1. In 2010, More U.S. Service Members Took Their Own Lives Than Were Killed in Combat. After noting that it has “reported extensively on the growing concern over military suicides as the US wages two wars,” the CBS Evening News broadcast, “New figures show that last year, 468 active service members and reservists took their own lives.
2. Suicide Prevention Part of Obama’s Plan to Support Military Families. Bloomberg News story run by at least 43 publications, President Obama has “outlined almost 50 new commitments to help support military families with programs designed to address issues from suicide prevention to reducing predatory lending and homelessness.”
3. Agent Orange-Related Claims Lead to “Huge Jump” In VA Backlog. Army Times “The Veterans Affairs Department started 2011 with 764,476 pending claims, a 59 percent increase over the compensation and pension claims on hand at the start of 2010.”
4. VA Doctor Highlights Expected Expenses for Heart Disease Treatment. WebMD “The costs of treating heart disease are expected to triple by the year 2030, creating an ‘enormous financial burden’ for millions of Americans, the American Heart Association says in a new policy statement.”
5. VA’s National Cemeteries Lead Nation in Satisfaction Survey – DVA Ranking Tops Federal Agencies, Private Firms; for the fourth consecutive time in 10 years, the system of national cemeteries operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs has bested the nation’s top corporations and other federal agencies in a prestigious, independent survey of customer satisfaction.
6. Patty Murray Looks to Become Next Chair of Senate VA Committee, Draws Praise Veterans Today Veterans for Common Sense exec director, Paul Sullivan, says of Sen. Patty Murray becoming chair: “One word will do for Murray: ’Fantastic!’” Senator Patty Murray will likely not echo her GOP House counterpart and hit veterans’ costs, DVA efficiencies and privatization. Murray is the daughter of a disabled World War II veteran, and has worked with the VA to open community-based health clinics throughout her state. Another veteran legal advocate on background said, “Murray’s great.”
7. Obama Calls for Inclusive Military in State of the Union Address Veterans Today President Obama demanded equal protection and support for all troops and Marines who serve in the armed forces. “Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay.”
8. Bartenders May Have Role in Assisting Troubled War Veterans Newswise (press release) Encouragingly, 80 percent of the bartenders said they would be willing to refer veterans to services at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. …
9. Vet Centers In Montana Offer Counseling Services To Vets. KPAX-TV Missoula, MT website, a new report from the Armed Services “says, for the 2nd year in a row, more American soldiers have died from suicide than combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
10. Bill Would Create Vets Courts Throughout Oklahoma. Tulsa (OK) World “Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs Rita Aragon said Monday that legislators are working on a bill to replicate Tulsa County’s Veterans Treatment Court in district courts across the state.”
– From the VA and various outlets