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

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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.   VA to open superclinic in Durham.  Rocky Mount Telegram  The new clinic in Greenville will be about a 45-minute drive for Rocky Mount veterans and less for those living in Tarboro and other areas closer to Greenville. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a contract to the Gilbane Development …
2.   Disabled Veteran Crosses Country on Mission to Help Fellow Veterans.  NBC Los Angeles  I’ve visited thirteen states and in the states that I visited, they’re calling me back saying ‘you know what, we decided to take better care of our veterans,'” Groves said. The US Department of Veteran Affairs reported 23 percent of all homeless people …
3.   Walker rehires Veterans Affairs secretary John Scocos.  Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
“I consulted with many veteran organizations throughout the state in choosing the next WDVA secretary,” Walker said in the release. “Throughout the process it was clear that John would be an outstanding secretary.” Craig Johnston, commander of the
4.   Tackle Rx costs, save Medicare funds.  The Journal News | LoHud.com  According to Families USA, in a January 2007 study, Medicare patients are charged nearly 60 percent more for the top 20 drugs than paid by veterans under a program run by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This program allows the Department of …
5.   New programs created to serve expanding generation of veterans.  Milford Daily News
The state also is fortunate to have five federal Veterans Affairs (VA) medical campuses to treat returning soldiers, as well as VA community centers and outpatient clinics, Nee said. But navigating the system can be frustrating, and problems for …
6.   A homecoming 66 years after veterans death.  Durham Herald Sun  Thanks to the efforts of his grand niece, Beth Barbee, a plaque in his honor — obtained through the US Department of Veterans Affairs — was placed next to the simple headstone that marks the grave of Elizabeth Cates, who died in 2002. …
7.   Veterans expo this week.  MetroWest Daily News  Help is available for veterans from Framingham and area communities trying to make sense of available federal benefits and services. Representatives from the US Department of Veteran Affairs in Boston will be on hand …
8.   VA-backed program aims to help ex-troops adjust.  Detroit Free Press  The lack of work led Green to become one of what the US Department of Veterans Affairs says are more than 4000 homeless veterans in Michigan. “The economic situation was difficult,” said Green, 44. “When you aren’t working, you need to go to school, …
9.   U.S. troops work with Afghan officials to open schools in remote villagesAside from providing a basic education for Afghan youth, opening schools is part of the 10th Mountain Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s greater commitment to help restore the traditional village structure that’s been fractured by decades of war and upheaval.
10.  Army Ten-Miler: An uplifting run through D.C.About 30,000 people registered for this year’s race in Washington, D.C. The winner, Tesfaye Alemayehu, belonged to the team ‘I RUN 4 GOD,’ which ran this year to honor David Wynne Francis, an Army veteran who passed away last month.

 

More Veteran News

 

  •  A Closer Look At Next Week.  The Hill “Floor Action” blog, reports Congress has “scheduled its next budget crisis for mid-November, and therefore has time next week to take up several long-simmering trade issues.” Additionally, the House “plans to debate legislation considered under a suspension” including the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 (HR 2433), the Veterans Sexual Assault Prevention Act (HR 2074), and the Veterans’ Benefits Training Improvement Act (HR 2349); and bills to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to provide “surviving spouses with certain protections relating to mortgages” (HR 1263), “title 38, US Code, to recognize the service in the reserve components of certain persons by honoring them with status as veterans under law” (HR 1025) and “title 38, US Code,” to direct the VA Secretary to notify Congress of VA-sponsored conferences (HR 2302).
  •  Murray Part Of Bipartisan Push To Help Ease Veteran Unemployment.  Tacoma News Tribune There is a “growing bipartisan sense on Capitol Hill that the private sector will have to do much more to help Congress ease chronically high unemployment among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.” Congress appears “eager to respond, though there’s no ­consensus on a specific plan. At a ’roundtable’ meeting,” Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) “called veterans ‘the most employable group of people in the world.'” Sen. Richard Burr (NC) the top-ranking Republican on the panel, “said that veterans ‘can’t be that valuable to this country and not that valuable to American business. We’ve just got to find a way to highlight that to corporate America,'” he said.
