Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – July 29, 2011

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Veterans! Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the day compiled from the latest sources

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  1. Repaying a debt to area veterans needing our help.  Ventura County Star  The difficulties in making that transition back to civilian life are a prime reason that upward of 135000 homeless Americans are veterans of military service. The US Department of Veterans Affairs also sees the poor economy and the fact that a vast …
  2. US government department makes $56.7m solar investment.  NewNet  The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has awarded contracts worth $56.7m for photovoltaic installations at five hospitals. The projects are expected to be completed by the middle of next year on facilities located in Oklahoma, Texas and California. …
  3. Opportunity Council awarded $684000 to help veterans get out of homelessness.  Bellingham Herald  The Opportunity Council was one of just two agencies in Washington to receive grants, totaling nearly $1.2 million, through the new Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced Wednesday, July 27. …
  4. Mass. veterans group gets $1 million federal grant.  Worcester Telegram The funding is for organizations serving very low-income veterans’ families who are living in or transitioning to permanent housing. “We are honored to be selected to be able to provide these services to veteran families throughout New England,” said …
  5. Q&A with state VFW head.  SignOnSanDiego.com  Bobby Price, 52, a Chula Vista resident and Navy veteran, was elected in June to lead the 89200 Veterans of Foreign Wars members in California. Price is the first state VFW commander who is a post-Vietnam War veteran. Q: What is the VFW doing about the …
  6. Shortfall leaves veterans homes vulnerable.  Springfield News-Leader  Missouri Veterans Homes are financed by a combination of per diem federal funding from the Veterans Affairs Department, sliding scale fees from the residents and money from the state’s general revenue fund. Federal funding increased from $74.42 per …
  7. Documentary focuses on returning veterans.  Mail Tribune  A documentary film focusing on the healing journey for war veterans and their families was shown yesterday, at the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City. “The Welcome” will be shown …
  8. VA seeks to build housing for homeless vets at Menlo Park campus.  San Jose Mercury News  The US Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking a developer to build housing for homeless vets on its Menlo Park campus. The project could replace homeless shelters whose earthquake-vulnerable buildings are slated to be demolished. …
  9. Seniors’ worries center on Social Security, Medicare.  Citizens Voice  The Luzerne County Veterans Affairs office received $59723000 from the US Department of Veterans Affairs for the fiscal year that ended June 30 for compensation for disabled veterans and pensions for wartime veterans, the director of the office, …
  10. Campaign Demands Vets’ Benefits Be Protected In Event Of Default. CNN’s The Situation Room  “Many military veterans are voicing their concerns about the debt crisis in a massive online campaign” set up by the advocacy group Disabled American Veterans. More than “15,000 people have logged” on to a Facebook site for the campaign, which is demanding that vets’ “benefits be protected in the event August 2nd comes and goes without a deal in place” to raise the debt ceiling. Officials “at the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs will only say that they hope” there will be no interruption of VA checks and military pay.

 

Have You Heard?

VA’s National Vet Small Business Conference: Building Partnerships

The National Veterans Small Business Conference helps Veterans build their businesses, expand contracting opportunities and more. The conference is August 15-18 in New Orleans. View video

 

More Veteran News


  • Senators Try To Tackle Long-Term Costs Of War. McClatchy On Wednesday, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee “began examining the lifetime human and financial costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and what additional preparations will be required to care for the 2.3 million veterans who have fought them.” The committee’s chairwoman, US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), “said a half-million veterans from the two wars already have found their way into the system operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, an increase of more than 100 percent since 2008.” One witness testifying before the committee was Crystal Nicely, the wife of a disabled Afghanistan veteran. Nicely said she hopes lawmakers will create a “better system of support for wounded warriors and their families.” The “Federal Eye” for the Washington Post (7/28, Vogel, 572K) reports that during the hearing, Nicely, the “wife of Marine Cpl. Todd Niceley, who lost his arms and legs during a patrol in Helmand province in Afghanistan in 2010 when he triggered a makeshift bomb as he crossed a bamboo bridge, described the problems the couple has encountered seeking treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.” The vet “had to wait almost 70 days for a narrative confirming that he had lost four limbs to be approved, delaying his release from the military and holding up plans to prepare for the next phase of his life. The paperwork was only signed this week after the chairman of the committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), made inquiries to Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III, Nicely testified.”  In its “Healthwatch” blog, The Hill (7/28, Pecquet) notes, “Returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will place new demands on the Veterans Affairs healthcare system, the Congressional Budget Office testified Wednesday. The cost of treating veterans from so-called ongoing overseas contingency operations (OCOs) is expected to total between $40 billion and $55 billion over the next 10 years, CBO” told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. The Hill adds, “CBO is currently analyzing the number of veterans diagnosed with several conditions – notably traumatic brain injury and mental health illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder – but those results aren’t yet available.”

