Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News

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Veterans!  Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the day compiled from the latest sources

We encourage you to browse our list so that you can take what you want and keep what you need…..

  1. Pentagon douses rumor of Petraeus exit, for now.  Afghanistan war commander Gen. David Petraeus is not leaving his post anytime soon, the Pentagon said late Tuesday, tamping down a flurry of late-day news articles after London’s The Times newspaper reported he was on his way out.
  2. Navy: Bahrain protests not affecting U.S. base.  It remains business as usual for U.S. military personnel stationed in Bahrain, where thousands of demonstrators have been staging protests against their autocratic government.
  3. Shinseki apologizes for missing deadline for caregiver benefits.  WASHINGTON Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized Thursday for delays in the new caregivers benefits plan, pledging that families of wounded troops remain a top priority for the department.
  4. Pentagon to support bill to protect troops’ child custody rights.  In an about-face, the Pentagon now supports the idea of federal legislation to better protect troops child custody rights.
  5. Battle continues over vets’ home.  St. George Daily Spectrum  Last week, legislators announced that the federal US Department of Veterans Affairs had funding available to match the state funds, and help get construction on a home underway, possibly within the year. Terry Schow, executive director of the Utah VA,
  6. Search for veterans cemetery focuses on Genesee.  The Daily News Online  The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has apparently shifted its focus to the border areas of Genesee and Erie counties for locating a new veterans cemetery in Western New York. — From the state Thruway, seven miles to the north and seven miles
  7. Protest over worker pay shuts down VA hospital site at Lake Nona.  Orlando Sentinel  By Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel LAKE NONA — About 50 veterans, union workers and their supporters gathered Wednesday at the construction site of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center to protest what they called a campaign by contractors to cheat
  8. Retired California Department of Veterans Affairs secretary honored.  Lake County News  Brautigan, a 33-year Army veteran and resident of Stockton, recently retired as the secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. The text of Congressman McNerney’s remarks is below. “Thank you Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a truly
  9. US Veterans Face Terrible Job Market.  Center for Research on Globalization  Official reports say the unemployment rate last month was 9.4 percent while it is 15 percent among veterans. Chapman believes the real jobless rate exceeds 22 percent. According to statistics for 2010 provided by the US Department of veterans Affairs,
  10. Vets learn benefits should improve.  SILive.com  The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to shape itself for the 21st century, said Robert Diamond, vice chair of the Veterans and Military Families Council of the Democratic National Committee. Making it easier for 200000 Vietnam veterans

HAVE YOU HEARD?

VA Honors African–American Vets

The Department of Veterans Affairs honors Black History Month by remembering the many African–Americans who have served the country with honor, pride and distinction. View video

