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. Civilians on mainland Japan bases authorized hardship pay.  The State Department said Friday all U.S. civilian workers in 18 prefectures — including those in central and northern Japan where major military installations are located — will receive hardship pay, which provides a 10-percent boost to base compensation, following the earthquake and tsunami disasters. The pay does not extend to servicemembers.

2. Marines send nuclear team to Japan to help with ongoing crisis.  A 155-member U.S. Marine force specially trained to work in chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological environments is expected to arrive Friday in Japan to help the Japanese government deal with the ongoing nuclear crisis.

3. Veterans bill would aid firms. Philadelphia Inquirer   The bill unanimously passed the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and has been introduced in the Assembly. “If there’s no requirement, then you can’t hold anybody to task; it’s words,” said Bob Mulz, a Navy veteran and chairman of the …

4. Funding restored for VA hospital nursing home in Montrose.  The Journal News | LoHud.com…Castelli, a Vietnam veteran and a ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee in Albany, said the state would have lost matching funds from the federal government, so the loss would have been even more severe. Noting that many of the veterans at …

5. WWII veteran finds friend for the end.  Yakima Herald-Republic  “We Honor Veterans” is a partnership between the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Together, they’re inviting hospices, state hospice organizations and others to collaborate to better educate and …

6. Bringing services to combat veterans.  Arizona Daily Sun  In Arizona, combat veterans living in rural communities typically had to drive long distances to receive services from a Veterans Center set up by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “We have the ability to bring a mobile Vet Center into areas where …





7. The heroes play among us.  Aspen Daily News  The US Department of Veterans Affairs determined that a traumatic brain injury rendered him mentally challenged. Before the injury, Behee was an avid snowboarder; now he skis with the use adaptive equipment. Behee was in Snowmass this past week as a …

8. East End veterans clinic to open May 2 in Riverhead.  Riverhead LOCAL  The East End Veterans Affairs Clinic, a new 4300 square foot state-of-the-art community clinic will be operated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The new clinic will provide physical and mental health services. The clinic will, and in some …

9. South Sioux open house to offer information on veterans benefits.  Sioux City Journal…The US Department of Veterans Affairs is partnering with the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs, veteran service agencies, county veteran service officers and military transition assistance advisers for the event. Veterans and their family …

10. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veteran Affairs. Military & Aerospace Electronics  Thank you for the opportunity to present the President’s 2012 Budget and 2013 Advance Appropriations Requests for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Budget requests for this Department deliver the promises of Presidents and fulfill the …

 

HAVE YOU HEARD?

April 4-10, 2011 is National Public Health Week. This year’s theme is “Safety Is No Accident.” VA works hard to prevent injuries and make VA a great place to work and a great place for Veterans to come for medical care. VA’s innovative Safe Patient Handling Program, developed at the Tampa Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, is now part of The Joint Commission standards, the national hospital construction standards, and a part of many nursing school curricula. It represents evidence-based practice, including new technology, unit peer leaders as just-in-time trainers, patient transfer algorithms, and safety huddles. For example, ceiling lifts help caregivers transfer patients from beds to stretchers or wheelchairs. Other lifts are portable; they can help patients stand and they support toileting, changing clothes, and even moving in and out of vehicles in safe way. The Safe Patient Handling Program represents an example of how VA works to prevent injuries to health care personnel and has led to an almost 50 percent reduction in injuries to care providers over the last four years. The Program is part of VA’s own public health department, the Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards, www.publichealth.va.gov.

