From The VA
This week we honor those who protect and serve us close to home – our VA police.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. On behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs I proudly recognize and thank the men and women of the VA Police force who stand firm as the first line of our protection at VA facilities, working to insure the safety and security of each of us – employee, Veteran and visitor– and make it possible for us to carry out our mission at every facility and office throughout our Department.
Protecting veterans, their families, guests, VA employees, contractors and volunteers is a 24/7 endeavor that exposes our police officers to danger and sometimes puts their lives in jeopardy. Seven courageous VA police officers have, in fact, given their lives in performance of their duties at VA facilities. We remember them in somber gratitude and wish their families and those who worked with them the comfort that time and fond remembrance provides.
Law enforcement continues to become more complex, posing greater challenges and requiring officers to serve additional hours of dangerous exposure, above and beyond their regular duties. VA police not only prevent crime, their vigilance protects Veterans and employees from dangers they seldom think about or see. The breath-taking rescue of a Veteran threatening to jump from a parking deck at the North Chicago VA Medical Center is an example of individual heroism and police teamwork and professionalism; both of which characterize today’s VA police force.
VA Police Officers are a vital complement of our total effort to provide Veterans with first rate care and service. I ask you to join me in taking a moment and thank them for their hard work, diligence, and dedication in the service of VA and the Veterans we care for.
Eric K. Shinseki
Top Veterans Stories in Today’s News
- VA alerts cancer patient to possible Lejeune water link A former Camp Lejeune Marine received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs last month requesting that he send more evidence and information regarding his claim for kidney cancer related to contaminated base water. But John O’Rue said his claim request had never mentioned toxic water.
- Vietnam veterans are unfairly stereotyped The News article regarding the 71- year-old child molester sickened me. I’m always saddened to hear of rape and child abuse. The added kicker was the sub-headline, which read, “Vietnam War vet gets 20 years in jail.” Had this individual been a veteran of World War II, Korea, etc., would time of service have been an issue?
- Congress on Military Spending Cuts: Not Now, Maybe Never Last week Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked that Congress help pare down Pentagon costs. This week he got the answer: a loud raspberry. One key problem is the military’s skyrocketing personnel costs — for pay, health care and generous benefits. The cost of the military’s health insurance, whose premiums haven’t been raised since 1995, is “eating us alive,” Gates has said. Pay is another driver of rising costs.
- Bills cover service dogs, chiropractic care The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to require a major expansion of chiropractic care for veterans, and also approved a pilot program where veterans with mental health problems would train service dogs to assist other disabled veterans.
- Clinton, Karzai say Afghan leader’s U.S. visit a success Washington, DC (CNN) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the Afghan leader’s visit to the United States this week a success, saying on Thursday that it had helped strengthen the partnership between Washington and Kabul at a critical point in the war against Taliban and al Qaeda extremists.
- How Women In Military Are Affected By Dadt Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), the Palm Center (discharge data department) and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (studying gender composition by branch) have published facts and figures regarding women in the military being discriminated against because of the homophobic “Don’t Ask/ Don’t Tell (DADT) policy against serving openly queer in the armed forces. Reports find that both women and minority service members are discharged at significantly higher rates than their male and white counterparts.
- Military Sexual Trauma: A Little-Known Veteran Issue Rachel Caesar first tried to join the Army after she saw a recruitment insert in Jet magazine. She filled it out and sent it in. She was 8 years old. It wasn’t long before her mom’s phone started ringing. Caesar’s mom told the Army recruiter: “Maybe you’ll see her in 10 years,” according to Caesar today.
- Washington, DC – Personal data of reservists, veterans at risk in recent thefts Personal data belonging to more than 207,000 Army reservists was stolen earlier this year, according to Col. Jonathan Dahms, the Army Reserve’s chief public affairs officer, and cited in a report on the KrebsOnSecurity blog by former Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs.
- Veterans chapel coming to cemetery Igo, California – A groundbreaking is being held at 10 a.m. Monday for a chapel to be built at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery. The public is invited to attend. It’s estimated that the $500,000 Veterans Memorial Building project should be finished by September or October.
- Tampa VA scientist puts natural curiosity to work Tampa, Florida – William R. Gower said even as a child, he tried to figure out how things worked. As an adult, he turned his curiosity into his life’s work. Gower, a Seffner resident, is associate chief of staff for the research and development department at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and professor in the University of South Florida College of Medicine.