Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News


From The VA
VA’s “Top Cop” for 2010 leads a police force of 44 officers who protect the safety of employees, Veterans and visitors at facilities of the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System. Chief of Police Dennis Moore, based at the Omaha VA Medical Center, received the VA Police Services “Chief of the Year” award at the Police Services annual awards banquet last month. Chief Moore was recognized for innovation, including implementation a security overhaul that of his health care system and its three separate health care facilities. His leadership was credited for his force’s top ratings on annual all-employee surveys. Moore has been the chief of police for the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System since transferring from the Oklahoma VA Medical Center in 2008. He is a U.S. Air Force retiree who served in various capacities in the Office of Special Investigations. Captain Ray Brantis, also based at the Omaha VA Medical Center, was named “Lead Officer of the Year.” He was recognized for outstanding work in building a solid police investigations and training program as a detective prior to his recent promotion to captain. Brantis joined VA Police Services in 2006 at the Central Iowa VA Medical Center and transferred to Omaha in 2008. He previously served as a local police officer and sheriff deputy in Chattanooga, Tenn. He also served in the U.S. Army airborne infantry.

Top Veterans Stories in Today’s News

  1. Thieves Take Controversial Mojave Cross Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that a cross built to honor Americans who died in war could remain on federal land in California’s Mojave Desert. Now, that cross has been stolen. Michele Norris talks to Linda Slater with the National Park Service, and Joe Davis, public affairs director of Veterans of Foreign Wars, about the theft.
  2. Retirees May Be Gates’ Toughest Military Foe Washington, DC – In three and a half years as secretary of defense, Robert Gates has successfully challenged the bureaucracies of the Army, Air Force and Navy, along with their powerful friends in industry and on Capitol Hill. But now he may be taking on the toughest branch of the defense establishment: retirees and their health insurance.
  3. IG: VA lags on meeting own care standards Washington, DC – Veterans Affairs Department hospitals and clinics are moving slowly to implement standardized policies for treatment of mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders, according to a new report by VA’s inspector general.
  4. Disabled Veterans Face A Faceless Bureaucracy The Department of Veterans Affairs is struggling to cope with tens of thousands of veterans filing for disability benefits. Because there are applicants from two current wars — plus a new wave from the first Gulf War and Vietnam — thousands are now stuck in the clogged pipeline.
  5. Union announces $50K gift to care for Vietnam Veterans Memorial grounds Washington, DC (AP) – A labor union is pledging $50,000 for upkeep of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial grounds on the National Mall. The Maryland-based International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers announced the gift Tuesday to help care for about 13 acres for the rest of the year.
  6. VA grants $22M to local veterans home The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded the Minnesota Veterans home in Minneapolis two grants totaling $22.4 million for a new nursing home and renovations. The grants are expected to cover 65 percent of the total costs of the two projects. The department designated $19.2 million for the new 100-bed nursing home and $3.2 million to improve facilities used by the adult day health-care program.
  7. Pilot Program Will Offer Dental Insurance to US Veterans Washington, DC – A new bill that has just been signed into law by President Obama takes the first step towards offering dental benefits to all 23,000,000 US veterans and their survivors and dependents.
  8. 2010 VA Benefits Guide Now Available VA’s 2010 guide to “Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors” is now available online. This is the all-in-one place to learn about the benefits to which you or a family member might be entitled.
  9. Abilene, Kansas – DOD struggles with health care costs Defense Secretary Robert Gate spoke about the need to control soaring defense costs, especially health care expenses, while Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki responded to several health care challenges facing veterans’ health care.
  10. The Unique Advantages Of VA Mortgages There was a time when Veterans Administration (VA) loans were so time-consuming to obtain that lenders did not want to process them and home sellers were likely to reject offers from buyers planning to finance with VA loans. Thanks to changes in the system, it has become much easier to take advantage of the unique benefits offered by VA loans.

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