Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News


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. 7th Fleet steps up relief efforts.  As some military families in Japan prepared for voluntary evacuations, the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet continued humanitarian aid efforts over the weekend, despite cold weather and aftershocks as strong as 6.1 in magnitude.

2. Nearly 8,000 military family members signed up to evacuate Japan.  There were no flights scheduled to carry U.S. military family members out of Japan on Sunday, although thousands were still hoping to flee the country’s ongoing nuclear crisis

3. Veterans Affairs Agency Wins Prominent Customer Service Award.  Talk Radio News Service  The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs was recognized by JD Power and Associates as one of 40 companies to earn the distinction of JD Power 2011 Customer Service Champions for operating one of the nation’s top mail order pharmacies last year.

4. VA to help homeless veterans in western Mass. Boston Herald  The US Department of Veterans Affairs has approved plans to work with a western Massachusetts nonprofit group to build dozens of permanent houses for homeless veterans in Leeds. Spokesman John Paradis said Wednesday that the department

5. Keeping Veterans at a Healthy Weight.  WWLP 22News  Obesity is a serious problem among veterans who receive care at VA facilities, and to tell you more is Seth Maas, registered dietitian with the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Leeds. Very large percentage. 70-74 percent of Veterans are overweight.

6. One homeless veteran is one too many.  Hillsboro Times Gazette  John, an Army veteran in Ohio who told me this, isn’t alone. As a member of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee, I’ve heard directly from Ohio veterans who have benefitted from a housing grant program for veterans. The Housing and Urban Development

7. Kentucky governor signs bills to benefit and honor veterans.  This license plate will be available for purchase by any Kentucky resident, veteran or non-veteran. A portion of the fee for the specialty plate will support the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. HB 200 requires the state to create a plaque

8. Saratoga Springs man: passionate about veterans and business.  Daily Herald  The first mission is to help veteran-owned businesses get their foot in the door to get federal and state government contracts, and the second is to pick up where the Veterans’ Affairs and other organizations leave off helping wounded warriors.

9. Student Nurses Gain Unique Perspective, VALOR.  University of Central Florida  Each academic year, the Orlando VA Medical Center selects two to three senior baccalaureate nursing students to participate in the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ competitive, nationwide Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) program.

10. East End Veterans Clinic set to open within weeks.  Riverhead News-Review  The front entrance of the new veterans clinic at the County Center. A state-of-the-art medical clinic operated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to open




The dual effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have serious consequences. Read how VA is adapting to meet the health challenges facing Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan at ProPublica.



  • Advocate: Many Homeless Vets Served In Vietnam. Huffington Post Pat LaMarche, the vice president Of community affairs at Safe Harbour, Inc., notes, “The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans website states that nearly half of all homeless veterans served during the Vietnam War.” LaMarche interviewed one such homeless vet, a disabled man.


  • Man Who Served In Vietnam Helping Find Homeless Vets. Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record Former homeless Vietnam vet John Venticinque, “tried for years to get disability benefits and was rejected four times,” recently became the “paid veterans’ services advocate for the local nonprofit Action Toward Independence.” It is Venticinque’s job to “find and help” still homeless vets in Sullivan County. In addition, psychiatrists at Veterans Affairs’ Castle Point hospital “have confirmed he does suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder” and he has “been told unofficially it’s likely he’ll receive benefits and retroactive pay.”


  • Disabled Iraq Vet In Ad Campaign Supporting Paralympics. CNN American Morning An interview with veteran Melissa Stockwell, who “spent a year of rehab” at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after losing one of her legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq. Stockwell, a 2008 Parlaympics swimmer, is “part of a new ad campaign supporting the Paralympics.”


  • Full Facial Transplant Performed In Boston. AP 25-year-old Dallas Wiens, a “Texas construction worker disfigured in a power-line accident two years ago,” has “received the nation’s first full face transplant. More than 30 doctors, nurses and other staff” at Brigham and Women’s Hospital “performed the 15-hour operation last week.” The “surgery was paid for by the Defense Department.”


  • The Blast That Shook Psycho Platoon. Pro Publica It is “becoming clear” that US soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are “coming home afflicted with both” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) “in numbers never seen before.” Besides “PTSD and cognitive problems stemming from brain injury, soldiers also face chronic pain, missing limbs, vision, hearing and other physical problems. ‘It’s very complicated,’ said Jennifer Vasterling, who has studied the issue and treated soldiers as chief of psychology at the Boston Veteran’s Administration Hospital. ‘There are no simple scenarios.'” ProPublica’s story profiles Iraq veteran Brock Savelkoul, who once contemplated suicide but is now doing better, having received treatment at the St. Cloud VAMC.


  • Private, Public Partners Plan Residence For Homeless Female Veterans In Hagerstown, Md. AP The Way Station Inc., a non-profit behavioral health organization, “says it’s teaming up with federal and state agencies to create a residence for homeless female veterans in Hagerstown. Way Station Inc.says it expects to open the 27-bed facility next year on North Avenue. Executive Director Scott Rose says the US departments of labor and veterans affairs will fund the program, with assistance from the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.”


