Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News

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Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News

1. A Government Witch Hunt for Veterans Begins AnewA scare report in Stars and Stripes by Leo Shane III screams the VA may have overpaid disabled veterans. “Unfortunately, some misguided opponents of VA will seize the headline to attack temporary benefits as well as to demand major budget cuts at VA,” said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense. [Leon, Veterans Today]

2. Homeless count under way in UtahAcross the state, public, private and nonprofit homeless service providers are seeking out homeless people for the annual Point-in-Time count, a huge effort that involves the Department of Veterans Affairs, state agencies, police, religious groups, hospitals, clinics, homeless service providers and many volunteers. (Henetz, The Salt Lake Tribune)

3. Veteran’s caretaker pleads not guilty to elder abuseReporting from San Diego—A 93-year-old Pearl Harborsurvivor and suspected victim of elder abuse was found disoriented, dehydrated and living in filth at his home near El Cajon this week, clutching his prized possession: a picture of the ship that he was serving on the day of the Japanese attack. [Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times]

4. Vets band together to give homeless comrade proper burial—U.S. Army Pfc. Harold M. Lewis died as he lived — quietly and alone. The homeless Korean War veteran with no known family appeared forgotten and destined to end up in a pauper’s grave. But other veterans stepped in, and Lewis will receive a military funeral Friday morning at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood. [Susan DeMar Lafferty, Chicago Sun Times]

 5. VA Publishes Final Reg to Aid Vets Exposed in Korea to Agent Orange—WASHINGTON –Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Korea will have an easier path to access quality health care and benefits under a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) final regulation that will expand the dates when illnesses caused by herbicide exposure can be presumed to be related to Agent Orange. [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)]

6. U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Organizes and Announces Oversight Plan—WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held its organizational meeting, and approved committee rules, subcommittee membership, and the oversight plan for the 112th Congress. [ 91 Outcomes]

7. Senator Murray Named Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee—(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after she was announced as the new Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Senator Murray, who has been a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee since 1995, is a widely recognized and outspoken advocate for America’s veterans. [U.S. Sen Patty Murray]

8. Higher Count of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran Patients Treated by VA, says FOIA Data—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a new, unpublished report on Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans to Veterans for Common Sense (VCS). Paul Sullivan, executive director of VCS, concludes: “These numbers are why President Obama’s new initiative – Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment – is so absolutely vital.” [Veterans for Common Sense (VCS)]

9. Greening The Department of Veteran Affairs: A Year in Review—We are making great strides toward operating more energy efficient facilities, using more renewable energy, “greening” our vehicle fleets, and achieving other milestones on the path to creating a sustainable agency.  In 2010, we developed and implemented dozens of projects, which will translate to improved care of our Veterans and their families, cost-savings, better operational efficiency, and a healthier environment for all.  [CJ Cordova, the White House]

10. VA insider has advice on filing—As a veterans service officer, I meet many veterans who are unsure of whether they should file a claim for service-connected disability, and those who are confused by the entire VA claims process. I found a blog written by a senior VA official which offers good insights into the VA system. I will be reproducing that blog here over the next several columns. [Stacey R. Hopwood, The Leaf Chronicle, via Official Blog U.S. DBA]

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