Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – August 25, 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.    VA seeks proposals for veteran housing. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette  – The US Department of Veterans Affairs is giving free rein to developers to propose permanent housing for homeless military veterans in Fort Wayne. No specifications or bidding requirements have been assigned to the project on 4.4 acres of …
2.    Deal finalized for new VA clinic in Joliet.  Chicago Tribune  A deal to convert a portion of Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet into a veterans clinic has been finalized, officials from US Department of Veterans Affairs announced today. The outpatient clinic, which could open as early …
3.    Patient Safety Tools: 10 Influenza Posters From the Department of Veteran Affairs.  Becker’s ASC Review  The US Department of Veterans Affairs has developed numerous free, downloadable posters which provide information on seasonal flu and flu prevention. To help your organization raise flu awareness among your clinical staff …
4.    Veteran’s athletic event coming to Buffalo.  Buffalo’s VA Western New York Healthcare System was selected as host site for the 2013 National Veterans Golden Age Games, a program of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, with 800 veterans expected to participate. The games are the world’s largest …
5.    VA database could benefit every consumer.  South Bend Tribune  The US Department of Veterans Affairs is now offering an online tool for comparing hospitals that could be a major help for all consumers if it were to be extended throughout the American health care industry. The VA last November began posting …
6.    US Appeals Ruling On Veterans’ Health Care.  San Francisco Chronicle The Obama Administration is challenging a ruling by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that “would allow veterans’ groups to go to court to seek an overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ procedures and timetables to speed health care to veterans.” Justice Department lawyers “said the ruling violated Congress’ decision ‘to prevent the courts from second-guessing the VA’s performance of these critical functions.'” However, “lawyers for the plaintiffs, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth, told the court Congress could not have intended to deny a judicial remedy to veterans whose rights are violated.” Attorney Sidney Wolinsky of Disability Rights Advocates also said, “Instead of actually serving veterans…the VA and the Obama administration have callously decided to prolong the proceedings.”
7.    Review Helps Adult Children Care for a Parent in Their Home. Medscape A review published in the Aug. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association “describes a living arrangement checklist for clinicians to guide adult children in the decision to care for a parent in their home.” The review by Christine S. Ritchie, MD, MSPH, from the Birmingham-Atlanta Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues also “discusses the prevalence and epidemiology of adult children living with an aging parent, and the clinician’s ongoing role in providing care and advice during common stages of multigenerational living (before the move and during coresidency and subsequent care transitions).”
8.    Veterans Outreach Program Taking Place In September.  Woodbury-Middlebury (CT) Patch, Stand Down 2011 “will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 at the State Veterans Home, 287 West St., Rocky Hill.” Support will include “reemployment assistance, housing referrals, social service assistance, DMV services, VA benefit assistance, medical, dental and mental health screenings and free clothing,” the state Department of Labor Communications Office said in a press release. Additionally, State Labor Commissioner Glenn Marshall said DoL “staff will assist with job searches, résumé development and review, giving advice and listening, to help veterans better their chances for employment.” Notably, last year’s Stand Down event was attended by a “record 1,300 veterans.”
9.    Cumberland County Freeholders Approve Appropriation Of $800,000 To Repair Roadways Damaged By Flooding.  Press of Atlantic City  “Cumberland County Freeholders took the first steps Tuesday to budget for necessary repairs of county roadways that were damaged during the recent heavy rainfall and flooding.” During the meeting, Freeholder Jane Jannarone “raised concerns that a proposed chapel to be built at the county’s Veterans Cemetery will be overlooked for potential funding.” However, “Freeholder Tom Sheppard said he thought ‘re-hashing’ the topic of the chapel was ‘wasting time’ and urged freeholders to act on the appropriation Tuesday.”

10. Palo Alto VA Procures Second Fisher House.  San Jose Mercury News  “Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki gave the Palo Alto [VA] campus his approval to build a second Fisher House.” Palo Alto VA spokeswoman Kerri Childress said this will be second campus “in the nation to have two such facilities, along with the Houston campus.”


Have You Heard?

