Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – July 06, 2011


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. Opportunities grow for veteran-owned businesses. Thanks to a growing national movement to put veteran-owned firms on a par with minority- and women-owned businesses when it comes to competing for contracts, opportunities for veterans are growing in the public and private sectors. Increasingly, corporations and state and local governments have set procurement goals or mandates for working with firms owned by veterans.

2. Camp gives military kids sense of parents’ experience. Hundreds of kids moved into barracks this week at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Miss., to experience what their military parents do while away from home for training and deployment.

3. Patient Safety Tool: 10 Hand Hygiene Posters for Clinical Staff. Becker’s ASC Review  The US Department of Veterans Affairs has developed numerous posters which provide information on hand hygiene and are available as a free download. To help your organization raise hand hygiene awareness among its clinical …

4. Tribal leaders explain VA needs. Bismarck Tribune  US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, facing, speaks with Julie Bruhn, associate director for patient care at the Veterans Hospital in Fargo, during a visit to the Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Bismarck on …

5. Humana Veterans gets VA contract.  Humana Veterans Healthcare Services has been awarded the Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home) contract by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a news release. The contract provides health care services to eligible veterans in …

6. State praises Veterans Affairs for saving taxpayers $2 million. The Lane Report  Governor Steve Beshear today congratulated the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs on its use of a Green Bank Kentucky loan to make substantial utility improvements at three state veterans nursing homes while saving Kentucky …

7. Hundreds Protest In Support Of Lawsuit. Houston Chronicle “Hundreds of flag-waving demonstrators converged on Houston National Cemetery on Independence Day to protest reports of religious censorship at burial services there.” The “Houston Area Pastor Council planned Monday’s protest in support of a federal lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Liberty Institute on behalf of American Legion Post 586, Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4, and National Memorial Ladies, a volunteer group that attends burials at the cemetery.” The Chronicle does note, however, that in a statement published online last Friday, Steve Muro, VA’s Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, said, “At all VA national cemeteries, families are free to choose and use the burial rites and rituals that are meaningful or sacred to them. … Families are equally free to have a service without religious references.”

8. Army Program Works To Make Soldiers Fit In Body And Mind. Washington Post The “controversial $125 million” Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program represents a “radical shift” in the US Army’s “approach to mental health, a switch from the just-suck-it-up tradition of the past, and a change that was expected to get a grumpy reception from rank-and-file ‘Joes.’ But the new program,” which teaches how to be mentally resilient in a “face-to-face,” classroom setting, “appears to have been embraced by soldiers.” Some criticism of the program, however, has come from psychologists Roy Eidelson, Marc Pilisuk, and Stephen Soldz, who have “charged that the resilience work done in schools is probably not applicable to soldiers who face combat.”

9. How To Recognize, Deal With, Treat PTSD. KTVK-TV “PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder – is one of the singular effects of war. It’s not just our servicemen and women who are living with this potentially paralyzing disorder, it’s their families, too.” KTVK discussed how to recognize and deal with PTSD with Dr. Karen Kattar, a psychologist with the Phoenix VA Health Care System, which “offers two specific” PTSD “treatments, both of which are backed by years of research – Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolong Exposure (PE).” Kattar told KTVK that both techniques are being used by the Phoenix VA “every day” and veterans are “telling us that they work.”

10. Last Vietnam Draftee To Retire From US Army. ABC World News  “On this Fourth of July, it’s the end of an era.” Jeffrey Mellinger, the “last draftee, who is still in the Army, long after Vietnam, is now retiring.” During the Vietnam War “served their two years and then left the service, Mellinger stayed on, serving in the Army for his entire career. And now, at 58 years old, he is believed to be the last Vietnam draftee to retire.”

Have You Heard?

Women’s Health Research

In recognition of Women Veteran’s Health Month, country music star and Veteran Stephen Cochran and Veteran Shanda Taylor-Boyd tell a story of VA Research turning hope into reality. Learn more



More Veteran News


  • Mental Problems Of US Soldiers’ Kids Tied To Wars. Reuters A study published Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that the longer US soldiers were deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan during the period ranging from 2003 to 2006, the more likely their children would be diagnosed with mental health problems. The study also found that boys were more likely to have mental health problems than girls.

  • Antimicrobial Copper Versions Possibly Kill Infectious Bacteria In Hospitals. Health Jockey “A study conducted by a set of scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Centre, both in Charleston, presented that usage of antimicrobial copper surfaces in ICUs apparently led to 97% decrease in bacteria, that leads to hospital acquired infections.” The research “also put forth that the aforementioned method seemingly lowers risks of an infection by 40%.” The “findings were presented at the World Health Organization’s 1st International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC) in Geneva, Switzerland.”

  • Veterans, Families Protest At Big Spring VA Hospital. KWES-TV “On Monday, dozens of veterans” protested for better healthcare at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Big Spring. At the entrance of the hospital, the veterans “and their families said little by little, the hospital is shutting down medical services like in-patient care, specialists referrals and they said the hospital is understaffed.” In a “letter addressed to Veterans, VA Hospital Director Daniel Marsh said one of their goals is focusing on more services in densely populated areas, but demonstrators said this hospital serves more than just Big Spring veterans.”

