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. Taliban prison break might lead to military and political setback.  The audacious Taliban prison break on Monday that freed nearly 500 fighters from southern Afghanistan’s largest prison suggested that the insurgents remained formidable and wily opponents despite recent setbacks.

2. Major shake-up coming soon for top military officers. Within weeks, roughly a dozen of the U.S. military’s most popular and highest-ranking officers will begin rotating out of some of the highest-profile jobs in the armed forces.

3. Teen succeeds where Army fails in recording Arlington graves.  When 17-year-old Ricky Gilleland heard about the mismanaged gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery, he said, “I can fix that.” And he did, creating a digitized record of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans buried in the cemetery.

4. Defense lawyer to ask Fort Hood CO not to pursue death penalty. The attorney for the Fort Hood shooting suspect plans to urge the Texas Army post’s new commanding general not to seek the death penalty in the case, he said Tuesday.

5. Former AFGE union leader in Denver pleads guilty to embezzling $5500.  Denver Post  Heather Lynn Grover, a loan specialist with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, was ordered to repay the union and sentenced to a two-year diversion after which the felony charge may be dismissed, said Jefferson County District Attorney spokeswoman

6. County merges several services.  Stockton Record  The shift will put the Veterans Services Office into the Health Care Services Agency. Eventually it would be relocated, but the site depends on whether the US Department of Veterans Affairs chooses to put a new medical facility in French Camp or in

7. Veterans being urged to tap health care benefit.  Chicago Sun-Times  Maughan and other vets came out Tuesday afternoon to learn more about the no-cost health care they earned through the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “I always thought because I have medical insurance and reasonable income, I couldn’t qualify,” said …

8. Veterans clinic sees an increased need in patients, women’s services. SCNow   The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said it requested just over 132 billion dollars in federal funding for next year. An agency spokesperson said that money would go toward veteran programs across the country. …

9. Wounded veteran gets 15-year sentence for trafficking painkillers.  Daytona Beach News-Journal….The Department of Veterans Affairs would be willing to provide treatment to help Douglas break his addiction, said Sherri Claudio, justice outreach coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Orlando. She added that she was not in court as an …

10. Madison Attorney Providing Free Legal Services To Vets.  Patch.com  Between now and then, they should give some thought as to how they would like their legal affairs settled, says Madison veteran, volunteer, and lawyer Ryan Suerth. On that Saturday, Suerth will be providing his legal expertise free to veterans. …

 

HAVE YOU HEARD?

Disabled Vets to Receive Grants for Paralympics Training

Some Veterans training for the Paralympics will be able to qualify for a monthly allowance from VA, under a new program to help disabled Vets take part in competitive sports. Learn more at VA’s blog VAntage Point.

 

IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • VA report confirms clinic’s infection-control issues.  DrBicuspid.com   — A report released April 25 by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Inspector General confirmed that Dayton VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Ohio failed to follow infection control policies, …

 

  • Sycamore veteran raises awareness of soldier suicides.  Daily Journal  Herb Holderman, superintendent of the DeKalb County Veteran’s Assistance Commission, said about six local Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have committed suicide in the past five to eight years. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs‘ National

 

  • Defense And VA Will Make Commercial Software A Top Priority For Joint Electronic Health Record, Memo Says. NextGov “The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments will make the purchase of commercial software their first choice for development of a joint electronic health record, according to a March 25 internal memo signed by top officials in both departments. The memo recaps a meeting between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and said the two departments agreed on joint development and acquisition of a number of functional capabilities and applications for an integrated electronic health record.”

 

  • Blast-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries Turning Up In Civilian Practice. Internal Medicine News “Civilian physicians can expect to encounter numerous cases of blast-related” traumatic brain injury (TBI), the “signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s because more than half of military personnel returning from those conflicts use civilian medical services rather than the Veterans Affairs health care system…said” Dr. Evan D. Murray, a Harvard Medical School neurologist, while speaking “at the annual meeting of the American Neuropsychiatric Association.” The VA would like to see lots more returning troops utilize the totally free health care they are entitled to through the VA system for 5 years after coming home,” because, VA provides excellent brain injury services.

 

  • Veterans And Civilians Break Silence, Help Each Other Heal. Huffington Post Alana B. Elias Kornfeld says the Veteran-Civilian Dialogue aims to bring together members of both groups, “which can often seem polarized, for the purpose of healing.” The Post adds, “Intersections International, a New York-based NGO dedicated to reconciliation and peace across the boundaries that divide humanity, held the most recent such dialogue on Friday, April 1. Those in attendance -– from veterans suffering from addiction and post-traumatic stress to civilians who had never met a veteran before -– were asked to create a sacred space in which to explore their most deeply held beliefs about the other group and break the silence that leads to misunderstanding and separation.”

