Top 10 Veterans News from Around the Country 6-10-09


What’s Inside Today’s Local News for Veterans

1. Veterans Sworn In As Sheriff’s Officers.  
2. US Army To Close Some Wounded Warrior Units, Reduce Size Of Others.  
3. VA-Funded Research Explores Link Between Gene Activity, Prostate Cancer.
4. Lebanon VAMC’s Foster Program For Veterans Seeking Caregivers.  
5. Hospital In New York Awaiting Decision On Vets Clinic.  
6. Montana Governor Forms Veterans Home Committee.
7. Colorado Vets Participate In Golden Age Games.  
8. Over 600 Athletes Expected To Compete In Wheelchair Games.  
9. VA Approves Contract For Expansion Of Massachusetts National Cemetery.  
10. Lawmaker Suggests Stimulus Funds Might Help Pay For Makeover Of Vet’s Home.


VA Study to Bring Advanced Prosthetic Arm to Veterans
An advanced artificial arm that enables amputees to easily pick up a key or hold a pencil will undergo a three–year study at the Providence, R.I., VA Medical Center. The VA–DARPA collaboration will guide engineers in refining the prototype before it is made available through the VA health care system. The arm’s control system, which works like a foot–operated joystick, contains an array of sensors embedded in a shoe and allows an amputee to maneuver the arm by pressing with different parts of the foot. The current version uses wires to relay the signals to the arm, but future versions will be wireless. This first large–scale testing of the arm will allow those who have lost a limb up to their shoulder joint to perform movements while reaching over their head.


1.      Veterans Sworn In As Sheriff’s Officers.   The Philadelphia Inquirer (6/10, Colimore, 339K) reports "14 military veterans" were "sworn in as Camden County sheriff’s officers" Monday "during a ceremony to mark the opening of the Camden Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic." The veterans "were immediately marched to Camden City Hall to undergo processing." The Inquirer notes that an "Iraq veteran was in Marine reservist training" Monday "and will be sworn in later, officials said."

2.      US Army To Close Some Wounded Warrior Units, Reduce Size Of Others.   The AP (6/10, Hall) reports the US Army "plans to reduce the size of some of its 36 wounded warrior units by the end of the month and close three by October after tightening standards to stem a flood of patients," according to Robert Moore, "a spokesman for the Warrior Transition Command." In a news release, Col. Jimmie Keenan, "who oversees the units for the Army," said they have been treating some patients with simple injuries or ones in need of routine surgeries and that "detracted from the care of more serious cases." Army officials "have said closing some and reducing the size of others should help ease staff shortages in the units," which "were created in 2007 to address reports of substandard care for wounded, ill and injured soldiers."

3.      VA-Funded Research Explores Link Between Gene Activity, Prostate Cancer.   Science Daily (6/10) reports, "As stroma – the supportive framework of the prostate gland – react to prostate cancer, changes in the expression of genes occur that induce the formation of new structures such as blood vessels, nerves and parts of nerves, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research." These "gene changes may explain why men with reactive stroma face a more aggressive disease, said" Dr. Michael Ittmann and Dr. Gustavo Ayala, senior authors of the report. Science Daily adds, "Funding for this work came from" several sources, including the US

4.      Lebanon VAMC’s Foster Program For Veterans Seeking Caregivers.   The Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News (6/10, Miller) reports, "A foster program for veterans with medical needs is poised to begin operation through" the Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center, but "it needs…commitments from people in the community to care for veterans in their homes, said Teresa Stump-Klinger, program coordinator." While "she’s had interest from 21 people, none have resulted in a foster home opening so far for various reasons. Homes are inspected and care is monitored by the VA, with most medical care provided by the VA’s home-based primary medical care program."
5.      Hospital In New York Awaiting Decision On Vets Clinic.   The Plattsburgh (NY) Press Republican (6/10, Reiner) reports Elizabethtown Community Hospital (ECH) "is still awaiting word on the future" of its veterans clinic. Hospital CEO Rod Boula "said ECH submitted its required documents by the May 15 deadline and, so far, they have not heard anything. ‘What we sent, we feel, are fair proposals,’ Boula said." The "determination will be made" in Buffalo "about whether the clinic will stay where it is or be moved to the Tri-Lakes area. Many veterans turned out for a May meeting to protest any change in location" by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

6.      Montana Governor Forms Veterans Home Committee.   The AP (6/10) reports Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer "has named a six-member committee to set the criteria for a $10 million" veterans home that "the state plans to build in southwestern Montana. The committee, which includes a veteran from each county vying" for the home, "will then accept and evaluate proposals" The AP says the home "can be built in Madison, Jefferson, Beaverhead, Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Powell or Silver Bow county."

7.      Colorado Vets Participate In Golden Age Games.   In continuing coverage, the Grand Junction (CO) Daily Sentinel (6/10, Bahr) noted that Darrel Chapman, Eric Rosenquist, and Emma Folnsbee, three Grand Junction military veterans, "participated in the National Veterans Golden Age Games last week in Birmingham, Ala." For Chapman, it was his first games, which the Sentinel describes as "a four-day sporting event" for US "military veterans age 55 and older who receive medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs," but it was "Rosenquist’s 10th" games and the sixth one for Folnsbee, who "said the real reason people attend the Golden Games is for the fellowship." The Sentinel adds, "All three" veterans "plan to attend next year’s Golden Games in Des Moines, Iowa."

8.      Over 600 Athletes Expected To Compete In Wheelchair Games.   In continuing coverage, the AP (6/10) reports, "More than 600 athletes are expected in Spokane for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which run July 13-18. This is the 29th edition" of what is the "largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world, according" to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which, along with the group Paralyzed Veterans of America, co-sponsors the games.

9.      VA Approves Contract For Expansion Of Massachusetts National Cemetery.   The AP (6/10) reports the US Department of Veterans Affairs "has awarded a $1.4 million contract to design a planned expansion of the national veterans cemetery in Bourne." Officials with the VA "say the 25-acre expansion will provide an additional 10 years of burial space at the Massachusetts National Cemetery." Cemetery director Paul McFarland "says the goal is to complete the project by 2012." The Boston Globe (6/10, 349K) runs this story as the lead in its "New England In Brief" column.

10.    Lawmaker Suggests Stimulus Funds Might Help Pay For Makeover Of Vet’s Home.   The Lynchburg (VA) News & Advance (6/9, Reed) said Bernard "Pete" Burley, a "Lynchburg veteran of World War II whose" home "is getting a makeover by volunteer workers," had "a congressional visitor Monday." US Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) "paid a call" on Burley, who is disabled, "and his wife…and suggested" that Federal "stimulus money might be tapped in order to insulate" their house. Goodlatte "urged the volunteer groups that have worked on the house to check quickly on the availability of stimulus money designated for weatherization. Repairs on the Burleys’ home…have been financed" in part "by Sears Holdings Corp., which has provided a $76,000 grant to fix up 18 homes of veterans in Lynchburg."



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