  •  Bill Aims To Fill Health Reform Gap, Extend Coverage For Vets’ Children.  Insurance and Financial Advisor  A bill (HR 115), sponsored by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), would “change the maximum age from 23 to 26 for children to be eligible under their parents’ insurance within the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).” Presently, the federal health reform provision, which “allows people to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26 primarily applies to private insurance.” Young adult coverage was “extended to age 26 for military families in the TRICARE insurance program as part of the defense authorization bill (HR 1540), which was passed by the House” and awaits Senate action. Thus, there is “no reason we should deny these benefits to families using CHAMPVA,'” said HR 111 co-sponsor Rep. David Price (D-NC).
  • Lawmakers Praise Progress On Arlington Problems.  Army Times  “Members of a key House subcommittee Thursday praised the progress made by the new managers in turning around Arlington National Cemetery after discoveries of severe mismanagement last year. ‘I am pleased that…the mismanagement and dysfunction found during the Army’s original investigation in the summer of 2010 no longer exist,'” said Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA), the “top Democrat on House Veteran’s Affairs Committee’s disability assistance and memorial affairs panel.” Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. William McCoy, Jr., the Army’s acting inspector general, “reiterated that he disagrees with suggestions that the Army should turn over management” of the cemetery to the VA, saying such a move would “only increase ineffectiveness and bureaucracy.” Another Arlington inspection “will be completed next summer,” McCoy added.
  •   Readers respond: Control Is An Issue For Open Source Pieces Of DoD/VA Joint EHR.  Government Health IT  Doug Felton, manager of enterprise architecture for the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, explained during an interview this summer that the “political and policy landscapes are very nicely aligned toward DoD and VA working effectively together on the iEHR effort.” Progress is indeed being made: Last month, the VA “shared details of the joint EHR interface.” Meanwhile, the question of whether the VA and DOD “can succeed in their EHR initiative will likely come down…to managing that open source ecosystem.” In a recent poll, Government Health IT readers were asked whether the VA and DOD can “effectively foster an open source community” around their joint EHR project: Forty-five percent “answered yes” and just “13 percent gave a flat-out no.”
  • VA Launches TBI Awareness Campaign.  American Legion  The Veterans Affairs Department has “launched a campaign to increase awareness about traumatic brain injury (TBI) and services provided by the VA for veterans and servicemembers recovering from TBI and co-occurring complex injuries.” The campaign “debuted with a 25-minute documentary last week highlighting individual stories of recovery for some of the most severely injured and wounded veterans through the VA Polytrauma System of Care at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center” in Richmond, Virginia. The documentary and “other videos” can be viewed onlineNextgov  The “25-minute piece, ‘From Surviving to Thriving,'” should be “required viewing for any member of Congress who wants to take an axe to the VA budget.”
  •  Athletes Rally To Raise Brain Injury Awareness.  ABC News  Health page reports that more than “500 current and former US athletes have agreed to donate their brains to research.” Former Buffalo Sabre Rick Martin, who “died from a heart attack in March at age 59, is the latest professional athlete to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy”; and his brain is one of “96 athlete brains already received by the VA Brain Bank. … ‘He had relatively mild CTE,’ said Dr. Ann Mckee, director of neuropathology at the Bedford VA Medical Center and co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, where Martin’s brain was studied.” Of the 70 brain analyzed thus far, “more than 50 have shown signs of CTE.”
  •  New Research Shows Strong Link Between Traumatic Brain Injury And Onset Of Dementia.  Salient News  Older “war veterans who experience traumatic brain injury show a more than two-fold increase in the risk of developing dementia,” according to findings presented in “July at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference” in Paris, France. Researchers analyzed “medical records of US veterans aged 55 or older” who had received medical care through the VA between “1997 and 2007” and found that veterans who were “diagnosed with a TBI were 15.3 percent more likely to develop dementia over seven years.” In contrast, those who did not suffer a TBI had only a “6.8 percent” risk for developing dementia.
