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. Military vets offered help with benefits. Times Herald-Record  Navy veteran Mike Knack of North Branch stopped by the Sullivan County Government Center Tuesday to learn about benefits. Knack talks to Earnest J. Cooke Jr. of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.TOM BUSHEY/Times Herald-Record By Leonard Sparks …

2. Scanning Your Identity: Who’s at Risk? Today’s TMJ4  We wanted to know too and contacted the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs. “We are taking this very seriously,” Gail Belles, Deputy Director of Health, Data and Information, tells us. She says the VA has known about the smartphone risk and sent out a …

3. New Brunswick VA clinic opens in August beside hospital in Supply.  StarNewsOnline.com  Brunswick County veterans now have to travel to Wilmington or Fayetteville for VA treatment. About 13000 veterans live in Brunswick County, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA has signed the lease on the new location and will …

4. DMV offers veteran’s plates online.  Lake County News  The state of California’s specialized veteran’s license plates are now available for purchase online. Previously, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in conjunction with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) has offered …

5. Assembly gives preliminary approval to veterans bill.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (blog)…The bill would give to the GOP governor the appointment power currently held by the Board of Veterans Affairs. The governor would personally have to consult with the leaders of six state veterans organizations before making the appointment. …

6. LaSalle veterans contribute nearly $6-million to economy.  Jena Times  She also noted that for a veteran’s service officer to serve a parish, it requires that the local governing authority, in this case the Police Jury, must provide an office. “I want to thank you for my fine office in the courthouse which allows me to …

7. Officials: New Veterans Outpatient Clinic To Open In Anderson In 2012.  News Channel 7  A veterans’ town hall was held Tuesday morning in Anderson to address health care concerns of local veterans. Leaders with the state’s main veterans’ hospital, the Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Columbia, answered questions from veterans …

8. Cromwell to establish veterans commission.  Middletown Press   – Inspired by the example of men and women from Cromwell serving in the military – and by the sacrifices of their families – the town has established a Veterans Affairs Commission. The Board of Selectmen voted …

9. Baldwin County hands over last mineral rights to veterans cemetery land.  al.com (blog)…”The deed has been filed and application made on Friday and the state is now waiting for approval from the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs.” Conner noted that the design and planning process for the project began months ago even as local officials worked …

10. Veterans Secretary Would Be Appointed By Governor. AP “The Wisconsin state Assembly has given preliminary approval to a bill that would give the governor the power to appoint the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Democrats, however, “blocked final consideration of the bill Tuesday on a procedural move. Wisconsin veterans groups disagree on whether the governor should have the appointment power or whether it ought to remain at the discretion of the Board of Veterans Affairs.”

HAVE YOU HEARD?

The National Veteran Small Business Conference By Jason Hull

May 18, 2011

Principal at OpenSource and West Point Graduate.

The National Veteran Small Business Conference is a great place for you to meet many subject matter experts and understand what it takes to be competitive in the government contract landscape.

