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. Spring fighting season to test gains in Afghan war.  Afghanistan’s fighting season will begin in full force by the end of this month as the trees bud and the last of the snows melt off the mountain tops – and with it, a chance to measure the success of NATO efforts to turn back the Taliban.

2. Overmanned Navy will ax 3,000 mid-career sailors.  A new quota-based enlisted retention board will review 16,000 sailors with seven to 15 years of experience in the ranks of E-4 through E-8, in 31 different career ratings. The reviews will begin in August and will focus on signs of declining performance.

3. Airmen quickly raise $9,500 for Wounded Warriors Program.  Two Spangdahlem airmen raised $9,500 in cash and other donations in just one month for wounded servicemembers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

4. Marion VA resumes surgeries, plans expansion.  Harrisburg Daily Register  By Bill Swinford As a result of four years of personnel and procedure changes, the Marion Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center is reopening standard-level inpatient surgeries and planning renovations and expansion. A 2007 suspension of all surgeries came …

5. Veterans Affairs says Conn. has 460 homeless vets.  Stamford Advocate  (AP) — The US Department of Veterans Affairs says there are 462 homeless veterans living in Connecticut. Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth is addressing a panel in Harford Monday on how to end homelessness among veterans in the state. …

6. GHA awarded for work with homeless vets.  Daily News – Galveston County  The housing program is a joint effort of the housing authority and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “The award was a great honor because I feel this is an opportunity to give back to our veterans who have done so much for our county,” Michelle …

7. Due to Agent Orange, veteran awarded $459700.  Wilmington News Journal, OH  A local Vietnam War veteran has been awarded a $459700 benefit because of their exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange during the war and the later onset of ischemic heart disease. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) completed a rating decision …

8. RecruitMilitary Schedules Free Veteran Opportunity Expo for Norfolk on May 12.  PRLog.Org  … Lockheed Martin Corporation, MC Dean Inc., Military Sealift Command, the National Veterans Employment Program (NVEP) of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Navy Exchange Service Command, Northrop Grumman, Sara Lee, Snap-On Tools, …

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9. Filipino, US war vets welcome new VA hub in Manila.  GMANews.TV  During the inauguration, US Department of Veteran Affairs Manila Director Jon Skelly also presented a symbolic key to American and Filipino veterans in attendance. The outpatient clinic is equipped with modern facilities and state-of-the-art …

10. New VA Clinic Set To Open.  KRDO  “They don’t have to drive to Denver anymore for radiology,” said Jordan Schupbach, with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “They won’t have to drive to Denver for optometry. A lot of those services will be handled right there in Colorado Springs at …

 

HAVE YOU HEARD?

APRIL IS STRESS & ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH

This April, during Stress and Alcohol Awareness Month, take time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of stress and alcohol abuse.

Stress
It is important to relax, renew, and rejuvenate. Work demands, financial pressures, family problems can lead to stressful lives. Stress can negatively impact your health and can lead to a wide range of disorders such as: headaches, stomach disorders, depression, strokes and heart disease.

Fortunately, there is a treatment for some stress-related health issues which are low-cost, fast-acting, and highly effective – it’s called “relaxation.” Whether you relax by reading, jogging, playing with pets or spending time with family and friends, for the sake of your health, take time to unwind.

Possible Signs and Symptoms of Stress:

  • Anxiety
  • Back Pain
  • Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Trouble sleeping or Insomnia
  • Problems with relationships
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stiff neck or jaw
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain or loss

Ways to Manage Stress:

  • Learn how to say “no” – don’t take on more than you can handle
  • Express your feelings
  • Manage your time effectively
  • Accept things you cannot change
  • Take time to relax and recharge
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle – exercise regularly, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and reduce caffeine and sugar intake.

IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • VA transition housing opens.  Grand Island Independent  He made his way from his hometown of Lincoln to Grand Island in June 2010 because, as a veteran, he was eligible for treatment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Now that Green, 44, has completed treatment, he will be a house …

 

  • U.S. Official To Talk About Homelessness Among Veterans.  Hartford Courant  Prior to her administration appointment, Duckworth was director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. She lost a 2006 bid for US Congress. As a major in the Illinois National Guard, Duckworth served in Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. …

 

  • Local, State.  Tulsa World  A man pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally taking more than $23000 in Department of Veterans Affairs funds meant for his dead mother. Timothy A. Gaffney, 49, admitted that he accepted $23724 in Veteran Dependency and Indemnity Compensation from Dec. …

 

 

  • Minnesota DVA Offers Flood Relief Grants To Veterans. WDAY-TV  The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs “is helping those who fought for our freedom, now dealing with floodwaters. Flood relief grants are available in about half of the counties in the state. Veterans and their families can be reimbursed $750, if no other state or federal funds were given for flooding,” with a June 30 application deadline.

