Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – October 11, 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.    HOMELESS VETERANS OUTREACH CAMPAIGN EVENT IS HOSTED BY VA SAN DIEGO HEALTHCARE.  East County Magazine   -– As part of its national drive to end veteran homelessness by 2015, the US Department of Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) and its community partners will host a Homeless Veterans Outreach Campaign …
2.    More Massachusetts veterans are women.  MetroWest Daily News  Leading the network is Viviana Cordoba – an Iraq War veteran. The network provides women with information on federal, state and local benefits for veterans and helps them navigate services, including health care through the Veterans Affairs medical
3.    Odierno: Army could shrink below 520,000.  The Army may shrink further than expected, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters on Monday. Current plans call for the Army’s active duty end strength to fall from 570,000 to 520,000, but Odierno left the door open for further cuts during a news conference Monday at this year’s Association of the United States Army convention.
4.    Influential Afghan women’s rights advocate says hope is lost.  Rangina Hamidi’s frustration with the status quo and Afghan President Hamid Karzai transcends words. The 34-year-old Hamidi, who left Virginia in 2003 to promote women’s rights in her homeland, has decided to return to the United States, disillusioned by what she views as Afghanistan’s descent into entropy.
5.    Some Muslim servicemembers struggle to balance faith and serviceWhen Mohammad A. Hasan joined the Army in 1994, practicing his Muslim faith wasn’t hard. It wasn’t until his deployment to Iraq in 2003 that Hasan says he began to notice the ways in which his religious background set him apart from his peers.
6.    Washington Week: MedPAC Votes To Scrap SGR.  MedPage Today  The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on chronic disease prevention, and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to “discuss problems at VA medical centers.”
7.    Love For Wounded Soldier Upon Return From AfghanistanWashington Post  The courtship of Rebecca Taber and 1st Lt. Dan Berschinski. The two met in 2009 just six weeks prior to his deployment to “Afghanistan, where he would lead a platoon of 35 men.” Berschinski’s battalion returned from Afghanistan in June 2010 after a “brutal deployment. Some 25 soldiers from the 800-man” unit had been killed and Berschinski had “lost his entire right leg and had only a thigh on the left side. … ‘Dan lost his legs in Afghanistan, but he got me,’ Rebecca kidded recently.” More so “than most Americans, Rebecca has come to understand the sacrifices that accompany military service.”
8.    Iraq Veteran’s Life Takes Positive Turn On Potter’s Wheel.  La Grande (OR) Observer  An Iraq veteran who was “blinded in war and a ceramic artist with a yearning to teach are doing each other a lot of good.” James Rabourne lost his eyesight in a “friendly fire incident in Iraq in 2008.” Kevin Bradshaw with his “wife, Joanna, opened a ceramic supply store, the Potter’s Shack in Island City, earlier this year”; and Rabourne was “one the first students to come through the door. … ‘I’d also like to sell some of my ceramic work in Kevin’s store someday, but that’s down the road because I know I’ve got to get much better,'” said Rabourne. But if Bradshaw has “anything to say about it, Rabourne will get better. The teacher is completely immersed in showing his pupil the way.”
9.    Three Women Stay Strong After Overcoming Breast Cancer.  Canandaigua (NY) Daily Messenger   “In honor of breast cancer awareness month,” prints the stories of local women “diagnosed with breast cancer, how they persevered and advice for others struggling with it.” The article also lists October breast cancer events, which includes the “Halloween Zumbathon Charity Event” in Canandaigua on Oct 28. Wegmans and the New York Wine and Culinary Center are sponsoring the event from which 50 percent of the proceeds will go “to the VA to send local veterans to the National Golden Age Games and 50 percent to Embrace Your Sisters.”
10. A Death From Cancer, And A Search For Answers.  Baltimore Sun  “Randy White had just buried a daughter, dead at 30 with a brain tumor” when his other daughter was “diagnosed with growths in her abdomen. When doctors told White in 2009 that their conditions were likely caused by something in their environment, the Frederick native” thought of the Fort Detrick Army base. From the 1940s through the 1960s, Detrick was known “for its work on biological warfare agents”; and Army records indicate that the “spraying and disposal” of a defoliants “including the active ingredients of Agent Orange” took place at Detrick. White hired “epidemiologists and toxicologists” and shared the “findings with government officials.” Now, county and state health departments are “studying the cancer rate within a two-mile radius of the base.”