IN OTHER NEWS

  • Helping Veterans Find Jobs. WREX-TV “Their branches of service, stories and ages may differ, but the one thing the nearly 250 veterans at the Illinois National Guard armory in Machesney Park have in common: they need a job.” The “fair, sponsored by the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the American Legion Department of Illinois, hopes to reach as many veterans as possible in the Stateline.
  • BRADD Pushes For Vets’ Nursing Home. Bowling Green (KY) Daily News “For years, southcentral Kentucky’s veteran population has said it is underserved.” Now, the Barren River Area Development District (BRADD) is “joining the call for a veterans’ nursing home in the area.” On Monday, the “BRADD board…approved a resolution calling for construction of a veterans’ nursing home here, a facility that would be federally and state-funded and require the support of both governments.”
  • Funds Being Raised For Statewide Veterans Memorial. Canton (CT) Patch “A private foundation known as the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial Inc. has been established to raise money for a memorial in Rocky Hill where the names of the state’s veterans will be located in one place. The estimated cost is $1.2 million, and half of the funds have already been raised.” The rest of the money “will be raised through public appeal and a nominating process.”
  • Efforts To Streamline Military Records, Services Face Scrutiny. McClatchy The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense “have failed to streamline veterans services and share records, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new report” from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). On Wednesday, during a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee “hearing on improving information sharing through new technology across the agencies,” deputy directors from both VA and the DOD are “expected to testify.” McClatchy adds, “VA leaders don’t dispute that the agency struggles to coordinate information technology issues across its 314,000 employees and 7,000 information technology staffers,” but Roger Baker, the department’s assistant secretary for information and technology, said VA is starting to improve in this area.
  • Baker Says Open-Source Is Way To Go On EHR Modernization. Federal Computer Week “The Veterans Affairs Department is turning to open-source solutions to modernize its electronic health records system partly to avoid the estimated expense of $16 billion to buy a commercial system, said Roger Baker, VA’s CIO and assistant secretary for information and technology. VA developed the $16 billion estimate through an independent validation exercise and by comparing itself with the Kaiser Permanente health system, Baker said at a May 11 hearing” of the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. But “Joel Willemssen, managing director of IT at the Government Accountability office, cautioned that VA, as it modernizes VistA, should coordinate with the Defense Department on the plans for a joint system.”
  • Commercial Software Beats Proprietary Tech, Says VA CIO Roger Baker. Federal Computer Week “The Veterans Affairs Department will continue building out its software systems with commercial products and cloud services rather than trying to develop things in-house, VA CIO Roger Baker said in a keynote address at the Management of Change conference May 17. ‘I’m not going to build the next application,’ he told” the American Council for Technology (ACT)–Industry Advisory Council (IAC) “conference in Hot Springs, Va. ‘I am convinced that the government cannot build a better Facebook or e-Bay’ than the private sector can,'” added Baker, who did say that when VA needs it, it could add proprietary software to its open-source systems.
  • Injured Troops Still Waiting For Claim Processing. AP “A system designed to get wounded troops out of the military and on disability compensation more quickly has failed recently to meet its efficiency goals, delaying service members’ release sometimes more than a year, documents show.” The Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) “works by consolidating the required medical exams and ratings, so that a service member doesn’t have to go through the disability claims process first in the military and then” in Veterans Affairs. News about problems with IDES led US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to say that VA and the Department of Defense “need to take a hard look at improving it before expanding it further.”
  • Free Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder App Has Helped Thousands Of Wounded Warriors. Washington (DC) Examiner Department of Veterans Affairs “announced that the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) smartphone app, which was launched in April 2011 by the VA and the Department of Defense (DoD), has already helped more than 5,000 users connect with important mental health information and resources.” In a statement, Secretary Eric Shinseki said, “This new tool is about helping Veterans and Service members when and where they need it.” the “app is one of the first in a series of jointly-designed resources by the VA National Center for PTSD and DoD’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology to help service members and veterans manage their readjustment challenges and get anonymous assistance.”
  • Any Help For Caregivers Of Disabled Vets? Sgt Shaft – Washington Times The Department of Veterans Affairs “recently published the interim final rule for implementing the Family Caregiver Program of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act 2010.” The rule “will provide additional support to eligible post-9/11 veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary family caregiver.”   VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stressed the importance of the rule, urging caregivers to “get their applications in as soon as possible so they can receive the additional support they have earned.”
  • Veterans’ On-Going Battle For Benefits. Scripps Howard News Service The “latest woe that has befallen thousands of veterans who have been trying to appeal disability benefits claims that were initially rejected by the Department of Veterans Affairs adjudicators. Not only are veterans’ appeals languishing in a growing backlog that has clogged the special court that was created as their last resort, but one big reason for the backlog is the failure of the Obama White House to nominate candidates for one-third of the court’s judgeships.” A White House spokesperson states “we expect to announce those nominees in the near future,” Both the President and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki “need to do most of all is change the mindset at the VA — by instilling a sense that this is the Department of Veterans’ Advocates.”
