered in various legislative proposals targeting burn pits.

I would like to give a shout out to those members of JWV whom I know were part of in the Gulf War victory.
Rochel Hayman is JWV’s Gulf War Committee Chairperson. During the Gulf War Hayman served in the Air Force as a broadcaster with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) in Dahran, Saudi Arabia. She recently completed her term as the Commander of the JWV Department of the Southwest.

Jeff Sacks served as a reservist who was activated for Desert Shield. Sacks was the Company Commander of the 822nd Military Police Company throughout Desert Storm. The 822nd guarded Iraqi prisoners of war. Sacks recently served as the JWV Department Commander of Illinois. Retired Major Sacks is also active at the national level of the Jewish War Veterans.

Chaplain Jacob Goldstein was mobilized with the New York State National Guard. The U.S. Army assigned Goldstein to the Patriot Battery in Israel. Goldstein became the senior Jewish Chaplain in the U.S. Army and completed his service career as a full Colonel.

Cliff Crystal was an Army reservist from the Washington, D.C. area. He used to come by the museum and JWV headquarters regularly. Cliff was mobilized for the Gulf War. When he returned he was very sick and he died soon thereafter. In retrospect, he may well have been a casualty of the burn pits.

Steve Robertson served on the legislative staff of the American Legion when he was mobilized. His unit was the 276th Military Police Company of the Washington, D.C. National Guard. Robertson says that in Passover of 1991, Jewish personnel in the gulf area were given the opportunity to participate in Passover services and a Seder on a ship. Robertson says approximately 450 attended. The program lasted for three days. Robertson had an outstanding career as an advocate for veterans and eventually became the Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Nelson Mellitz served with the Defense Logistics Agency as a Command Service Contracting Officer during the Gulf War. He is an outstanding JWV leader who has recently been the Department Commander of New Jersey. Retired Colonel Mellitz currently serves as JWV’s National Quartermaster.
The Jewish War Veterans of the USA is very proud of those of you who helped win the Gulf War! We are eager to see your participation in JWV and your number of members continue to grow, and we look for our Gulf War veterans to move into positions of leadership in JWV.

Volume 74. Number 2. 2020

By Rabbi Irwin Wiener
In 1965, sitting in front of my television, a newsflash appeared listing the death toll in Vietnam. In those days, it was a daily occurrence. The intensity of the conflict was beginning to show signs of terrible days and years ahead.

What caught my eye at that time was a name I had not seen, nor uttered, for many years, Major Alan Pasco. He was a childhood friend growing up in the Bronx, New York. We hung out, played basketball, went to the same playground, and just enjoyed life. He was one of the first casualties.
These thoughts came to mind when I recently viewed a movie, “The Last Full Measure.” This period in our history still brings back horrific images of maimed bodies, lost limbs, lost lives, and lost opportunities. The men who sacrificed so much for so little have no future, no love to warm their hearts, no families to watch as they join for holidays and other celebrations.

These men and women will never have families of their own, no children to shower with affection, no stories of growing old while enjoying the fruits of their labors. There are no tomorrows, only yesterdays. In the ten years of the Vietnam War there were 58,220 casualties.
I watched this film, tears rolling down my cheeks, not truly understanding the purpose of the sacrifices. My mind wandered to the early 1970s, when our country showed its disdain for the war by shunning our men and women in uniform. At that time, America showed its anger and frustration by insulting and criticizing the actions of these brave souls.

The one thing we did not do is focus our contempt on the people who brought us to the brink of disgust in anything and everything our country was now involved in. From the Secretary of Defense, to the Secretary of State, to the Generals, and of course, to the President of the United States, we neglected to remind them their obligations rested with the care and safety of those we send into battle. Time and again we read and witnessed the lack of fortitude in determining the value of this so-called undeclared war.

Over, and over, I watched as the pain of their involvement became too much to bear. The wounded, the dead, all giving the last full measure in an attempt to survive and fulfill their obligations as patriots. Young and old joined together to help each other in the madness they encountered. Medics tried to piece together the broken and shattered remnants of what was once whole.

None of us can truly understand the torment, the agony, the despair felt as fellow soldiers fell at the feet of their comrades. Can we ever focus on the blood soaked ground and not feel ashamed at the senseless slaughter of our brothers, our fathers, our sons, and our future?
Perhaps only eyes washed by tears can see clearly the futility of war. Perhaps the tragedies we encounter are less significant than what happens within us. This, to me, is the reality of death and destruction perpetrated on ourselves as we try to justify this madness.

Airman First Class William Pitsenbarger, to me, is a symbol of both what is right with our service men and women and at the same time, what is wrong with the way we treat them as they display the heroism expected. The depression, homelessness, and lack of proper medical treatment are all indications of our neglect for the sanctity of life and gratitude for their service.

People like Airman First Class Pitsenbarger and all who have served and continue to serve are owed a debt of gratitude. He represented all that is good in us. He represented the sacrifices we are willing to make to protect who we are. He represented, and still represents, the millions who serve, who give of themselves so that we can enjoy the beauty of freedom and the values established by the few for so many.

Have we learned anything from this travesty? Have we learned anything from the lack of respect we display by ignoring the traumas of these dedicated individuals? Will we ever stand up and demonstrate our concern for all those we are responsible for?

Yes, my dear friend Major Alan Pasco gave his life in defense of his country. Yes, 58,220 other men sacrificed so much for so little in return. Yes, Airman First Class William Pitsenbarger comforted the wounded, attempted to offer comfort in an atmosphere of despair, and taught us how the power of one person can make a difference. Yes, Vietnam is in the past, but it should not be forgotten.

And yes, the stark memorial dedicated to their memories should remind us we owe so much that can never truly be repaid, but we should never stop trying.

Volume 74. Number 2. 2020