  •  Court Says Insurer Can’t Cut Veteran’s Disability.  AP  A “federal appeals court ruled in favor of a Vietnam veteran Friday, saying his long-term disability insurance carrier can’t reduce his monthly payment by the amount he gets from veterans’ benefits.” Veteran James Riley “left his job when symptoms multiple sclerosis made it impossible for him to work” and subsequently began receiving benefits from his employer-sponsored long-term disability plan with Sun Life and Health Insurance Co. But two years later when Sun Life discovered Riley was also receiving veterans’ disability benefits, it “reduced the amount it was paying Riley and claimed he owed nearly $21,000 in overpayments.”
  • Ground Broken At Spanish Fort Veteran Cemetery. WEAR-TV  “A ground-breaking ceremony was held today for a new veterans cemetery. The Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery is the first like it in the state. The 120-acre cemetery will be built in Spanish Fort near Fort Blakely. Many veterans turned out for today’s ground-breaking.” Vietnam veteran Noah McBride was shown saying, “Most of the national cemeteries I’ve seen in my life, I’d be pleased to be put into but this one especially.”
  • Aztecs Honor Vets During SDSU Homecoming.  KNSD-TV  “San Diego State University students killed in action were remembered Friday as part of the university’s homecoming events. … ‘This is kind of the recognition that we do know what you all have done and we thank you,'” said SDSU Student Veterans Organizer Nathaniel Donnely, who is himself a veteran. On the memorial “itself, dedicated in 1996, there are the names of 222 former SDSU students lost in service during their country during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.” Notably, SDSU is the “highest ranked university in California, ranking 30th among 100 universities nationwide for military vets preparing for the next phase of their lives, according to the campus Veterans Center.”
  • San Diegans Quietly Honor Afghanistan Vets.  KPBS-TV   “Five SDSU students have been killed in the post 9-11 wars, though no one publicly mentioned the reason — the decade-long war in Afghanistan — of which Friday marked the 10th anniversary.” Navy Chief Noel Peralta, a “veteran, who served in Iraq, said he didn’t think it was appropriate to mention the anniversary at the ceremony. Organizers also said they wanted to focus on the war memorial, which was dedicated in 1996 and the students who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
  •   Many Vietnamese Americans In Search Of MIAs’ Remains As Program Is Suspended.  Washington Post  At the “urging of US Sen. James Webb (D-VA), the State Department is now withholding $1 million allocated to a US Agency for International Development program that would identify remains until the Vietnamese government agrees to identify MIAs from both sides of the conflict.” The decision to hold the program has been “greeted positively by many Vietnamese Americans, who number more than 1.5 million nationwide, with nearly 60,000 in Virginia. They hope Hanoi will be pressured into searching for all war dead. Even some with ties to communist MIAs approve, saying Hanoi must take care of all soldiers because the conflict divided families much as the
  • Vietnam War Veteran, Peace Advocate, Faces Charge Of Trying To Ship Marijuana Package To VT.  AP   “A peace advocate and a founder of Vietnam Veterans of America is accused of trying to ship a package containing more than a pound of marijuana from a Fed Ex Kinko’s location in the District of Columbia. Charging documents show Robert O. Muller, a disabled war veteran, tried to ship the package last month, but store workers called police after detecting an apparently strong marijuana odor.” The package was destined for a “fellow Vietnam veteran living in Vermont.”
  • Healthy Men Don’t Need Prostate Screening: US Panel.   ABC World News   “An earthquake today in the debate over men and prostate cancer” regarding a “simple blood test called a PSA.”  CBS Early Show   AFP  “Routine screening for prostate cancer does not help save the lives of healthy men and often triggers the need for more tests and treatments,” a US Preventive Services Task Force panel said Friday. The draft, which will “be open to public comment on Tuesday,” is based on “five clinical trials”; and the recommendation to “avoid a prostate-specific antigen test” applies to “healthy men of all ages without suspicious symptoms.” Ana Fadich of the Men’s Health Network “called the recommendations ‘puzzling.'” The decision places “high-risk patients such as African American men and those exposed to the Agent Orange defoliant ‘in great danger’ as they may be discouraged from screening,” she said.