  • Veterans Gets Mental Health Help Through Court System. WTVM-TV “Veterans diagnosed with a persistent mental illness who commit a non-violent crime are getting some legal help” from a veterans court in Columbus, Georgia. Superior Court Judge John Allen “told News Leader Nine” that when veterans are “arrested and we find out they have some under-lying mental health issues, we try to get them out of jail as quickly as possible into a treatment program and possibly connect them with benefits from the Veterans Administration.
  • Census: Veterans Own 6 Percent Of Bay Area Businesses. San Jose Mercury News “California is home to about 239,000 veteran-owned businesses, more than any other state, and about 36,000 of them are in the Bay Area, according” to US Census Bureau “estimates released Tuesday, the first time such data have ever been available.” “Starting a business can be a lifeline for unemployed veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, said Rich Dryden of the California Disabled Veteran Business Alliance. ‘Sometimes it may be easier for them to work for themselves,’ he said.”
  • New Anderson VA Clinic On Track For 2012 Opening. Anderson (SC) Independent-Mail Several people at a Tuesday morning meeting told officials that the outpatient veterans’ clinic in Anderson is overcrowded, understaffed and lacking in parking spaces. Rebecca Stackhouse, medical director” for the Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center “in Columbia, told veterans and others at the town hall that a soon-to-be-built $30 million outpatient clinic would be opening in Anderson sometime in 2012, ‘All of those problems will be solved with this new clinic,’ said Priscilla Creamer, public affairs officer for the VA.”
  • New Optometry Clinic Opens Doors To Veterans. WCIV-TV “The first joint clinic in the Charleston area operated by the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Navy and the Air Force opened its doors on Tuesday. The clinic is located” in Building 746 “at Joint Base Charleston-National Weapons Station. … Director of Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Carolyn Adams, said the reason for the new clinic is to have access to eye care in a timely matter for treatment.”
  • VA Worker Arrested On Drug Sale Charges. Boston Globe “A worker for the US Department of Veterans Affairs was arrested yesterday on charges of selling cocaine and other drugs to substance abuse patients under his supervision, US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said,” adding that Patrick M. McNulty, 28, appeared in Federal court in Boston yesterday. Ortiz also said that McNulty, who is charged with selling drugs at the VA hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, is scheduled to be back in court on June 21st. If convicted, said Ortiz, McNulty faces up to 20 years in prison and a one million dollar fine.
  • VA2K To Promote Health, Benefit Vets. Salisbury (NC) Post “The W.G. (Bill) Hefner Veterans Affairs Medical Center will host a 2K walk and roll event June 2 at 11:30 a.m. in support of employee wellness month.” Although “there is no registration fee, employees and volunteers participating in the event are asked to donate an item for a homeless veteran.” The Hefner “event is just one of many 2Ks taking place that day at VA facilities across the country.”
  • Sullivan Vets’ Service To Hold FAVOR Enrollment. Mid-Hudson News “The Sullivan County Veterans Service Agency will hold its first enrollment” for the Find and Assist Vets of Record (FAVOR) “program on Wednesday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the County Government Center in Monticello.” The “event will be held in conjunction with the VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System and the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce. The VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System will also register vets for healthcare services, provide eligibility information, take photos for vets’ ID cards and perform hypertension screening.”
  • Fort Harrison To Host Town Hall Meeting For Veterans. KXLH-TV “Veterans in Montana are invited to attend a town hall meeting and information fair at the Fort Harrison National Guard base in Helena on June 1st. The Veterans’ Rural Health Advisory Committee is hosting the town hall meeting to discuss issues and concerns facing” veterans living in rural communities. The “information fair will be from 5 to 6 p.m. and will include representatives from VA Montana Health Care System and the Veterans Benefits Administration.”
  • SC Vet Center Holds Welcome For Military Veterans. Families Invited Too. An AP (5/18) story appearing in at least 20 publications reports, “The Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center in Columbia is holding a family fun day for military veterans and their families.” VA spokeswoman Faela Maney “says combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are invited to a day of fun and food at Edventure Children’s Museum and the South Carolina State Museum. Maney says it offers the chance to welcome home combat veterans and thank the families who waited for them to return.”
  • Aid For Needy Vets. Miami Herald According to the Herald, a “little-known federal benefit provides a need-based, tax-free pension for wartime veterans and their spouses and widows who cannot pay for non-service-related medical needs. About 182,000 veterans and their spouses take advantage of the Aid and Attendance (A&A), which has been around since World War I, but Veterans Administration officials say many more are eligible.” The Herald adds, “Prospective applicants can get information from the VA at 800-827-1000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 800-827-1000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting .”
  • Veterans Breakfast To Open Honor Court Program. Canton (OH) Repository “The public is invited to attend a veterans breakfast and the ceremonial opening of Honor Court” on Friday, May 27th. Honor Court is a “specialized treatment court providing increased management to veterans and active duty military personnel in the criminal justice system who may be eligible for benefits and services from the Veterans Administration. The Stark County Common Pleas Court will collaborate with several community partners to administer the program.”

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