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs inducted a VA employee into its Hall of Fame. Dr. Rory Cooper, director of Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Rehabilitation Research and Development Service for VA was recognized for his exceptional service to veterans, the military and the nation. “Dr. Cooper is a uniquely gifted scientist, engineer, inventor, educator, author, athlete, motivational speaker and public servant,” said Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, the state’s adjutant general. “He has dedicated himself to improving the lives of veterans, people with disabilities and service members through advanced engineering and medical rehabilitation research and development.” Since 2004, Cooper has been co-director of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s science symposium on research to clinical care and medical rehabilitation. He is a co-editor of the Borden Institute Textbook of Military Medicine on the care of combat amputees. Cooper led the effort to bring the National Veterans Wheelchair Games to Pittsburg hand served as chairman of the event’s local organizing committee.

More veteran News


  •  Museum Hosts Talk On Women Airforce Pilots.  Atlanticville  “Bernice ‘Bee’ Falk, a former member of the Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) corps and an advocate for veteran status for these women, will speak at the Ocean Township Historical Museum on Sept. 13.'” Falk was one of the “nearly 2,000 women” who 68 years ago, “answered the call” to become part of the WASP corps.
  •   Okinawa Vet Blames Cancer On Defoliant.  Japan Times “When Caethe Goetz was diagnosed with multiple myeloma…at age 49 in 2003, both she and her doctor were perplexed” because Goetz had no family history of cancer and multiple myeloma typically affects “African-American males in their late 60s.” However, Goetz’ physician “learned she was a former US Marine, he thought he might have found the answer to the mystery”: Multiple myeloma is “one of the 14 diseases” recognized by the US government as “related to contact with the toxic defoliant Agent Orange.” Although she had “never stepped foot in Vietnam,” the results of an intake test “suggested Goetz had indeed been exposed to dioxin.” Then, Goetz remembered that when she was stationed at the Marine Corps Camp Foster in Okinawa “between 1975 and 1976,” she frequently saw military “personnel spraying herbicides” along the base’s fence.
  •  Suicide Casts Long Shadow After Decade Of War.  AFP At one time, suicides by veterans “would have left people reeling” in Texas’ military communities, but “troops and their families here these days call it the ‘new normal.'” Since 2003, Fort Hood has “logged more suicides…than any other — 107.” In Killeen, which is located “northwest of Texas’ state capital, Austin,” there were 22 suicides last year. Elsewhere, since 2003, “Fort Bragg, North Carolina…has lost 77 soldiers”; and “Fort Campbell, Kentucky” lost “75 soldiers” to suicide. Overall, a “record 300 soldiers in the active-duty, Reserve and National Guard killed themselves” in 2010. And although the “numbers appear to be down slightly” in 2011, “32 active-duty staff killed themselves in July, the highest since the Army began tracking the phenomenon in January 2009.”
  • War’s Aftermath: S.A. Author’s New Book Examines PTSD.  KENS-TV As the conflicts in Afghanistan, which is “now the longest in American history,” and in Iraq “drag on, many of the returning veterans are suffering” from PTSD; and San Antonio-based psychiatrist Dr. Harry Croft has co-written a book that may help. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Croft has cared for “7,000 veterans” and used his “experiences with PTSD” to co-write the book titled, “I Always Sit with my Back to the Wall,” which aims to help “pinpoint symptoms and suggests some concrete” recovery methods. Written in a “simple, readable style,” the book is for veterans, but may also be helpful to their “families, employers, even healthcare professionals.”
  • Vets With PTSD Require Family Education And Patience.  WUSF-TV  “Army mental health specialist Cheyenne Forsythe,” who was “trained to help combat troops in Iraq deal with the onset” of post-traumatic stress but “didn’t notice his own signs of PTSD after surviving an IED blast and returning home from Iraq.” Forsythe attributes PTSD to his erratic behavior, which ultimately cost him his marriage. “‘My lowest point was when I was sitting in a cell in Killeen, Texas after I had been arrested for domestic violence,'” Forsythe said. He now shares his experiences “in the hope of helping other returning veterans” who may be unaware they have PTSD symptoms. In addition, Forsythe is “slowly educating his family and friends” about PTSD; and it was part of his recent “discussion with his new fiancé.”
