Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News

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From The VA

Secretary Highlights VA’s Homeless, Suicide Prevention Efforts

On Thursday, Secretary Shinseki visited the Canandaigua, NY VA Medical Center in an effort to highlight VA’s most recent moves to combat suicide and homelessness among Veterans. In the photo, responder Christopher Maginn explains details of the suicide lifeline.

Top Veterans Stories in Today’s News

  1. Secretary of veterans affairs extols expansion of Cleveland VA medical center The $370 million in construction, renovation and consolidation projects under way at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center will provide about 15,000 jobs throughout the duration of the project. That was the main message today as Eric Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, toured the construction site in University Circle and met with local veterans.
  2. Spending limits placed on new Agent Orange claims The chief architect of the pricey new GI Bill education benefit for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war era could become a new champion — for taxpayers — against what he perceives as excess spending on military pay and on a new wave of Agent Orange claims. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., a former Navy secretary and decorated Vietnam War veteran, risked the anger of thousands of veterans from that war when he won Senate approval last week of an amendment to block, at least temporarily, the Department of Veterans Affairs from paying new disability claims on three prominent diseases presumed linked to wartime herbicide exposure.
  3. VA Secretary hopes to eliminate veterans homelessness in five years Cleveland, Ohio – The secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, in Cleveland on Friday, says he hopes to eliminate homelessness among veterans within the next five years. Speaking at the Wade Park campus of the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Eric Shinseki said homeless veterans are one of his top three priorities, along with improving veterans’ access to benefits and services, and reducing the backlog of veterans benefit claims. The VA estimates there are some 107,000 homeless vets nationally.
  4. Top U.S. military officer: Veterans need not suffer alone Bedford, Virginia – In a stirring tribute to the D-Day sacrifices of American soldiers and their allies, the U.S. military’s top officer said Sunday that World War II’s defining moment should remind all that returning warriors need not “suffer in quiet desperation.” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke in the peaceful setting of this small town, which bore the heaviest share of American losses in the June 6, 1944, landings on the beaches of Normandy. The National D-Day Memorial was established here in 2001 as a tribute to those who died in the invasion of German-occupied Europe.
  5. Normandy ceremonies mark 66th anniversary of D-Day Colville Sur Mer, France – Veterans and those grateful for their sacrifices have marked the 66th anniversary of the D-Day landings, remembering the invasion that turned the tide of World War II. U.S. veteran William Duane Bush, wearing a military jacket, raised the American flag at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, which overlooks Omaha Beach. It was the first time 93-year-old Bush of Lincoln, Nebraska had returned to Europe since the war’s end.
  6. A welcome website for soldiers New York- For young veterans returning from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, the process of re-entering society can be daunting, especially if they have been injured or have struggled with mental health problems. A new, free Web portal — www.warriorgateway.org — wants to help these warriors find the services they need in an environment they are comfortable in.
  7. VA sees sharp rise in apnea cases Washington – The number of veterans receiving disability benefits for a sleeping disorder has increased 61% in the past two years and now costs taxpayers more than $500 million per year, according to Veterans Affairs data released to USA TODAY.More than 63,000 veterans receive benefits for sleep apnea, a disorder that causes a sleeping person to gasp for breath and awaken frequently.
  8. The need for creative VA programs There are more than 23 million U.S. veterans, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. These service members risked their lives to protect our country and defend our freedoms, and the VA’s benefits and services are a grateful nation’s token of appreciation. It is no secret, however, that the costs of providing for our veterans are rapidly increasing. I am concerned that the $13 trillion national debt and the resulting budgetary pressure may eventually lead to unacceptable cuts in essential veterans services.
  9. VA offers highest-quality care, study finds Where can you find the highest-quality health care in the United States? Believe it or not, the Veterans Health Administration. The VA has a system-wide electronic health record, sophisticated quality-measurement tools, a coordinated approach to care, long relationships with patients and close ties to teaching hospitals, which supply a steady stream of medical residents. “You’re much better off in the VA than in a lot of the rest of the U.S. health-care system,” said Elizabeth McGlynn of Rand Health.
  10. Department of Veterans Affairs lease is largest in D.C. this year The U.S. General Services Administration inked a 10-year, 285,434-square-foot lease at 425 I St. NW, Washington, for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The deal is the largest office lease in the District so far this year, according to CoStar Group information. Constructed in 1973, the seven-story, 370,000-square-foot office building has been undergoing a major overhaul. The Paramount Group, which purchased the building in 2005 for $135.5 million, has been adding energy-saving features and other enhancements with the goal of achieving LEED Gold certification.

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