  • Help For Vets With A Beer Chaser. Chicago Tribune Findings of a study “published in the Journal of Military Veterans Health…suggested that bartenders could play a role in helping to identify veterans who exhibit signs of mental distress. The idea of formalizing what has been a casual relationship sits well with some Chicagoland” Veterans of Foreign Wars bartenders. But it is “rejected by others as too intrusive.”

  • Big Changes In Treating Wounded Troops Delayed. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review “A special task force charged by Congress with proposing widespread changes in the way the United States treats its sick and wounded military members on Tuesday delayed discussing the most substantive reforms until next year.” Although the Recovering Warrior Task Force “initially expressed dissatisfaction with the Disability Evaluation System, a program that links the Department of Veterans Affairs to the military services, members decided…to table a recommendation to begin a ‘major overhaul’ of the system.” The Tribune-Review adds, “Although pleased that the task force had begun to address some problems he identified in 2009 and early 2010, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Noel Koch said the panel’s response was too timid and sluggish to remedy the suffering of thousands of military personnel and medical caregivers who are often overworked and underappreciated.”

  • Options Available For Wichita Falls Veterans Needing Mental Health Care. KAUZ-TV “Veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder do not have a Wichita Falls facility dedicated to treating PTSD through the Veteran Administration.” The “Wichita County veterans service is trying to establish a facility treating PTSD and other mental health issues in Wichita Falls. They have sent a letter to the VA asking for a facility.”

  • Efforts By Two VA Hospitals To Help Homeless Vets Noted. Dayton Daily News The St. Vincent de Paul Center, where veterans Patrick Axt and Ron Risch are “currently living while they pursue studies at Sinclair Community College, has provided transitional housing for an average of 60 homeless men every year since opening its doors in 1996.” At the Dayton VA Medical Center, both Axt and Risch “took part in a program designed specifically for homeless veterans.” The Daily News quoted Risch’s brother, who said “those people at the Dayton VA did a magnificent job.”

  • Bike Ride Aims To Draw Attention To Needs Of Homeless Vets. KNBC-TV  “The needs of homeless veterans will not be forgotten in the budget crunch, this thanks to a group of vets who are riding bicycles from…Southern California all the way to St. Louis,” in order to “draw attention to the needs of homeless vets.” In El Monte, California, on Wednesday, the “riders got a hero’s welcome…as they prepared for their big trek.” The riders “hope to make it to St. Louis in just two weeks, where they also hope to meet” with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.
  • VA Urged To “Stay Vigilant” About-Vets At Risk Of Becoming Homeless. Orlando Sentinel Called “tragic news…that the number of Iraq and Afghanistan vets on the streets has soared more than five-fold since 2006.” The Sentinel praised VA for “spending millions to house at-risk veterans.” The paper added, however, that “like a bugle call, the ominous spike in homelessness among recently returning veterans should remind the VA that it must stay vigilant in meeting an almost-certain burgeoning need.”

  • Transportation Service Offers New Lifeline For Disabled Veterans. Tulsa (OK) World Veterans are “able to take advantage of the Veterans Transportation Service now being offered” by the Jack C. Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Muskogee. One who has done so is 64-year-old disabled veteran Steve Condon, who lost both his legs in a car accident. The “VA has been working with me to try to get me to walk again,” said Condon, who added, “They’ve been pretty helpful.” The World added, “The VA Medical Center in Muskogee is one of four such facilities across the country to be chosen to offer the Veterans Transportation Service. The pilot program is expected to expand to all VA centers by 2014.”

  • Gaylord Man Gets Probation For Stealing Money From Saginaw VA Medical Center. Midland (MI) Daily News A 50-year-old Gaylord man has been sentenced on a federal charge after it was discovered that he stole money paid by the Saginaw VA Medical Center for handicap ramps for veterans, the US Attorney’s Office reports. Michael Andrews was sentenced to three years of federal probation and ordered to pay more than $19,105 restitution” to VA. The “sentence was imposed by US Magistrate Judge Charles E. Binder in Bay City.”

  • Bill Would Change Standards For Agent Orange Victims. Shore News Today Bob Ford, the senior vice commander of VFW Memorial Post 9462.

  • Homeless Vets Need Help.Hickory (NC) Daily Record

  • Patient At VA Hospital In Waco Dies Following Fight.AP


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