  • VA Efforts To Assist Homeless Vets Noted. BBC News “Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are finding themselves living on the streets faster than those who served in previous conflicts, including Vietnam.” The US VA “say they have the resources they need to address the issue of homeless veterans. ‘We’re going to do everything we can to make it happen,’ says William Daniels, Chief of Mental Health for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare system.”

  • Wives Of Fallen Soldiers Form American Widow Project. NBC Nightly News Profile of “an exceptional group of women who have lost their husbands or fiancés” in Iraq or Afghanistan. The women have “joined forces to help themselves heal and to embrace life” by doing things together, like parasailing and surfing. The women formed the American Widow Project, which raised $120,000 this year at a golf tournament.

  • Service Members’ Widow, Widower Wed. NBC Nightly News On Monday, during a small ceremony at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, Danielle Balmer married Chris Sweet. Ballmer’s first husband was Air Force Technical Sgt. Ryan Balmer, who was killed in Iraq, while Chris Sweet lost his first wife, Air Force Technical Sgt. Jessica Sweet, to cancer.

  • Actor’s Charitable Foundation Raising Money For Veterans. CNN’s The Situation Room   Gary Sinise is a “well known actor who’s equally well known as an advocate for America’s troops and veterans.” Sinise has a charitable foundation that is “helping raise money to build homes for wounded veterans, job training, and other needs.” A new documentary about the foundation, “Lt. Dan Band: For The Common Good,” is now available “on pay per view on the Internet.” The film chronicle’s Sinise’s efforts to entertain soldiers through his Lt. Dan Band.

  • Man Trying To Pass Flag, Letter Along To Family Of Deceased WWII Vet. KMVU-TV   Frank Rodela, a veterans service officer, is in possession of a flag and a “letter signed by President Barack Obama.” Both “were issued to a World War II veteran by the name of Glenn Eldon Hoag after he passed away last October.” Frank, who worked with Veterans Affairs “to have Hoag cremated and buried at the Willamette National Cemetery,” is “hoping someone from Hoag’s family will come forward to accept” the flag “and letter of thanks.”

  • Relaxing, Touching The Memory, Music Helps With The Final Transition. New York Times “Every week, three music therapists from MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care crisscross the city and suburbs to sing songs to the dying. ” One who has been helped in this way was a Vietnam veteran that asked “for a song in Vietnamese.”

  • Lovell Center Nurse Named National Award Winner.Chicago Sun-Times

  • Veteran-Owned Firms: Business Opportunities Growing For Veterans.Baltimore Sun


The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM) January 21, 2010 Byline: SANDRA BALTAZAR MARTINEZ Fifteen-year-old Deonika Patterson and dozens of her Espanola Valley High School classmates marched to the state Capitol on Wednesday morning to speak with their representatives.

Students want state leaders to support immigration-reform efforts in Washington, D.C. — an issue they say affects their friends, families and in some instances, their own education.

Even though state lawmakers have little to say about federal policy, students from Santa Fe, Espanola, Albuquerque and as far south as Las Cruces marched from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church to the Capitol because they want legislators to “know that we do care,” said Patterson, who also represented JUNTOS, a school-based group created to stimulate communication between youths. “I have friends who’ve been torn apart from their families.” The march, which gathered about 190 students and workers, was part of an event organized by Somos un Pueblo Unido, New Mexico Students in Action and the Worker’s Committee, all state pro-immigrant rights organizations. The lobby day was also part of the nationwide mobilization for immigration reform. In December, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity bill to the House of Representatives. U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., is among the sponsors.

During brief visits with state Reps. Debbie Rodella, D-Espanola, and Nick Salazar, D-Ohkay Owingeh, the Espanola students received “yes, of course,” responses to questions on whether the representatives would support immigration reform.

For some undocumented students, obtaining legal residency status through immigration reform not only means an opportunity to attend college, but also a chance to work in their areas of expertise.

“We need a path to legalization for students. Otherwise, once they graduate, they can’t work,” said Mauricio de Segovia, assistant director of recruitment at Northern New Mexico College in Espanola. An immigration reform that includes students would translate into more nurses, engineers and bilingual educators who can “start contributing to society and putting their education to work,” de Segovia said.

An economic impact study released earlier this month by University of California, Los Angeles, professor Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda states that a comprehensive immigration reform would trigger $1.5 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years. A temporary worker program would only generate $792 billion in additional GDP over 10 years. On the other end, a mass deportation would result in $2.6 trillion in lost GDP over 10 years; the loss would not include the actual deportation fees, Hinojosa-Ojeda said. website immigration reform news

Maria Najera, spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said immigration reform “would have a positive economic impact by increasing overall wages and providing stability to New Mexico’s work force.” Having immigration labor laws in place for those who depend on immigrant labor makes sense, said Don Bustos, owner of Santa Cruz Farm in Espanola. Bustos does not hire migrant labor because he uses his organic farm as a training center for students interested in sustainable harvesting. Farmers in other areas, such as in Southern New Mexico, do tend to depend on an immigrant work force.

Dalinda Bangert, president of the Santa Fe-area New Mexico Home Builders Association, said immigration reform would have a greater financial impact on some of the subcontractors who employ trade workers. In addition, immigration reform would make the hiring process easier, Bangert said.

Contact Sandra Baltazar Martinez at 986-3062 or [email protected].


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