Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – August 18, 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.    Former Reno caregiver sentenced to prison for exploitation.  Reno Gazette Journal  Joan Winkleblack-Scott reunited with Norman Moller in 2008 when she began caring for him outside of her job as a Certified Nursing Assistant at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Sierra Nevada Health Care System. By that time, Moller, …
2.    Military Order of the Purple Heart Elects Bruce McKenty as National Senior. EON: Enhanced Online News   In 2004 he discovered another of his volunteer passions as a volunteer at the local VA golf course. The American Lake Veterans Golf Course located at the American Lake VA Hospital in Lakewood, Washington lost all federal funding in 1995. …
3.    American Legion Post 15 serves veterans’ families.  The Tennessean  The home is to be built on a site donated by the VA at the Murfreesboro Medical Center. The facility will be a “home away from home” for those family members who might otherwise not be able to afford to visit or be with the veteran during treatment. …
4.    Chassell man named UP Veteran of the Year.  Escanaba Daily Press  “For instance, in Michigan, we have a $50 million veterans’ trust fund and any veteran can apply for emergency funds.” Liimatta said there are eight issues they’re working on currently through the VFW. They are: VA health care, VA benefits and …
5.    Rise In Homeless Female Vets Tied To Military Sexual Abuse.  Huffington Post  “Veterans are like the salmon, they never want to stop and be counted,” Nicole Hoeft, lead public information specialist for Oregon’s VA, told the Huffington Post. To assist their homeless female veteran population, Portland’s VA opened the state’s …
6.    VA Issues Social Media Policy.  InformationWeek  If you combine its pages, the VA has more than 293000 fans on Facebook; the department’s main page reaches more than 138000. Join us for GovCloud 2011, a day-long event where IT professionals in federal, state, and local government will develop a …
7.    Solving civil war mystery.  In 1979, a home in Warner was razed from its foundation, revealing an 1893 marble headstone issued by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and inscribed “SERGT. JF KINNA, CO.C., 12OHIO.CAV.” The stone made its way to a basement, where it stayed for 32 …
8.    VA Revamps Its Social Media Policy. Washington Post  “The Department of Veterans Affairs announced a new social media policy Tuesday that is meant to promote the secure use of sites such as Facebook and YouTube by the agency to better communicate with veterans.” In a news release, Brandon Friedman, VA’s director of online communications, said the policy is “about getting the right information to the right veteran at the right time.” The Post adds, “VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said in a statement: ‘Veterans should have consistent and convenient access to reliable VA information real time using social media.'”
9.    President’s Economic Plan Includes Job Assistance For Returning Vets.  CBS Evening News  In Iowa on Tuesday, President Obama hosted a rural economic forum that was part of his “retooled message to blame Washington politics and congressional Republicans for the country’s problems.” The President “says he will unveil a specific economic plan after Labor Day,” which “his advisors say…will include some ideas he has touted in recent weeks, including extending the payroll tax cut, a new road construction bill, and job assistance for returning veterans.”
10. Pew Survey Shows Public Believes Government Not Giving Vets Enough Aid.  Pew Research Center  A new survey shows 62% of Americans “do not believe that the US government is giving enough support to veterans returning home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” while “65% of those from households with veterans who have served since 9/11 say that the level of support is lacking.” According to the brief, 49% of the public believes they “give enough support to the troops,” while 58% “of those from households with veterans say the public has not given soldiers enough backing.” The “biggest areas where those surveyed said the government is falling short are medical care (cited by 42%), financial issues (37%) and mental health issues (34%).” There are “no significant differences among partisans on this question: 61% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats and 64% of independents say the government does not give enough support to returning solders.”


Have You Heard?