IN OTHER NEWS

  • VA must pay $20000 for failure to inform veteran on benefits.  Poughkeepsie Journal  She said the agency had delayed a decision for nearly two years on Harvey’s request for a review of his veterans benefits. “For the first time in the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims found the
  • Vets Groups Calling For More VA Discretionary Money Than Obama Requested. Stars And Stripes “The White House in its new budget proposal has asked for about 3 percent more in discretionary spending for the Department of Veterans Affairs than it did a year ago, making…VA one of only a few agencies scheduled for a funding boost. And while veterans groups are praising that news, they’d also like to see just a little bit more.” After noting that a “coalition of veterans advocacy groups – authored by AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US, Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America – released its annual Independent Budget” on Monday, the blog says the budget “calls for $65.3 billion in VA discretionary spending next fiscal year,” which is “about $3.5 billion more than what the president requested, although authors of the report are careful to call that extra figure a point for discussion and not a demand.”
  • Proposed Budget Increases Funding For Two VA IT Projects. Government Health IT “With budget cutting the buzzword of the day, Department of Veterans Affairs information technology projects nonetheless received healthy increases in funding in the proposed fiscal year 2012 federal government budget released Feb. 14. A new program called Health Informatics, unfunded in previous budgets, received an $8 million allocation in the White House budget, while the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER), a joint Department of Defense/VA program, received nearly triple the funding, at $70 million, than in the 2010 budget.”
  • VBMS Funding Request Down From 2011. NextGov (2/17) “VA IT budget request for 2012 includes $148 million” for the agency’s the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), which is “down from the $152.5 million requested in 2011 — whenever Congress gets around to passing a 2011 appropriations bill.” The VBMS is VA’s “core benefits paperless processing system,”.
  • Shinseki, Others Asked To Investigate VA Stewardship Of Property In California. AP The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “says the federal government isn’t doing enough to help Los Angeles military veterans. The ACLU wrote” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, the US Department of Justice, and “California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking for an investigation.
  • Local Officials May Join Efforts To Return VA Hospital To Full-Service Hospital. Roseburg (OR) News-Review “The city of Roseburg may send a letter to the US secretary of veterans affairs, supporting pleas by the Douglas County Veterans Forum to return” the Roseburg VA Medical Center to a full-service hospital.
  • 92-Year-Old Nisei Vet Receives Gold Medal. Brother Of Honored Vet Praises VA. Rafu Shimpo “Family, friends” and Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) “employees attended” a presentation ceremony earlier this month, when 92-year-old World War II Japanese-American veteran Robert Masami Iso received the Congressional Gold Medal. During the ceremony, “held at the VA Menlo Park division Community Living Center (nursing home),” Iso’s younger brother, James, thanked VA “for the care given to his brother” and talked “about how far Japanese Americans have come since World War II, reminding the audience that today there are 50 Japanese Americans who are of flag rank – generals or admirals. Perhaps the most famous one is former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who is now the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, he said.”
  • Base General, Gates Defends Army Efforts On Sexual Assault. AP ” The Army is aggressively investigating sexual assault complaints, the commanding general at Fort Leonard Wood said Wednesday — a day after more than a dozen US veterans,” including one who served in Afghanistan, “filed a lawsuit accusing the Pentagon of failing to take their complaints of sexual abuse by older soldiers seriously.”
  • Cochran VAMC Officials To Reporters: Hospital Provides Safe Care. St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Veterans shouldn’t worry about their safety at John Cochran VA Medical Center, said hospital officials, despite the continued shutdown of the hospital’s operating rooms for sterilization flaws. Up to 70 patients have had operations canceled since Feb. 2, when the discovery of unidentified stains on surgical trays and tools forced the closure of the 10-room surgical suite,” a development that followed one occurring last year, when “Cochran’s sterilization process in the dental clinic…came under scrutiny,” and one from 2009, when “spots on surgical trays” led to a “staff-wide meeting on safety and procedures.” After noting that Rima Nelson, the hospital’s director, “and other hospital officials led reporters on a tour Wednesday and acknowledged the importance of regaining the trust of veterans who may not have other options for their health care,” the Post-Dispatch adds, “The three incidents of sterilization issues had different causes and should not be construed as a pattern, Nelson said,” adding that Cochran is a “safe place to receive your care.”
  • “Exhaustive Testing” Finds No Patients Put At Risk. KSDK-TV While Cochran’s leadership “admits some veterans lost confidence in the facility, but is but is emphasizing the facility’s high standard and quality of care. On Wednesday, facility administrators opened its surgical center to NewsChannel 5’s cameras.” KSDK quoted Dr. Michael Crittenden, the hospital’s chief of surgery, who said Cochran wanted to address any “loss of confidence” vets might have by emphasizing that Cochran has “done exhaustive testing” and determined that no patient was put at risk by recent sterilization issues.
  • Female Vets Increasingly Battling Unemployment, Homelessness. USA Today Women outside of the US military are “emerging from the Great Recession hurt less by joblessness than men but as female veterans are increasingly battling homelessness and unemployment. ‘Women veterans are one of the fastest-growing segments of the homeless veteran population,’ says John Driscoll, who heads the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.” While Ray Jefferson, the “Labor Department’s assistant secretary for veterans’ employment and training,” says the government’s Transition Assistance Program will be made over so that it can better assist veterans, “those changes will take time to materialize, and even when they do, they may not be enough.”
  • Group Concerned About Vets Housing Project In Nebraska. KETV-TV Plans by the “Veterans Administration and Volunteers for America” to “build apartments for homeless veterans are still causing some concern.” Jill Nienaber, president of the Field Club Homeowners League “said the neighborhood supports Veterans Village as a whole but struggled for months to get answers to its questions,” so the league’s concerns will be heard in court.
  • Illinois Governor Proposes More For VA, Less For Warrior Assistance Program. AP Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s “proposed budget would increase spending overall while cutting some services, including state police training and pharmaceutical assistance for the elderly.” At Veterans Affairs, the “FY2011” budget was “$121.8 million” and the proposed “FY2012” budget is $125.3 million, an increase of 2.9 percent. With the “Warrior Assistance Program,” however, the 2012 proposal would “cut 25 percent to $300,000.”
  • VA Researchers Discover Drug That Restores Hair In Mice. St. Petersburg (FL) Times “Hold onto hair hope, balding brothers, for our day may soon be upon us,” because word “comes from the West that something queer has been serendipitously discovered in lab mice that may help cover our sad heads in hair someday.” A “team of researchers from UCLA and the Veterans Administration” that was “experimenting with mice to learn more about how stress affects gastrointestinal” function “injected…bald mice with a chemical compound called astressin-B, which blocks the action” of a stress hormone that caused hair loss in the mice. The researchers “expected to monitor how astressin-B affected the mice guts, but when they returned to the mice three months later, they couldn’t tell the treated mice from their hairy brethren.”
  • Legislation Would Block For-Profit College Marketing Regulations. CQ A “bipartisan group of House lawmakers has introduced legislation to block the Obama administration’s imposition of new regulations that aim to curtail deceptive marketing practices by for-profit colleges.” The “amendment to the fiscal 2011 partial-year spending bill (HR 1)” would “prevent funding from being used to implement the new rules, which have been vehemently opposed by the for-profit college industry.” The “amendment is the latest congressional and industry attempt to derail Education Department efforts to implement” what Obama has planned.
  • Oklahoma Bill Targets Protestors At Funerals. AP
  • Paralyzed Vet, Wife Being Evicted By North Bergen Housing Authority. Jersey Journal

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