 

  • VA Has Success Against MRSA. Omaha (NE) World-Herald “Veterans Affairs medical centers in Omaha and across the country have successfully taken drastic steps to reduce their numbers of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) cases.” This month, VA shared its data nationwide, “saying its program can serve as a model for other hospitals to reduce their infections of the bacteria.” But “not everyone agrees that the VA system,” which involves nose swab screenings and isolations rooms for those testing positive for MRSA, has “found the best formula.” According to the World-Herald, a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that VA’s system was not effective.

 

  • National Commander Of American Legion Visits Colorado Front Range Facilities, Posts. AP The American Legion’s national commander, Jimmie Foster, is “visiting veterans facilities and Legion posts along Colorado’s Front Range this week.” Foster was to begin “his visit in Aurora Monday, touring the site of a new veterans hospital and Fisher House.

 

  • HIV Infection Ups Heart Failure Risk. MedPage Today “HIV infection is associated with an increased risk of heart failure, researchers reported. In a retrospective analysis of data from two large cohorts of veterans, those with HIV had more than an 80% increase in the risk of heart failure, according to Adeel Butt, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues.” The Veterans Health Administration was among those supporting the research, which was “reported in the April 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.”

 

  • North Florida Regional Announces Builder For $58 Million Expansion. Gainesville (FL) Sun “The Charles Perry Company has been tapped to oversee construction of the latest expansion project at North Florida Regional Medical Center, scheduled to begin in September.” Veterans Affairs is also expanding in Florida, as “Gainesville’s Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center is building a five-story, 245,000-square-foot tower with 266 additional beds, which will allow for more privacy for the 13,500 veterans who stay there each year.”

 

  • VA Bans Vet’s Gun-Shaped Walking Stick From Syracuse Hospital. Chenango County (NY) Evening Sun The Veterans Affairs hospital in Syracuse, New York, recently “told a local Vietnam Air Force veteran to leave his walking stick at home last week.” The hospital “stated the walking stick, a life-sized wooden carving of an M-16, could cause patients at the facility unnecessary anxiety.

 

  • Denver VA Medical Center Construction To Begin. World Interior Design Network “Colorado-based joint venture of Kiewit-Turner has been awarded a $22.5 million contract” by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to build a new VA hospital “at the Fitzsimons campus in Aurora in Colorado.” The contract “will involve renovation of the former UPI Office Building which will feature areas for mental health, administrative functions, as well a Department of Defense outpatient clinic for the US Air Force across an area of 120,000 square feet.”

 

  • Construction To Begin At New Veteran Affairs Research Office. World Interior Design Network “P.J. Dick Inc. has been chosen to build a $27.3 million research office building” in Oakland, Pennsylvania, “for the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Designed by Pittsburgh-based Astorino, the new facility will be built at the University Drive Division in Oakland and would be dedicated to research that will benefit veterans.”

 

  • Officials: No SCRA Violations On VA Home Loans. Army Times “Veterans Affairs Department officials have reviewed all foreclosures in the last 18 months involving VA-guaranteed loans and found that there were no issues involving violations of Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act protections, according to Gary Frueh, acting director of VA’s Loan Guaranty Service.”  “VA is stepping up its efforts to help service members avoid foreclosures.” For example, VA has “issued guidelines to lenders and to its staff in the field and is updating an SCRA video for veterans.”

 

  • PACT: A Plus For Veterans. Muskogee (OK) Phoenix “chief of primary care at Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center.” He praises VA’s “Patient Aligned Care Teams” (PACT).

 

  • Santee Resident Crowned Ms. Wheelchair California 2011. Santee (CA) Patch Santee resident and veteran Corey Petersen was recently named “Ms. Wheelchair California 2011,” which means she will compete for the national title in August and “will help promote awareness, educate and inform the public about disability issues, as well as the achievements of people with disabilities.”

 

  • War Veterans Get Help From Rick Iannucci’s “Therapeutic Riding” Program. Christian Science Monitor “For 2-1/2 years, a stream of Iraqi and Afghan war veterans – many carrying both physical and psychological scars of combat – have found their way” to Rick Iannucci’s Crossed Arrows Ranch in New Mexico, to take part in “Cowboy Up!, a horse therapy program for combat veterans.”

 

  • Retired Sergeant Loves Marine Corps, Despite Prejudice. Belmont Shore-Naples (CA) Patch Retired US Marine Sgt. Mitchell Key, an African-American, who served in the Korean War and in Vietnam. Serious health issues brought Key to the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center “to determine his eligibility for benefits resulting from Agent Orange exposure,” after which time he was classified as 100 percent disabled. Key is “grateful for VAMC care but still believes there are politics involved with medical care for those of color, as opposed to white veterans, just as in the Marine Corps.” At the hospital, Key recently “had arthroscopic surgery on his arthritic knee,” then asked for an electric scooter to improve his mobility. When VA, which did offer Key crutches and a wheelchair, turned down his request, he bought his own scooter.

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