- Vietnam Vet Receives Navy Cross. Former Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ned E. Seath has been awarded the Navy Cross nearly 45 years after he saved almost an entire company of fellow Marines in Vietnam.
- Six Ways to Maximize Your Education Benefits. Today’s Post-9/11 GI Bill carries the same legacy of education opportunities as the original GI Bill, and even though it has undergone recent changes, the bill gives recent Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (and their spouses and children) a chance to improve their lives and invest in their future. However, the benefits received end after 36 academic months, whether you earn a diploma or not. You have one shot at completing your education, and these six guidelines are ways to ensure that shot hits its mark.
- VA Launches 2011 Industry Innovation Competition. We’ve been hard at work the past few months developing these topics, lining up reviewers, and building these new processes and tools. The next part is up to you. Bring us your best ideas to help VA serve our Nation’s Veterans better everyday.
- US Embassy: No Feb. 18 deadline for war vets’ claim appeal. ABS CBN News In a letter sent to abs-cbnNEWS.com by Rebecca Brown Thompson, spokeswoman and Press Attaché of the US Embassy in Manila, she said claimants have one year from the date on which the US Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) denied the benefits claim to
- Crimson, Veterans Team Up on Trails. Harvard Crimson According to a NENSA press release written by Nathaniel Herz, the program is part of a larger initiative by the US Department of Veteran Affairs to “create recreational opportunities for disabled veterans, or fund existing ones.
- Homestead Exemptions Reduce Property Tax Bills. Liberty Vindicator 100% Residence Homestead Exemption for Disabled Veterans: A disabled veteran who receives from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs 100 percent disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100 percent
- AIM: Benefits of inpatient intensive insulin therapy are ‘unclear’. Cardiovascular Business Future studies also should evaluate the cost and patient, nurse and physician acceptance of implementing insulin infusion protocols in hospitalized patients.” The US Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Service
- ACLU seeks probe of how VA manages its West LA site. Los Angeles Times The Veterans Affairs hospital, part of the VA’s sprawling West LA campus. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / October 29, 2010) By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times Accusing the federal Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles of not doing enough to
- ACLU Calls for Probe of Veterans Administration’s Land Use Policy. San Fernando Valley Sun In a letter sent to Secretary Eric Shinseki, head of the Department of Veterans Affairs Department, the United States Department of Justice, and Kamala Harris, the new California Attorney General the ACLU states the VA violated the terms of the
- US Military Named in Class Action Lawsuit. BlogHer More than half of those who screen positive for Military Sexual Trauma are men, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ data. For many, many reasons, sexual crimes committed against men are reported even less than those against women
- VA expands its search area for new cemetery location. RocNow The federal Department of Veterans Affairs is soliciting 200 contiguous and developable acres for a cemetery to serve military veterans and their families in the Rochester and Buffalo areas. The VA announced last year that it wanted to build a cemetery
- Caregiver benefits proposal irks families of wounded troops. Read the article A plan to provide benefits to caregivers of wounded troops may now exclude some of the same families who appeared alongside President Barack Obama when the measure was signed into law last spring.
- Company Taking Steps To Assist Vets Whose Homes Were Improperly Foreclosed On. AP On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase & Co. unveiled new programs “geared toward military customers and veterans, and apologized for overcharging thousands of active-duty service members on mortgages, and improperly foreclosing on more than a dozen.” The “steps include a program making certain military personnel eligible for reduced-rate mortgages; enhancing a mortgage modification program for personnel who are having trouble making payments; and a pledge not to foreclose on any active personnel while they’re deployed.” JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon “said those programs and other initiatives ‘are a start, but in no way a finish’ to address the bank’s recent missteps involving military clients.”
- SoCaL ACLU Calls For Investigation Of Westside VA Stewardship. Los Angeles Times “Accusing the federal Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles of not doing enough to help homeless veterans,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “of Southern California is calling for an investigation into…VA’s stewardship of its sprawling Westside campus, which includes leasing portions of land for use as private tennis courts.
- Budget Prioritizes Care And Support Of Wounded Vets, Services For Homeless. Federal Times “VA’s discretionary budget would increase 11 percent from $53.1 billion in 2010 to $58.8 billion,” there would also be a “reduction in construction funding – down 4 percent from nearly $2.0 billion in 2010 to $1.3 billion.
- VA Planning To Use Two New IT Projects To Achieve Paperless Benefits Delivery. NextGov VA “next year plans to kick off two modestly funded information technology projects it views as key to achieving the paperless delivery of benefits promised by Secretary Eric Shinseki since he took office.” On Monday, Shinseki “repeated that promise…when VA released its 2012 budget, saying, ‘IT is the key to bringing VA into the 21st century.’ To meet that challenge,” the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) “in 2012 will launch a Claims Transformation Plan” and a “Veterans Relationship Management system” that will “support communications with veterans by multiple means, including telephone, the Web, e-mail and information kiosks.”