  • Survey: Female Vets Frustrated With VA Health Care. Stars And Stripes “Female veterans still face significant frustration getting medical care, even in Veterans Affairs facilities with female-specific services, according to a new survey released by the American Legion on Tuesday.” Officials with VA “said they’ve made efforts in recent years to address female veterans issues but acknowledged more work needs to be done.”


  • Half the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans Treated By VA Receive Mental Health Care.


  • Assault On Libya Fuels Surge In Vietnam Vets To VA. WCPO-TV “The televised assault on Libya, complete with the sounds of screaming missiles being launched from ships, may be awakening a war that was fought before most of today’s soldiers were born. ‘We have a real surge of Vietnam [veterans] coming through our doors on a daily basis,’ says Karen Cutright,” program manager for the “Cincinnati VA Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Clinic.” WCPO added, “To accommodate the increased caseload,” the Veterans Affairs clinic has “hired more staff” and is “now open evenings and weekends to care for the needs of wounded warriors of all generations.”


  • Did Army Service Make Them Ill? Albany (NY) Times Union A number of female “veterans of Fort McClellan in Alabama are questioning whether their serious health problems are related to the time they spent there after learning that the Army base was contaminated with harmful chemicals.” One of the vets is 57-year-old Rebecca Fass, who is “appealing a denial” from Veterans Affairs “for monthly disability payments.” “The women veterans say that national leaders need to examine what caused their spiraling health conditions”.


  • Denver Fisher House Is A Home Away From Home For Veterans Facing Illness. Denver Post A Fisher House on the grounds of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, is managed by a Veterans Affairs facility in Denver.


  • Wounded Warrior To Gold Medal. Sports ‘N Spokes “Meeting and overcoming physical obstacles is what VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s Laboratory Information Manager Rod Williams does best — and he is an inspiration to everyone around him – including recently injured Marines.” Confined to a wheelchair after contracting polio, Williams has “played and coached local and international wheelchair basketball and even won the Paralympics Gold Medal himself in 1988. It was because of …


  • Roanoke Council Has Few Questions On Poff Renovation Project. Roanoke (VA) Times A “$51 million plan to make a federal office building more energy efficient stirred no outrage Monday among members of the city council. Although a few council members had questions about the sizable cost of renovating the Poff Federal Building, the larger concern seemed to be that the city not miss out on the project’s economic benefits.” David Ehrenwerth, a Federal “official who traveled from Philadelphia to address” the council, “assured the council that relocating the building’s largest tenant, the regional Veterans Affairs office, will not disrupt operations at the office.”


  • Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. WBRC-TV A “resolution to honor veterans who served in Vietnam by designating March 30th as ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.'” It is “never too late to let” such vets “know that our community cares about them. On March 30th we can do just that.”


  • Loss Of Pet Sparks Colchester Man’s Generosity. Norwich (CT) Bulletin “The community rallied behind veteran Martin Lopez last August when he was robbed while fundraising” for a team that “makes trips to the annual National Golden Age Games, a sporting event for senior veterans receiving medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.”


  • USPS: Worker Stole Meds From Veterans. WISH-TV United State Postal Service (USPS) “inspectors say an employee cut open packages to steal bottles of Vicodin and oxycodone. Postal employee Jeffrey Yardley, 48, of Noblesville, is now facing charges of theft, possession and dealing of a controlled substance.” The “packages were sent from the Veterans Administration and addressed to area veterans.”


  • Medal Of Honor Recipients Sound Closing Bell On Wall Street. NBC Nightly News “Wall Street traders had the chance to look up the balcony and see genuine heroes” on Tuesday, as “recipients of the Medal of Honor sounded the closing bell.


  • Colonial Williamsburg Offers Big Military Family Discount. AP “Colonial Williamsburg is offering members of the military and their families an annual pass to the historic area for the price of just one day.”  For active-duty “military, reservists, retirees, veterans and their families.  The “special discounted ticket for the military is part of Colonial Williamsburg’s Salute to the Military program and runs through May 31.


  • Soldier Inspires Others With Brain-Injury Recovery. American Forces Press Service US Army Capt. Galen Peterson, who suffered several brain injuries while serving in Iraq.  Peterson is “bringing a message of hope to others facing brain injuries through a video profile posted on the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury website. Peterson said he hopes …


  • Media Matters Boot Camp Readies Liberal Policy Wonks For The Camera’s Close-Up. Washington Post In Washington, DC, this month, Media Matters for America converted a brick carriage house “into a partisan boot camp. Those selected for the boot camp “included liberal think tank directors, former Capitol Hill staffers and presidential campaign aides, a pollster, a university professor, a combat veteran and contestants from both ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Apprentice.'”


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