 

  • Accused Phony Colonel Files Motion To Dismiss Charges. Jacksonville (NC) Daily News A Richland’s resident “accused of impersonating a decorated Marine colonel and embezzling more than $30,000 in unmerited disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs appeared in court Friday in an attempt to have charges that he wore a colonel’s uniform and a heavy sheaf of war medals without authorization dismissed.” A biography that Michael Delos Hamilton distributed when he was the guest speaker a year ago at a Vietnam Veterans’ memorial ceremony claimed that he had risen from PFC top colonel within an eight-year period and had received numerous medals. The presiding rejected Hamilton’s motion to have two charges dismissed; his trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

 

  • Bogus Chinese-American Militia Marched In Parades. AP On Tuesday authorities arrested “the so-called ‘supreme commander’ of the US Army/Military Special Forces Reserve unit and charged him with duping Chinese immigrants into thinking they had truly enlisted in the American armed forces. Prosecutors say Yupeng Deng, 51, recruited 100 other Chinese immigrants from as far away as Northern California and even Georgia to enlist in his Southern California group — at the cost of several hundred dollars — to help improve their chances of obtaining green cards and US citizenship.” The case, investigated by the FBI and Department of Defense, led to Deng being charged with 13 counts of selling bogus identification documents and obtaining money under false pretenses; he is being held on bail and faces a May 2 arraignment.

 

  • VA Leads Way In Fighting Off MRSA Germs. Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette “an effort by the nation’s 153 VA hospitals to reduce infections has shown much promise and could be a model for other hospitals. A study of the VA’s …

 

  • Are VA Loans The Best Financing To Buy A Home? Stock Markets Review VA home financing loans, noting that even though USDA and some FHA loans also don’t require a down payment, a VA loan has “many other features that place it in a category above these competing mortgage types.” The requirement that a VA-approved appraiser inspect the property before a VA loan is issued will “ensure that you’ll be receiving the best deal possible on your new home.” VA loans also allow the buyer to negotiate the seller paying up to 6% of buyer’s costs and fees, potentially eliminating closing costs. Further, VA loans are ensured against lender’s loss, have no pre-payment penalties or credit score cut-offs, and use only fixed, not adjustable, interest rates. With all these advantages, “the VA loan is in fact the best way to buy a home.”

 

  • Low-Intensity Exercise Appears Good For Parkinson’s Patients, Study Says. Baltimore Sun The co-director of the University of Maryland Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center “made the surprise discovery recently that low-intensity workouts make the most difference in mobility and gait” for Parkinson’s Disease patients, which “could lead to new advice from doctors and give hope to patients who can’t manage a tough workout.”

 

  • Veterans Face Struggles Finding TBI Care. CBS Evening News  “The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have left more than 200,000 US combat veterans diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. Most have mild or moderate cases and for them, finding treatment can be a struggle.” Iraq veteran James Sperry, injured by a nearly-fatal grenade attack, was diagnosed with “the Iraq war signature wound, traumatic brain injury.” Tri-care, the military’s health insurance “does not cover most cognitive care, calling it ‘not supported by reliable scientific evidence.’ … But advocates say that policy, along with poor screening procedures, leaves nearly 400,000 vets with limited options.

 

  • Volunteers Strive To Heal Veterans Scarred By War. St. Louis Post-Dispatch A letter from Give an Hour, a non-profit with a national network of over than 5,300 licensed mental health professionals “who provide free mental health services to US troops, their families and communities affected by the current military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.” It notes that its services could help “parents, siblings, unmarried partners and other loved ones are typically not covered by military insurance,” but who are still affected by veterans dealing with PTSD.

 

  • Wife Faces Life-Or-Death Decision For Her War-Injured Husband. Dallas Morning News Challenges faced by Navy corpsman Anthony Thompson, gravely injured in a suicide bombing attack in Iraq, and his wife Ivonne. After three years of intensive rehabilitative therapy in Germany, then at the polytrauma center at Tampa’s Haley VAMC, followed by a six-month program at a New Jersey rehabilitation center, Anthony suffered a reverse after routine surgery and was at immediate risk of death. Doctors then told Ivonne she “had to choose between two difficult options — neither one offering much chance of a good outcome.” She chose the more aggressive path, exploratory surgery, rather than merely increasing his antibiotics. The surgery found a problem that doctors repaired, and four months later, Anthony was discharged, to join his wife and young son at the wheelchair-adapted home donated to the family by Homes for Heroes.

