From The VA
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry only had a week left in Iraq when he injured his hand. He could have gone home with a Bronze Star. Instead, he volunteered for one last run to defuse bombs. After working seven hours, Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry was killed March 8, 2006 by an improvised explosive device. Now, a new scholarship program named after Fry will allow his three small children and those of other service members who died on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan to apply for benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Beginning this week children of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001 can receive education benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill to include the children of service members who died in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. Eligible children attending institutions of higher learning may receive payments to cover their tuition and fees up to the highest amounts charged by a public, in-state undergraduate institution. A monthly living allowance and books and supplies stipend are also paid under this program. VA will begin to pay benefits under the Frye Scholarship Program on August 1, 2010. Eligible participants may elect to receive benefits retroactively to August 1, 2009, the same day the Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect. A dependent may be married or over 23 and still be eligible. Eligible children are entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100 percent level. They have 15 years to use the benefit beginning on their 18th birthday, and may use the benefit until their 33rd birthday. Fry’s wife Malia said that when people asked him why was in Iraq Fry told them “to help the children.”
Top Veterans Stories in Today’s News
- Lincoln in line for new VA clinic Lincoln, Nebraska (AP) – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is looking at building a new clinic in Lincoln and converting its 60-acre campus in the capital city into a new use. VA officials say Lincoln would get a new modern clinic in exchange for allowing a developer to use all or part of the Lincoln campus for up to 75 years, under what is called an extended-use lease.
- Veterans want to keep both service offices open Fearful of the impending closing of one of Escambia County’s Veterns Administrtion offices, a group of Atmore veterans attended a Thursday workshop of the Escambia County Commissioners to voice their concerns of the possible closing of the office in Atmore. Commissioners told the veterans the decision of which office to close — Atmore or Brewton — was out of their hands. The Veterans Administration has been in contact with commissioners in recent weeks to let them know that one of the two offices — either Atmore or Brewton — will likely close as a VA cost-cutting measure.
- TN veterans face tough battle to find employment Clarksville, Tennessee – Terry Pack was an aircraft mechanic serving in the Army in Iraq, spending two of the last six years in combat overseas. Now that he’s done his service for the country, he can’t even get a job doing oil changes at Sears. “It’s tough,” said the unemployed Clarksville veteran, who was honorably discharged in January. “I’ve been looking for any job.”
- Tulsa veterans court hopes to expand program Tulsa, Oklahoma – Some men stood at parade rest as they appeared before Tulsa Special Judge Sarah Day Smith. Others leaned on their crutches or walkers or stood close to military attention. The veterans are representatives from six different wars and range widely in age. They also battle addictions leading to problems with their families, housing and brushes with the law.
- Rural Veterans Wait to Receive Expanded Health Care Options Washington, DC – The House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee, led by Chairman Michael Michaud (D-ME), held a hearing to assess the progress of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in implementing an enhanced contract health care pilot program for veterans living in rural areas. The pilot program was authorized in the 110th Congress and required the VA to conduct a three-year demonstration project in five regions where highly rural veterans enrolled in the VA health care system may receive covered services through non-VA providers.
- Veterans, families, friends honor soldiers lost in Vietnam SAn annual ceremony honoring Illinois soldiers who died during the Vietnam War is a way to help their families cope. Part of that remembrance is a 24-hour vigil at the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Oak Ridge Cemetery that began at noon Saturday.
“We come up every year, the first weekend in May, in recognition of them,” said Lee Oakley, a veteran and member of the vigil committee from Mattoon.
- VA honors more than 1,000 volunteers Temple, Texas – Officials of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System honored their more than 1,000 volunteers in nine locations Thursday at an Africa-themed roast beef luncheon at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center.
- Ill Gulf War vets urged to seek care through VA Gulf War veterans with medical symptoms should seek treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs in light of a recent study that says Gulf War service is a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, director of strategic communications for the Military Health System.
- Development of employees should be priority Policy, infrastructure and technology alone do not create a government that works — people do. Those of us privileged to serve in government meet these people every day: dedicated, mission-oriented employees who care deeply about the country they serve. These are the individuals we recognize during Public Service Recognition Week. But many hard-working civil servants often lack the tools they need to meet our rising expectations.
- Vietnam War still stirs passionate divisions at Kent State May 4 events Kent, Ohio – Spirited debate about the Vietnam War and its legacy lives on at Kent State University. War veteran and anti-war activist Country Joe McDonald screened two short documentary-style films about the war’s impact at a gathering Sunday. The reaction to the movies at Kent State — where the impact of that war may have been felt more than anywhere else — was divided and passionate.