 

IN OTHER NEWS

  • A veteran, anonymous in life, is honored in death.  Muskegon Chronicle – MLive.com …He became a US citizen in Kalamazoo County in 1957-58. According to his files at the US Department of Veteran Affairs, he held a series of clerical jobs after he got out of the army, including a job with the State of Michigan. …

 

  • VA Clinic to Open at County Center May 2.  Patch.com  A press release from Romaine’s office describes the new clinic as a 4300 square-foot, state-of-the art facility operated by the US Department of Veteran Affairs to provide primary care and mental health services to eligible veterans. …

 

  • Tax exemption for disabled veterans.  Daily Press  Veterans should provide an approved and original letter of disability issued by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, photo identification and proof of residence. Mugler said the exemption will lead to an additional reduction in real estate tax …

 

 

  • VA Makes Progress to End Veteran Homelessness.  Department of Defense  Mullen said the veteran told him, “I gave a 100 percent; I’d just like 100 percent back.” Working with their federal, state and local partners in both the public and private sectors, Gould said VA is committed to providing veterans exactly that. …

 

  • UH opting out of vet program.  The Daily Cougar  The University of Houston will not apply to participate in the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki is encouraging colleges and universities to join the program for the …

 

  • Decorated veterans.  Daily Iberian  All veterans who wished to receive the award were required to bring their DD214 or discharge papers, which made them eligible whether they served in overseas conflicts or in non-wartime, state Department of Veteran Affairs press secretary Robin Keller …

 

  • VA debuts renovated facilities.  Martinsburg Journal  The Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center unveiled its newly renovated emergency department and Heroes Health and Wellness Center to better serve area veterans Thursday afternoon. The MVAMC opened in 1944 and has served hundreds of …

 

  • Reps. break common statehouse practice.  Providence Eyewitness News Statehouse Insider John Loughlin says Representative Karen MacBeth, a Democrat from Cumberland and freshman Representative Dan Gordon, a Republican from Little Compton/Portsmouth/Tiverton forced a vote in the veteran’s affairs committee on bill that …

 

  • Shinseki Gives Nationwide Statistics For Veterans Receiving VA Benefits.Park Rapids (MN) Enterprise VA Secretary Shinseki “just announced that the number of veterans receiving VA healthcare and benefits has grown by nearly 800,000 since he took office in 2009. The number now stands at a record 8.4 million and is projected to hit 8.6 million by 2012.

 

  • Tester Introduces Bill To Reimburse Veterans Traveling To Vet Centers. Billings (MT) Gazette “If one of Montana’s 108,000 veterans travels to a Veterans Affairs healthcare clinic, they are reimbursed at 41.5 cents per mile. If they travel to one of the state’s four Vet Centers that focus on mental healthcare and readjustment counseling, they receive no reimbursement.” Sen. Jon Tester, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, “has introduced legislation to equalize the travel reimbursement for veterans” by changing VA’s definition of “authorized healthcare facilities” to include that state’s Vet Centers in Billings, Missoula, Kalispell, and Great Falls.

 

  • Cabinet-Level Office. Bluefield (WV) Daily Telegraph “As the fight for a new veterans clinic in Mercer County continues, additional assistance is arriving from Charleston for the region’s veterans. Legislation signed into law earlier this week by Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin creates a new cabinet level-office devoted to the state’s veterans. The new Department of Veterans’ Assistance will succeed the Division of Veteran’s Affairs, part of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.”

 

  • Proposed Law Could Put A Stop To Invalid Valor. San Antonio Express-News Efforts in Texas to repair the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a crime to wear or claim military honors not actually earned; a federal judge and an appellate court have declared the federal law unconstitutional as an infringement of free-speech rights. A local Army veteran has drafted a bill, just passed by Texas Senate, which would make it a crime to use a false military record to gain priority in services or another material benefit.

 

  • Veterans Can Now Compare VA Facilities Online. Gainesville (FL) Sun Veterans “can now check out how their nearest VA facility stacks up against others across the country.” A VA website makes comparisons based in patient outcomes, and so “can show how likely you are to survive a visit without complications here in North Florida compared with the rest of the VA’s hospitals.” The system draws on VA data including “the surgical death rate over the past 12 months, death rates for acute and intensive care, the rate of ventilator-acquired pneumonia and intravenous line infections, and the rate at which patients must be readmitted to the hospital due to medical complications.”