 

  • Military Wife Organizes Support For Non-Base Families. Charleston (WV) Gazette After Diane Vande Burgt’s husband Tom experienced PTSD after returning from National Guard service in Iraq, “the military-sponsored resources just weren’t helping Tom. Diane and Tom figured other soldiers returning with PTSD or traumatic brain injuries probably have similar issues. After much research, they organized Lest We Forget, a support group for military members with PTSD or traumatic brain injuries and their families in 2009.” The group now includes a nurse, social worker and addiction specialist, meets weekly, and offers volunteer counseling

 

  • Veteran Shares Messages Of Resilience. Las Vegas Review-Journal Pete Hawk, an Air Force veteran of the Iraq war, who has been in PTSD counseling since being discharged in 2008. Hawk wrote to the author of a history of US aviators in the period immediately after 9/11, seeking permission to narrate it for the recorded-books business he was trying to establish, only to learn that the author directs the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University in New York, and is the “creator of Edge4Vets, a program to help veterans such as Hawk make successful transitions to civilian life.”

 

  • Pedal Power Raises $100,000 For Veterans. Napa Valley Register About 2,000 Bay Area cyclists “took part Saturday in the fourth annual Cycle for Sight/Rotary Ride for Veterans, an event that raises money for the Pathway Home, an organization that helps veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” along with other vision-related charities. Eight Pathway Home residents took part in this year’s Ride, which is expected to raise more than $100,000. Service members wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan rode recumbent bikes, and other veterans came with staff from the Pal Alto VAMC and from Ride 2 Recovery and other veterans’ support groups.

 

  • A Life Changing Experience In DC. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Cory Provus writes of traveling with about 15 team members, coaches and staff to visit wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, writing of being “thoroughly amazed by the strength and commitment of these young men,” whom he found “so upbeat that it left me speechless.”

 

  • Disabled Vets: ‘We Get To Be Athletes’. Boston Herald Four wounded veterans, patients from Walter Reed, “arrived to a cheering crowd at Logan International Airport Saturday, ready to take on Monday’s Boston Marathon.” They “will join 11 other members of the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Vets” for the race. One “will run; the others will hand-cycle.”

 

  • More Than 300 Sexual Assaults Reported At Camp Pendleton Since 2005. North County (CA) Times A group of female veterans filed a federal lawsuit in late February “seeking to change the way the military investigates sexual assault complaints.” At Camp Pendleton, when the lead plaintiff says she was attacked by a fellow Marine, troops have filed over 300 sexual assault complaints since January 2005, including 75 in the 2009 fiscal year that ended in September 2010, the most recent data available.

 

 

  • Reducing Spiritual Injury. Augusta (GA) Chronicle The chaplain’s program at the uptown division of Augusta’s Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in May will receive the 2011 Distinguished Service Award from the Military Chaplains Association’s National Executive Committee.

 

  • Veterans Service Fair Coming To Wentworth. Danville (VA) Register & Bee Rockingham County, Virginia “will hold a Veterans Service Fair on April 26,” featuring 25 vendors “representing a wide variety of services and issues of importance to veterans and their family members.” Participating will be a representative from the Durham VAMC “answering questions about the VA Health Care system and enrolling former service members into the system on a walk-in basis.”

 

  • Canandaigua VA Hosts Pie, Ice Cream Sale Event. Canandaigua (NY) Messenger Post Canandaigua VAMC “on May 5 hosts its annual Pie, Ice Cream, Plant & Rummage Sale in Building 5 auditorium at the VA at 400 Fort Hill Ave.”

 

  • Fall River WWII Veteran Gets His Military Honors Posthumously. Fall River (MA) Herald News Military honors paid Saturday to a World War II veteran from Fall River. The artillery veteran had won a Bronze Star fighting in France, but did not receive military honors at his funeral in 1991. But after the veteran’s grandson, himself a VFW member, spoke to the commander of a local VFW Post, full military honors were accorded Francisco Marques. 20 years after his death.

 

  • Bridgeport WWII Veteran Turning 100 Years Old. WBOY-TV A local man is “the second oldest living World War II veteran in the United States” and will turn 100 in the next week. Paul Lovell fought at the Battle of the Bulge and was held as a prisoner of war for almost four months.

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