VA Enters New Era of Online Engagement

On Tuesday, VA announced publication of a new social media policy. The policy allows VA employees to leverage sites like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with Veterans of all eras more efficiently. Learn more | View VA’s social media directory

More Veteran News



  •  Brain Trauma Expert Shares Insights At McLaughlin Research Institute Lecture.  Great Falls (MT) Tribune  Dr. Dan Perl, a neuropathologist, has “found…that a great number of former NFL players developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a disease long thought to exist only among boxers, who suffer numerous traumatic brain injuries during their careers.” Perl, who gave a “public lecture in Great Falls on Monday hosted by the McLaughlin Research Institute,” has been “hired by the Uniformed Services University for Health Sciences, the military’s medical school in Bethesda, Md., to establish the Military Brain Injury Studies program. The program, funded by a $2 million grant from the US Army, will study combat-related traumatic brain injuries and look for cases of CTE among service members who suffered traumatic brain injuries in combat.”
  • Study Assesses How Military Treats Coping Skills.  Walton Sun  “The need for services to deal with physical and psychological problems of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq will skyrocket for decades to come, officials say. With that in mind, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) commissioned a study to identify factors that show scientific evidence of improving coping skills when dealing with stress for service members and returning veterans.” The study, which was conducted by the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research, “showed that several of the factors already were being addressed” in programs for such vets “and that results were positive, but that more standardization and systematic evaluation could strengthen program outcomes.”
  • Rangers Lead Battle Against Avoidable Combat Deaths.  Reuters A new report in the Archives of Surgery found that after fighting for almost a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 75th Ranger Regiment had only one “preventable” death. Dr. Donald Trunkey, a trauma surgeon at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, did not work on the report, but he commented on it, saying the US military has “advanced combat casualty care absolutely tremendously,” and the Army Rangers are “at the point” of the advancement spear.
  •  Returning Veterans Face Struggles Returning To The Home Front.  Connecticut Post  “With more and more troops returning home as the conflicts” in Iraq and Afghanistan “wind down, Veterans Affairs officials are gearing up for an increased veteran population, outlining the daunting challenges of readjustment. ‘We see with the Iraqi and Afghanstanian veteran, they just need a real variety of services and case management,’ said Amy Radivoy, a team leader at the Veterans Center in West Haven, which offers readjustment counseling.” The Post also takes note of a housing voucher program operated by VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  •  Mystery Lung Illness Affecting Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans. Channel 4 News  “A civilian physician who has diagnosed more than 50 soldiers with constrictive bronchiolitis says the life-altering disease is linked to service in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Last month, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study by Vanderbilt University’s Dr. Robert Miller and colleagues, “which documented the condition of soldiers who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and were diagnosed with constrictive bronchiolitis.” Craig Postlewaite, the US Defense Department’s director of Force Readiness, Health Assurance, Health Protection and Readiness Programs, “said that the Department continues to collect medical surveillance data and perform epidemiological studies to evaluate health risks associated with breathing dust or smoke.”
  •  Buffalo Made A Pilot Site For VLER Initiative. Health Data Management  “The HEALTHeLINK health information exchange in Buffalo, N.Y., is the newest pilot site for the federal government’s” Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) “initiative to share active military and veterans’ health information with civilian” healthcare providers. The DOD and VA “launched VLER in 2009, along with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration. The testing in Buffalo will build off previously selected pilots in San Diego with Kaiser Permanente, Hampton/Richmond in Virginia with the MedVirginia HIE, and Spokane, Wash., with Inland Northwest Health Services.”
  •  Enjoying The Ride.  Weatherford (TX) Democrat  US Army “veteran and amputee Jerry Kershman made a name for himself when he, and thousands of others from around the world, gathered for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games earlier this month in Pittsburgh, Pa.” Kershman “has already made appointments to visit the VFW and American Legion posts to tell his story, and hopes to add to that by attending the next wheelchair games, which will be held in Richmond, Va. ‘I’m going to…see if I can get some donations to go,’ Kershman said.” The Suffolk (VA) News-Herald (8/17, Giermak) also has a positive story about a games competitor.