 

  • VA Mortgages See Fewest Defaults. Bloomberg Radio “When a homeowner whose mortgage is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs falls behind on payments, the VA’s foreclosure prevention team receives a computer alert and contacts the troubled borrower. The goal here is to keep as many VA mortgage holders as possible in their homes, and while VA borrowers would appear to be in a high risk group — they typically have only $5,000 in liquid assets and more than 90% make no down payments — they still have the lowest foreclosure rate among all types of mortgages over the last ten quarters.

 

  • Disease Clusters Focus of Hearing. MedPage Today The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee “held a hearing on disease clusters, and a new report highlights 42 locations throughout the US that have alarmingly higher incidences of certain diseases, including cancer and birth defects.” A Natural Resources Defense Council senior scientist who co-authored a report on disease clusters testified on the case of Camp Lejeune, where contaminated drinking water may be responsible for a “particularly bizarre cluster” in which 64 male Marines have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

 

  • VA Hosts Emergency Shooting Drill, Training Exercise. Martinsburg (WV) Journal “There wasn’t a real shooting at the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Friday — it was part of an emergency drill and training exercise simulating shooting and hostage situations.”

 

  • The Dogs Of Warriors. CQ Weekly Rep. John Carter and a bipartisan group of 43 cosponsors have introduced a bill to prohibit anyone from interfering with disabled veterans’ bringing their service dogs into any Veterans Affairs facility. While the VA once banned from its facilities all but guide dogs for the blind, it now allows service dogs when a doctor approved. On March 10, Robert Petzel, the under secretary for health, issued a blanket policy allowing service dogs to accompany the disabled in all VA facilities. Even so, Carter notes that the VA policy is due to expire in 2016, so he wants it written into law.

 

  • Potomac River Fishing Trip Aids Veterans Through Wounded Warriors Program. Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News “36-pound striped bass was a Gulf War veteran’s catch of the day during a Potomac River fishing outing on a local man’s boat in an event organized by the Wounded Warriors program.”

 

  • Harbor Homes Has Seen Drop In Donations Since News Of Veterans’ Complaints Surfaced. Nashua (NH) Telegraph “Complaints by a minority of veterans in a transitional housing program have led to a decrease in donations and caused the program to struggle financially, some other veterans in the program have said. The decrease in donations comes at a time when the parent agency for the program, Harbor Homes, faces a funding cut in the House Republican effort to reduce aid to agencies that serve poor, disabled, homeless and elderly people.” An official with Harbor Homes also said that donations to the Veterans FIRST program “are down because of a series of articles in The Telegraph in which some homeless veterans complained about how they were being treated.”

 

  • Legion Commander Listens To Veterans’ Disability Concerns. New London (CT) Day The American Legion’s national commander “toured southeastern Connecticut Friday, visiting with veterans and listening to their concerns.” Jimmie Foster says he is “traveling for the majority of his one-year term and he’s hearing some of the same issues come up across the country. Among the most common is that many veterans are still waiting for the Department of Veterans Affairs to approve their disability claims.” Foster also noted that in a meeting with President Obama, he had raised concerns about VA implementation of a new caregiver law.

 

  • Griswold Inspires American Legion’s Top Man. Norwich (CT) Bulletin A visit to Griswold, Connecticut American Legion national commander Jimmie Foster praised the local Post’s efforts to build a regional 18-unit housing project for homeless veterans, slated to open next spring. It notes that, “While the project has experienced difficulties, including possible cuts to the federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs housing voucher program, officials hail the housing project as a success.”

 

  • El Campo Mom Of Two Selected As VA Volunteer Of The Year. Cyprus (TX) Times Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center “recently selected El Campo, Tx. resident Georgia Mican as its Volunteer of the Year.” A volunteer van driver for seven years, Mican drives veterans from El Campo to for healthcare there.

 

  • Women Veterans Meet-And-Greet. Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader “Military Women Veterans will hold a meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday” at the local VFW Post.

 

  • Veterans Get Welcome Home At Last. Yucca Valley (CA) Hi-Desert Star Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day reception, the second time the annual event has taken place.

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