Top 10 Veterans News from Around the Country

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Find out What’s Inside Today’s Local News for Veterans

  1. Shinseki Opens National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.
  2. Winter Sports Clinic Lays Groundwork For Paralympic Skiers.
  3. VA Focused On New Software For Post-911 GI Bill.
  4. Managers Might Need A Refresher Course On Hiring The Disabled.
  5. Father Of Deceased Iraq Vet Ordered To Pay Funeral Protestor’s Legal Costs.
  6. Father Of Deceased Iraq Vet To Hold Off On Paying Funeral Protestors’ Court Expenses.
  7. Duckworth Urges Public To Support Legislators Who Support Veterans.
  8. Tuscaloosa VA Expands Clinic For Women Veterans.
  9. Stimulus To Fund Job Training For Vets In California.
  10. Study Co-Conducted By VA Hospital Finds People Would Donate Kidneys For Payment.

Have You Heard
The VA Regional Office in Boise, Idaho, was recently recognized by an independent group for reducing its environmental impact. The U.S. Green Building Council recently awarded its “gold” rating for the construction design of the 25,000 square-foot facility. Three other VA facilities have been cited by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for their programs. The Reno Regional Office in Nevada received a LEED “silver” rating. The Fort Harrison Regional Office in Montana and the Oakland Mental Health Clinic in California each received a LEED-certified rating. LEED is a leading, independent rating system based on environmental assessments of buildings. It is used by the U.S. Green Building Council to certify sustainability of a facility. The LEED rating criteria includes energy savings, water efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, improved indoor air quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impact. LEED and Green Globes are the only two “green” building rating systems developed by organizations accredited by the American National Standards Institute. Under LEED, a building can receive one of four ratings: platinum, gold, silver and certified. To obtain its gold rating, the Boise Regional Office had to score 60-79 points out of 100. Additionally, VA has 12 medical centers that have been certified as sustainable by the Green Globes rating system. “Sustainability” refers to development that meets current needs without compromising the environment of future generations.

1.      Shinseki Opens National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. The American Forces Press Service (3/29, Miles) On Sunday night in Snowmass Village, Colorado, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki “opened the 24th Annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.” Shinseki “challenged more than 400 disabled veterans participating in the six-day clinic to move beyond their personal comfort zones and press their limits as they learn adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing and try their hand at rock climbing, scuba diving, trapshooting, snowmobile, sled hockey, wheelchair fencing and other activities.” Shinseki also called the clinic, which is co-sponsored by his agency and Disabled American Veterans, “an extension of ‘the superb rehabilitative care’ veterans receive at VA medical facilities across the country.”
Participant Notes Support From VA, Volunteers. American Forces Press Service (3/29, Miles) Shinseki “thanked volunteers for their” support, “posed for photos with participants,” and “helped William Fry, among the first wave of skiers to hit the slopes on a monoski, to fasten his ski bib.” Fry, participating in his third clinic, “said he’s…struck by the support participants receive at every level — from the Veterans Affairs secretary himself, to the VA Department staff to the hundreds of volunteers who return to the clinic again and again every year.”

2.      Winter Sports Clinic Lays Groundwork For Paralympic Skiers. In American Forces Press Service (3/31, Miles)

3.      VA Focused On New Software For Post-911 GI Bill. In its “Burn After Reading” blog, the National Journal (3/29, Risen, 12K) ” Having missed its original deadline last summer to streamline claims processing for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, the Obama administration is trying to make good by launching new software April 1. Veterans Affairs Department data shows the still-new college aid program has improved at getting payments to veterans and universities after its rocky introduction last August. But computerizing the benefits is the only permanent solution to tame the complicated system of tuition and housing funds, according to Roger Baker, the VA’s assistant secretary for information and technology.

4.      Managers Might Need A Refresher Course On Hiring The Disabled. NextGov (3/30, Rosenberg) reported, “Federal managers need better training on hiring and overseeing disabled employees, a new survey from a professional association and public-private partnership concluded.”

5.      Father Of Deceased Iraq Vet Ordered To Pay Funeral Protestor’s Legal Costs. The New York Times /AP (3/30, A18) Lawyers for the father of a Marine who died in Iraq say a court has ordered him to pay legal costs for the anti-gay protesters who picketed his son’s funeral. The protesters are led by Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.

6.      Father Of Deceased Iraq Vet To Hold Off On Paying Funeral Protestors’ Court Expenses. Christian Science Monitor (3/31, Lubold, 48K).  Albert Snyder, the “father of a Marine killed” in Iraq, “says he won’t pay the legal fees of a protest group who picketed at his son’s funeral in 2006 — at least not until he hears from the US Supreme Court on the matter.”





7.      Duckworth Urges Public To Support Legislators Who Support Veterans. On its website, KTVN-TV Reno, NV (3/29, Potter).  “More women are needing care,” and the Department of Veterans Affairs “is adapting.” However, “despite the size of Reno’s VA hospital,” Tammy Duckworth, the agency’s assistant secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, “worries it’s just not enough.”

8.      Tuscaloosa VA Expands Clinic For Women Veterans. The Tuscaloosa (AL) News (3/30, Avant) said the number of female veterans in Alabama is “expected to grow in the next few years as more women come home from war.  The AP (3/31)

9.      Stimulus To Fund Job Training For Vets In California. The Arnold (CA) Pine Tree (3/30, Hamilton).  Monday, the California Department of Transportation “announced that the state has been awarded $2.7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) job training grants for eight California workforce development centers

10.    Study Co-Conducted By VA Hospital Finds People Would Donate Kidneys For Payment. USA Today (3/31, Lackey)

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