  • Tampa To Host 2013 Games. Tampa Bay Business Journal  “The Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America will hold its 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games at the Tampa Convention Center, the St. Pete Times Forum and other local venues July 13-18, 2013. The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and the Florida Gulf Coast and Central Florida chapters of Paralyzed Veterans of America are partners in hosting” the event. Approximately “500 veterans with disabilities” are expected to participate in the event.
  •  App Helps Find Arlington Gravesites.  Government Computer News “Arlington National Cemetery visitors will have an easier time locating the graves of fallen veterans thanks to a new smart-phone app, the Washington Business Journal reports.” The app, which “pulls information on gravesites at Arlington from a database maintained” by the Veterans Affairs Department, “allows users to search for gravesites by first, middle and last names and by dates of birth or death. Segue Technologies, an IT service provider based in Arlington, Va., developed the app, which is available free of charge for both iPhone and Android devices.”
  •  IRS Tells Brand Name Drugmakers To Pony Up Billions. CQ The IRS has “released what it’s calling ‘temporary regulations,'” under which brand-name drugmakers must pay fees “to help fund” health-reform law provisions. The “requirement applies to companies that have yearly brand name drug sales totaling $5 million or more to ‘specified government programs’ or to coverage under those programs. Those programs are Parts B and D of Medicare; Medicaid; the Department of Veterans Affairs procurement programs; Department of Defense programs, and TriCare.”
  •  Fired Former VA Secretary Scocos Could Be Reappointed To Position By Walker.  Wisconsin State Journal “Embattled former” Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos, “fired from the post in 2009, has applied to get his old job back. Gov. Scott Walker’s office confirmed Tuesday that Scocos, currently the deputy secretary for the Department of Safety and Professional Services, is one of eight candidates for the open post” at the Wisconsin VA. Last month, Walker “signed into law changes that give the governor power to appoint the Veterans Secretary.”
  •  VA Funding Improvements At Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Kennebec (ME) Journal  US Department of Veterans Affairs “has awarded Maine $440,986 to be used at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta. According to the VA, the federal assistance will be used ‘toward the cost of raising, realigning, and cleaning of 6,517 existing headstones along with turf refurbishment’ at the cemetery.” In a news release, US Sens. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both Republican lawmakers from Maine, said VA’s funds “will help the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta make vital improvements that will continue to honor those who selflessly defended this nation.”
  • New Veteran’s House In Kennewick Opens Today.  KVEW-TV On Tuesday, a facility “in Kennewick that houses up to seven homeless veterans was officially…with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.” The “project is supported by the Columbia Basin Veterans Coalition with help from several companies and services across the Tri-Cities.” KVEW added, “Each veteran is allowed to stay in the house for up to two years, and any veteran is eligible to stay there.”
  • Ribbon Cut On Wounded Warrior Barracks At Bethesda Naval Medical Center.  Washington (DC) Business Journal  “Injured war veterans joined military leaders to cut the ribbon outside the doors of the Wounded Warrior Barracks at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Federal News Radio reports.” The barrack “residences and a new fitness center across the street are two of the biggest projects in the medical center’s expansion, which is estimated at more than $1 billion.”
  •  Lewis-McChord Opens New Living Quarters For Wounded Soldiers.  Seattle Times “Soldiers recovering from orthopedic injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, amputations and other long-term health problems will be moving into new, $53 million living quarters here. On Monday, a ribbon-cutting at the Warrior Transition Battalion complex, the first phase in a major overhaul of the base’s support facilities, was attended” by US Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both D-Wash., and US Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton. These “‘are the types of resources we need more of throughout our country,’ Murray said,” adding, “As you all know, there is an influx of … service members coming home requiring long-term medical care like we have not seen in a very long time.”
  •  Tillman Veterans Center Opens At ASU.  East Valley Tribune “The rapidly growing number of military veterans at Arizona State University can now get academic and social support at a center named after the late Pat Tillman, the NFL star turned Army Ranger.” After noting that the center opened on Tuesday, the Valley Tribune adds, “The center will help ASU attract students from other states and boost their odds of success once they’re enrolled, said David Lucier, president of the Arizona Veterans Foundation. ‘This is part of the overall strategy to make ASU the Number One veterans-supportive university in the nation,’ Lucier said.”


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