- VA Grant Money To Fund Therapeutic Sporting Events For Injured Vets. USNavySeals.com “Two grants with an aggregate amount of $7.5 million have been awarded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to the US Olympic Committee, according to a feature on the VA website.”
- Disabled Iraq Vet Competing In Numerous Running Events. Army News Service Army Warrant Officer Johnathan Holsey, a disabled Iraq veteran who “often logs two to three miles per day at Fort Gilliem, Ga., to keep fit for military duty — not bad for a soldier with a prosthetic leg.”
- Roseburg VAMC Hosts Carnival For Patients. Roseburg (OR) News-Review On Monday, the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center hosted a “Valentine’s Day carnival” for its patients. The News-Review adds, “The carnival was part of the National Salute to Veteran Patients, now in its 33rd year at the Roseburg VA, said Voluntary Service Manager Bill Smith, who helped organize the event.
- Delaware Governor Helps Cut Ribbon On VA Hospital Addition. Newark (DE) Post (2/16) “Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and other officials” have “helped cut the ribbon for a $5 million addition” to the Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Elsmere. The officials also have “urged Delawareans to take a moment to thank veterans during the weeklong National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans.”
- Local Officials Request Representation On Vets Hospital Task Force. Tri-Town News “The Ocean County Board of Freeholders believes the county should have a ‘strong presence’ on a new state task force that is charged with studying the possible construction and operation of a veterans’ hospital in the southern half of the state. The freeholders sent a letter” to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “asking that he appoint county representatives to the new panel.”
- VA Hospital To Host Tax Preparation Assistance Program. WHP-TV “The Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center will be hosting a Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program on March 12 from 9 AM to 4 PM.” The program “offers tax preparation services by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certified volunteers to low to moderate income people who cannot prepare their own returns.”
- Louisiana Governor To Award Medals To Vets. New Orleans Times-Picayune Friday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal “and Louisiana Veterans Affairs Secretary Lane Carson plan to distribute medals to military veterans during a ceremony.
- VA Research Cuts Touted By Obama’s Science Adviser. Washington Post “Of the differences between President Obama’s budget priorities and those of Republicans in Congress, perhaps none is as stark as funding for science research and technology development.” Overall, the President “proposes $66.8 billion for nondefense research and development, 6.5 percent more than 2010 funding and 12.5 percent more than Republicans outlined in their cost-cutting 2011 budget bill, which now awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.”
- VA Doctor Helps Conduct Research On Total Joint Arthroplasty. Medscape “Patients slated for a total joint arthroplasty (TJA) boost their risk for postsurgical complications if they misuse alcohol before their procedure, investigators reported…at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2011 Annual Meeting,” in San Diego, California.
- Lawmaker Promising Vets He Will Put Resumes In Congressional Record. Army Times “An Illinois congressman is promising out-of-work veterans the opportunity to have their resumes published in the Congressional Record, the official record of debate and proceedings for the House and Senate. He is promising attention, but not jobs. ‘Sending me your resume will not get you a job, but it can help force Washington to end the unemployment problem once and for all,’ said” US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), who “launched his effort last week.”
- Lawmaker To Try And Stop Tricare Fee Increase. Army Times “The battle over the Pentagon’s proposal to raise health care fees for military retirees began Tuesday” as US Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), “who heads the personnel subcommittee” for the Senate Armed Services Committee, “said he would try to block any increase.” Webb’s “comments came one day after Defense Secretary Robert Gates proposed raising annual enrollment fees for the military’s Tricare health coverage by about 13 percent for working-age military retirees.”
- On the Hill for February 17, 2011: House and Senate committees continue hearings on the president’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal, taking testimony from Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki , Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner .
HAVE YOU HEARD?
Feb. 17, 2011 VA has successfully deployed a new automated system that is delivering faster, more accurate payments to Veterans attending school under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. “VA is relying upon the latest technolo gy to provide a high-tech solution for administering the most generous educational benefits since the original GI Bill in 1944,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. The technology relies upon information from Veterans and specialized rules-based software to streamline the process for calculating Veterans’ benefits. The new processes and software available to VA’s claims personnel replace the interim tools in use since August 2009, when the Post 9/11 GI Bill became effective. VA has issued more than $8 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit payments to nearly 440,000 students and their educational institutions. Further information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill is available on the Internet at www.gibill.va.gov.
IN OTHER NEWS
The Senate, meanwhile, works to wrap up consideration of a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, taking a minority-led cloture vote on an amendment to expand the number of long-distance flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
House: Convenes 9 a.m.
Subject to a rule:
HR 1 — Fiscal 2011 appropriations
H 514 — Patriot Act extensions (Tentative)