More Veteran News


  • Vet Claims Exposure To Agent Orange On GuamKUAM-TV  “Veterans and their families who were on Guam during the Vietnam War and were exposed to Agent Orange have launched a petition drive.” Master Sergeant Leroy Foster is “one of many veterans who say they were exposed to Agent Orange on Guam during the Vietnam War and have signed a petition calling on President Barack Obama to launch an investigation.” Foster is hoping the “White House will listen and learn from his story. … ‘I was assigned to the Fuel Division and I worked on fuel tank farms refueling aircrafts, B-52s. They had me spraying Agent Orange sperbicides,'” he said.
  •  Veterans Groups Plan Listening Session.  Green Bay (WI) Press-Gazette Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs John Scocos and Secretary of Regulation and Licensing Dave Ross “will be in Sturgeon Bay on Friday for a listening session about veterans issues. AMVETS Post 51 and the Door County Veterans Service Office have scheduled the public hearing for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the County Government Center.” State Rep. Garey Bies (R) is “among local elected officials who plan to attend the event.”
  •   New Programs Created To Serve Expanding Generation Of Veterans.  Milford (MA) Daily News The “growing number and changing face of new veterans have prompted” Massachusetts’ Department of Veterans Services to “step up outreach.” In 2008, the state launched the “Statewide Advocacy for Veterans Empowerment (SAVE) team,” a suicide-prevention program. The Department also has “tapped three federal grants worth $1 million to help veterans find work”; and Massachusetts has five VA medical campuses, as well as “VA community centers and outpatient clinics.” But veterans have “described frustration with the pace of processing claims” and other paperwork. Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray said the state has talked with the VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. “He said early on they recognized it’s an area where they need to do better, and they’ve made strides to do so,” Murray said.
  •  Newsmakers: Stephanie Felder, Homeless Program Coordinator For The Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  Fayetteville (NC) Observer Fayetteville, North Carolina, on “Wednesday will be among 27 communities around the country launching a Veterans Affairs outreach campaign for homeless service members. The initiative is rooted in Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s pledge to end homelessness among veterans by 2015.” The focus will be on “combining the resources and expertise of community, government and faith-based organizations. … ‘It’s a real large campaign highlighting the services that the VA has (to work toward) ending homelessness,'” said Stephanie Felder, the homeless program coordinator for the Fayetteville VA Medical Center.
  • Carving Himself A Niche With Creative Hobby.  Omaha (NE) World-Herald  George Pulliam, 61, an Air Force “veteran, St. Joseph Hospital security, First Data, St. Joseph Hospital computer engineer, freelance computer engineer” and stock market investor. During “eight years” in the Air Force, Pullman went from “Vietnam to Washington, D.C., where he served on the presidential support team,” which provided “security for the president, vice president and visiting dignitaries. He accompanied President Richard Nixon on his historic visit to China.” Meanwhile, Pullman “kept on carving wood and joined the Mid-America Woodcarvers Association.”
  •  WWII Bombers Flying Into Local Airport Wednesday.  Cumberland (MD) Times-News  “Three unique and rare treasures of aviation history — a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress ‘Nine O Nine’ World War II heavy bomber, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator ‘Witchcraft’ WWII heavy bomber and the North American P-51 Mustang — are set to fly into the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport on Wednesday and will remain on display through Friday.” The three aircraft are “part of the Collins Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour, which tours more than 110 cities in honor of World War II veterans.”
  •   Veterans Realty Specializes In Serving Those Who Served.  Windsor (CO) Beacon A poster in the “new real estate office of Dennis Borelli says, ‘I want you to know, only veterans are served here.’ Borelli, a Vietnam veteran of the US Air Force, was a real estate agent for 12 years in California and moved to Loveland about three years ago to be near his grandchildren.” Last month, he opened “Veterans Realty.” With an “in-house loan officer, Mike Harrington, who is also a veteran, the business helps customers get their certificates of eligibility for VA loans.” Veterans Realty also offers “credit reports at discounted cost and free notary services” for veterans. Additionally, Borelli is planning to provide “various veteran discount services, such as deals on home repairs, and he’d like to establish a veterans business network.”
  • Vets Leave Lasting Impression On Lejeune Marines.  “Vietnam veterans from various infantry battalions gathered for a reunion aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune” on Friday. During their visit, the vets were “familiarized with the HMMWV (humvee) and M777 Howitzer by junior Marines. When it was time for the display of equipment, the former Marines jumped at the opportunity to interact with the junior enlisted. … ‘It was a really motivating experience for me,'” said Cpl. Richard M. Stewart, “assistant howitzer chief, 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Stewart. … ‘I think it’s extremely important for things like this to occur,'” Stewart added.
  • Service Members At Fleet Week Visit Palo Alto VA Hospital.  DVIDS Hub  “Second Lt. Joshua J. Abraham, a platoon commander with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, led his Marines in a unique mission Oct. 7” in Palo Alto, California. “Six of his Marines, along with some sailors and Coast Guardsmen, visited the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Hospital as part of a community relations outing for San Francisco Fleet Week.” The service members accomplished their Fleet Week mission to “give back to the community” when they “disembarked the USS Bonhomme Richard…and visited the VA hospital to chat and interact with the veterans from the nation’s most recent conflict in Afghanistan to the Korean War.”
  • AP Interview: George W. Bush Lives Quiet Life Back In Texas, Devotes Time To Supporting Troops.  AP   “George W. Bush says that after eight years in the White House, he’s happy to be back home in Texas and out of the spotlight. But the former commander-in-chief tells The Associated Press there’s one aspect of his presidency he still misses: interaction with US troops. And Bush, who sent them to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” says he “wants to make sure veterans and military members know they still have his support.” Meanwhile, Bush is “hosting next week’s Warrior Open golf tournament in suburban Dallas, an event featuring members of the US Armed Forces wounded while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including those who lost limbs and suffered brain injuries.”


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