From The VA
During National Volunteer Week, VA salutes Joyce Brown, the Voluntary Service Chief from the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) in San Antonio, Texas, who is the latest winner of the Award for Excellence given by VA Voluntary Service’s National Advisory Committee. Brown and her staff pursued numerous community outreach avenues to obtain programs and donations improve Veteran’s quality of life under VA care. As a result, several organizations distributed reading materials, movies and personalized gifts directly to patients, and sponsored holiday parties, special meals and entertainment. Always the advocate for present and future health care, Brown added educational segments to youth tours and volunteer programs, maintaining a Veteran-centered focus for Voluntary Service. She recently served on a National VAVS task force and has chaired two committees for the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. In addition to these accomplishments, Brown served this past year as the President for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) South Texas Chapter.
Top Veterans Stories in Today’s News
- SBA leader vows to crack down on small-business fraud Washington, DC – The head of the Small Business Administration today said the agency has cracked down on companies posing as if they were owned by service-disabled veterans, a scheme uncovered by a recent investigation. The Government Accountability Office exposed fraud in several of SBA’s small-business programs, including the program that sets aside contracts for small companies owned by service-disabled veterans.
- VA tells Senate it’s working to fix glitches in new GI bill Washington, DC – Veterans trying to get an education under the new GI bill face delayed checks, erroneous payments and uncertainty about what their actual benefits are, officials told a congressional committee Wednesday. Testifying before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Department of Veterans Affairs officials acknowledged problems that have characterized the initial eight months of the overhaul of the original Montgomery GI Bill. Glitches were expected in the beginning, but they need to be fixed, officials said.
- U.S. House Passes Perriello Bill Expanding Health Benefits for Veterans’ Caregivers Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Perriello’s Health Care for Family Caregivers Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives today with bipartisan support as part of S. 1963, the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act. The bill extends medical care for family and live-in caregivers to severely disabled veterans, and the omnibus legislation expands and improves veterans’ health care services for women veterans; improves health care for veterans living in rural areas; and provides better access to mental health care; and expands support for homeless veterans.
- Sestak denounces Specter TV spot as inaccurate U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-7) likened Sen. Arlen Specter’s latest campaign commercial to a practice known as “shift boating,” a tactic derived from a movement by a veterans group “Shift Boat Veterans for Truth” widely believed to have derailed Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Ma.) bid for the presidency in 2004 against George W. Bush.
- Tester Criticizes VA for mishandling G.I. Bill Overpayments Senator Jon Tester had some tough words today for the VA In a Senate hearing, Tester criticized the mishandling of veterans’ benefits payments under the 21st Century G.I. Bill.
- Athletes Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Washington, DC – L. Tammy Duckworth, Assistant Secretary of Public Intergovernmental Affairs, shares a bond with Paralympic athletes that most politicians will never know. Like some of the athletes on the U.S. Paralympic Team, she understands the pain and loss that sometimes go hand in hand with serving your country.
- How About a GI Bill Widget? Washington, DC – That’s one of the best suggestions to come out of Wednesday’s Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on the post 9/11 GI bill. The suggestion came not from the Veterans Affairs Department, but from Marco Reininger, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and now a student at Columbia University in New York. He said VA could make it easy for vets to track the progress of their claims by posting a widget on its GI bill website.
- Veterans gather in support of benefits Columbia, South Carolina – Veterans from across the state are fighting a battle at the capitol Wednesday. The rally is to support the 400,000 vets here in South Carolina who need access to mental and physical health care, spouse benefits and programs for the homeless.
- Veterans Affairs Survivors’ & Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) Many give their lives in service of the nation. Others return from combat with injuries, oftentimes with permanent disabilities that can be life and career-changing events. If you are the spouse or dependent child of a Veteran who died or became disabled in connection with the Military service, you may be entitled to certain education benefits from the United States Government. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a benefits package called the Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. It provides up to 45 months of education and training benefits to eligible dependents of certain Veterans.
- Musial leading drive to renovate Soldiers Memorial St. Louis, Missouri – A new drive to renovate Soldiers Memorial downtown has enlisted Stan Musial, Cardinals slugger and World War II sailor, to ask fellow veterans for help in raising $6.6 million. “This building has been a great asset to the city and this region for many years,” Mayor Francis Slay said Tuesday. “It’s important that we make it everything it can be.”