  •  Women Veterans Gather In Ontario For Education And Inspiration.  Contra Costa (CA) Times  “Hundreds of women military veterans have gathered” in Ontario, California, for a “two-day conference that focused on inner beauty and strength as well as education and benefits. The California Department of Veterans Affairs and the Inland Empire Veterans Collaborative partnered up Friday and today to host the 2011 CalVet Women Veterans Conference at the Ontario Doubletree Hotel.” The conference addressed issues that could “impact women who served in the Armed Forces and connected veterans with job opportunities and various resources.” Notably, two women veterans “were to be recognized as recipients of the 2011 California Woman Veteran of the Year Award.”
  •  Jobless Rate Climbs For Young Veterans.  Army Times  The US economy “created 103,000 jobs in September — but not, apparently, for veterans. Although the national unemployment rate remains fixed at 9.1 percent, the jobless rate climbed for veterans, especially young veterans,” according to the Labor Department’s unemployment report released Friday. For September, the “unemployment rate for veterans of all generations was 8.1 percent, up from 7.7 percent in August.” Notably, for the “third consecutive month, Iraq- and Afghanistan-era women are having a harder time than men finding work.” For men, the “jobless rate was 11.1 percent in September, up from 8.6 percent in August” whereas for women, the rate was “14.7 percent, an improvement over the 16.6 percent rate in August but still higher than for men.”
  • Bronze Star Awarded Posthumously To Riley GI.  AP   “An Army soldier from Albuquerque killed in Iraq has been awarded a Bronze Star for valor, the Army’s fourth-highest military award for combat. Army Capt. Thomas J. Casey’s father accepted the medal on his son’s behalf during a ceremony last month” at Fort Riley, Kansas. Army officials say that after “seeing a fellow soldier wounded by a sniper, Casey fired back while the wounded soldier was moved to safety.” Although Casey “killed the sniper, he suffered fatal wounds.”
  • Norwich Man Gets Bronze Star After 45 Years.  Norwich (CT) Bulletin  Vietnam veteran “John Dubicki was presented the Bronze Star Friday, nearly 45 years after he earned the medal for bravery and valor in combat. The 67-year-old Norwich resident wiped tears from his eyes during a brief ceremony” with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who “helped him obtain the long-overdue award.”
  • Vietnam Veteran Receives Silver Star 40 Years Later.   KSL-TV  “For Jay Lane of Mt. Pleasant, it took 40 years before he received one of the highest ranking medals awarded by the US Army. The paperwork for the medal he should have received in 1971 had been lost in the shuffle. … It wasn’t until after gibing by his siblings that his sister, Janyce Miller, researched his military records to determine if he had indeed been shot down three times and earned the Silver Star and Purple Heart.” She not only discovered Lane had “earned it, but that he had never been honored.” On Sept. 27, Lane was awarded the “Silver Star and Purple Heart in an official military ceremony in Salt Lake City.”
  • Women Veterans Honored At Fair.  Cherokee One Feather  Women veterans of “all branches of the armed forces were honored by the American Legion Steve Youngdeer Post 143 at a ceremony held at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds on Friday.” The women veterans who attended Friday’s event were “presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Post 143 as well as a Quilt of Valor made by the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild. ‘To give up your lives, to set aside your families is a difficult decision and we truly appreciate you,'” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks.
  • Local Veteran Continues To Serve.  Camp Pendleton (CA) Patch   “Years after serving in the Marines during the Korean War, Jackie McCoy continues to serve her country, but in a much different way. The 79-year-old volunteers three days a week at the VA Oceanside Clinic, where she sits at the front desk to greet visitors and answer their questions.” McCoy began volunteering for the “VA San Diego Healthcare System two years ago at the main medical center” and transferred to the Oceanside Clinic “when it opened in May 2010 because it is closer to her San Marcos home.”
  •  Wounded Veterans Competing In Chicago Marathon With Achilles Freedom Team. WFLD-TV  “Sunday, 15 wounded soldiers partcipated in the Chicago Marathon with their prosthetics and handcycles.” This was the “third Chicago Marathon and seventh marathon” overall for “Army Sergeant Dan Casara, an Iraq veteran who was severely injured by an anti-tank mine.”

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