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Jun-16-2013 00:50printcomments

Operation Red Dragonfly - Former Marine Will Cross Country for Veteran's Health

One Marine-turned journalist, one motorcycle, and valuable information to help Vets live longer, coming soon to a venue near you...

Operation Red Dragonfly
Tentative deign for the back of Tim's jacket.

(SALEM / SACRAMENTO) - "This will be the most important thing I have ever done." says Tim King, founder and news editor of Salem-News.com, in regard to his scheduled 48-state motorcycle ride for Veterans.

A former Marine who has covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Tim will make presentations and give talks to a wide variety of groups around the country who need to know about the potential health risks they face from having served in the armed forces, and in military conflict. Along with the messages imparted in person, Tim will distribute written material that reviews the information presented. He conducted extensive research about PTSD in Iraq, working with soldiers and Marines still fighting the war.

Salem-News.com has long been a leader in breaking stories about military health. Tim is the co-author of a book called BETRAYAL, which explores the legacy of toxic Marine Corps bases in the U.S. and Japan. Another former Marine who writes for Salem-News, Robert O'Dowd, is Tim's co-author. Both served at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, a closed down base that is an EPA Superfund site.

Tim has also covered military health stories extensively with Dr. Phil Leveque, one of Salem-News.com's most distinguished writers. He served in World War Two as a front line combat soldier, and has suffered the effects of PTSD for most of his life. Dr. Leveque treated 5,000 PTSD patients in his career.

There are many items still needed for the trip. The motorcycle is being provided by a Sacramento motorcycle rental dealership, it is a Honda VFR 800 Interceptor. Items can be either provided for the trip, or donated.

This Honda VFR 800 Interceptor is similar to the bike Tim will ride for
Operation Red Dragonfly; a 48 state mission to share vital information with Vets.

Help Operation Red Dragonfly with the following items, those with a check mark are at least tentatively secured:

  • Motorcycle worthy of a cross country trip ✓
  • Riding leather
  • One or more GoPro type cameras
  • Small notebook computer
  • DSLR camera
  • Business cards ✓
  • Promotional material ✓
  • Dedicated cell phone with tethering capability
  • Funds for travel

Tim is riding thousands of miles to share the information he has accumulated over his journalism career and nine specific years reporting for Salem-News.com and he's doing it by himself. Your help makes Tim's trip safer and more effective. If you know of a better cause then please donate to it, if you don't, then help Operation Red Dragonfly, an unconventional approach to connect those who served this country in uniform with the answers that can help them live longer.

Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and Tim King in Kabul, Afghanistan

Some of what Tim will cover:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Toxic military base contamination
  • Agent Orange
  • Alternative cancer treatments
  • Civil Rights for motorcyclists
  • Depleted Uranium (DU)

Suggested venues and target groups:

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars halls
  • American Legion halls
  • Motorcycle clubhouses
  • Occupy gatherings
  • Veterans for Peace gatherings

Tim will be recording interviews and footage for an upcoming documentary on PTSD. He will also check in with newsmakers along the way and make media appearances whenever possible.

Tim is planning his route, if you know of a venue for Tim to speak, then please let us know via the email address, tim@journalist.com. You can also write to our regular email address, newsroom@salem-new.com.

Locations already on the map:

Santa Rosa, California
Coos Bay, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Baker City, Oregon
Seattle, Washington
Boise, Idaho
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Tucson, Arizona
Yuma, Arizona
Atlanta, Georgia
Boston, Massachusetts
Somerdale, New Jersey

Please send your donation via the PayPal icon below, which is also located at the top right side of Salem-News.com. This is a SAFE and secure way to help.

Support this important
Salem-News.com mission
to help Vets via PayPal:

If you want to send money or a check then please just write to:

Salem-News.com P.O. Box 5238 Salem, Oregon 97304

More background:

Road Warrior Crossroads: Taking Veteran's Issues to the Street

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Anonymous June 25, 2013 1:53 pm (Pacific time)

If you need info then go read any Veterans publication. There are literally thousands of specialized veterans groups and committees, and hundreds of veterans lobbying congress.

Wow that's great, but why do they ALL fail to mention the most basic problems?  Why can't I find anything about TCE?  After all it contaminates hundreds and hundreds of bases and has caused tens of thousands of Vets to have cancer, you would think that would be out there wouldn't ya'? .  And the publications about how Navy Vets are barred from making claims against Agent Orange... where were those again?  How about the Veterans publications that examine the way the VA prescribes deadly addictive drugs to PTSD Vets, where was that again?  


Anonymous June 23, 2013 6:15 pm (Pacific time)

So are you going to be reporting at each location you ride to? Are you going to post a schedule of future stops?

Yes, in time, thanks.


Sy Hersh June 19, 2013 11:12 am (Pacific time)

Go team!  Also remember gay veterans, we count too!!


Anonymous June 17, 2013 9:47 am (Pacific time)

I saw a special on CNN not long ago on toxic contaminations at various military posts, and I also recall hearing about this over 20 years ago when the Love Canal was in the news. I know several veterans talking about this in the 1980's when lab tests started getting done.
Then Agent Orange claims started in the late 70's with the VA (the Agent Orange List began) and congress established presumptive diseases for Vietnam Vets (list continues to grow) over 20 years ago. Suicide rates have a history of being high during combat and for a while after vets return home. Vietnam vets now have a lower suicide rate than same age civilian cohorts. Vets are far more informed now a days than in the past and that continues to improve. The VA is mandated by law to contact veterans, just the same I see that highly trained and specialized professionals have been helping veterans for probably long before the writer of this article was born.

 (This post is cut off... we have little interest in government apologists,  the VA has many good people but their policies, as we have outed, are highly insufficient)

Those who blindly support the VA and government approach toward taking care of Veterans should read the following articles:

May-19-2008: VA Busted Again Over Poor Diagnosis and Mistreatment of PTSD Vets

 Apr-18-2009: Iraq Vet in Pennsylvania Murders Was Radically Changed by War and PTSD

Apr-21-2008: VA Inadvertently Confirms that a Thousand Vets a Month are Attempting Suicide

May-07-2009: Fake Doctors and Now Fake Medical Care

 Oct-20-2011: VA's Uncaring, Uncompromising Regard for a Marine with PTSD

 Oct-08-2012: Camp Lejeune Marines Get the Shaft

 That is just a start, also check our keywords for PTSD and environment and health.


Grunt June 16, 2013 10:30 am (Pacific time)

Tim if you read the weekly/monthly newsletters and magazines from literally dozens of veterans organizations you would realize that vets have been helping vets for a very long time. For example you have hundreds, if not thousands of veterans who have come back from our current conflicts...

Look, there is this thing called a suicide epidemic.  If everything were rosy the numbers would be different.  Then there are my brother and sister Marines and their families who know nothing about the contamination of the Marine bases that we have written hundreds of articles, and a 510 page book about.  You write from a US govt. IP and you are following your orders to try to harm Salem-News.com and Occupy Marines but it isn't going to work, people believe in us and our record speaks for itself  The part of this that I deleted, about our being "far left loons" is out to lunch.   This is a sincere effort to aid those Veterans you make reference to, sadly most are just trying to get back into their lives and they have jobs and responsibilities and families to take care of, almost nobody alive has the potential to do what I am setting out to do.  Most of those Vets are in need of information, and we have it, and they will learn what they need.  Why?  Because we care about them, no questions asked.  

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