  • VA Docs To Use Cloud-Based Tech For Collaboration. Healthcare IT News  The VA “plans to offer its physicians commercial cloud-based software-as-a-service collaborative tools to improve communications while also reducing data breaches.” In a pilot, up to 5,000 VA staff physicians and residents will “share patient information with each other, including documents and calendars.” VA officials say “the tools will reduce the time physicians spend on collaboration and prevent data breaches, which have been caused, in part, due to the lack of a VA-approved collaborative tool.”
  • ASU Adds Veteran Affairs To Health Care Consortium. Phoenix Business Journal  “The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University has added the US Department of Veteran Affairs to its Health Sector Supply Chain Research Consortium,” which is “a group of health companies and academic researchers focused on better managing health care.” Natalia Wilson, co-director of the consortium, said, “We know the VA has been quite progressive,” adding, “We look forward to the VA perspective as we develop future research projects.”
  •  Health Care Answers For Valley Veterans.  Roanoke Rapids (NC) Daily Herald A Veterans Health Fair will be held in Roanoke Rapids on Wednesday. “Representatives from the Durham and Richmond VA Medical Centers will partner with close to a dozen community organizations for the health fair.” Bobbie Brooker, rural health program manager from the Durham VA Medical Center, said, “We are working hard to educate veterans, both women and men, on the VA health care benefits they have earned by serving in the military.”
  •  Veterans Health Team To Visit Laurinburg.  Laurinburg (NC) Exchange Fayetteville VA Medical Center’s Rural Health Team will be in Laurinburg September 6. “The team consists of nurses who will be conducting health screenings, a nurse educator who can provide materials and discuss such issues as diabetes management and tips on controlling hypertension and cholesterol levels, and pharmacists who can answer pharmacy related questions and review medications with individuals.” Additionally, there will be an eligibility and enrollment specialist who can “discuss VA health benefits and accept Veterans’ enrollments on the spot.”
  • Golf Outing To Benefit Veterans Rehab Efforts.  Rockford (IL) Register-Star  Circle of Change, a “rehabilitation program for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, will host a fundraiser Saturday at Westlake Golf Course in Winnebago” and the proceeds will “help the all-volunteer 3-year-old program grow.” Circle of Change was started in 2008 by “Retired Navy Capt. Lou Matjasko and his wife, Karen,” both of whom worked at the “Rockford Veterans Affairs Clinic.” After guiding “60 veterans through a dozen 13-week courses, the Matjaskos are confident in the process. ‘They watch the dogs recover a better quality of life and recover from issues that mirror those they have themselves, and they start feeling better,’ Lou said.” Meanwhile, volunteers at Circle of Change are “developing a formal curriculum and hope to help other groups replicate the program.
  • 21. Soldier Wounded In Combat, Loses Home In Tornado.  AP  A “mortar attack in Afghanistan last year left 1st Lt. Antone Williams with a concussion severe enough to send him home.” Then, one of the 60 tornadoes that hit Alabama this spring cost him his home in in Pleasant Grove. Now the “Alabama National Guardsman is trying to get his life back together.” As his home is “being reconstructed,” Williams is stationed “at Fort Benning and stays with his parents on weekends.” He is also “taking part in a program called Lima Foxtrot that helps veterans recover from traumatic brain injuries.”
  • Do Foreign Vets Have Any VA Benefits In The US? The “Sgt. Shaft” column of the Washington Times  In answers to a reader’s question, “Veterans from other countries (except certain veterans of service with Philippine forces) are not eligible for VA compensation and pension benefits.” While Canadian veterans can get care at VA facilities in the US, the Canadian government is billed for it. “VA has the same arrangement with the United Kingdom for UK veterans.”
  •  The Veterans Resource Center, New, In San Francisco. Huffington Post Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, writes, “It’s a big deal to support vets on a national level,” but “local support, from the bottom up, is a big deal.” Because “big part of transition” of veterans into civilian life “requires Internet skills and access,” Newmark is “personally funding much of the computer side of things” for the San Francisco Veterans’ Resource Center, “including systems, connectivity, and related personnel.”


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