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1. Texarkana Area Women Veterans Outreach Group. KTBS Willams says the group will be a one stop shop for not only women, but all veterans to get information about finanical and medical benefits offered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “We’re here to clear the air, to ease that burden,and to give
2. USS George Washington preps for possible aid mission to Thailand. The aircraft carrier USS George Washington is cruising toward Thailand to position itself for humanitarian assistance, should Thailand request help in the wake of the nation’s worst floods in decades.
3. Army eliminating vehicle registration decals at stateside bases. Vehicle base registration decals might soon become a thing of the past on stateside Army installations, according to an Army news release.
4. Sanford Guide Treatment Guidelines for Infectious Diseases Now Online at VA. Infection Control Today The Sanford Guide, recognized as the essential reference for infectious disease treatment, announces that the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration has deployed the Sanford Guide Web Edition to all VA Medical Centers in …
5. Korean immigrants to thank Vermont veterans. BurlingtonFreePress.com Mun Son speaks passionately of his belief that men like Ralph Guillette saved his life by fighting the Korean War …
6. Paralyzed man’s mind moves prosthetic arm. Futurity: Research News The project is being funded by the National Institutes of Health; the US Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; and the US Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as the University of Pittsburgh.
7. New Record Center Opens In St. Louis. KTVI-TV “A special piece of our nation’s past just moved from a dark, outdated facility in Overland to a sparkling new building in Spanish Lake.” KTVI added, “‘I’m awestruck to think about the millions of patriots whose stories now live here,’ said Allison Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits for the US Department of Veterans Affairs.” She was referring to the National Archives at St. Louis.
8. Hill Staff Begins Probe Of Alleged Mortgage Loan Fraud Of Veterans. Washington Post Members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee “met Friday with officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss…charges,” made in a recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuit, that “some of the nation’s largest lending institutions have cheated veterans and taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars by charging illegal fees in home refinancing loans.” The House panel is investigating the charges made in the lawsuit. Meanwhile, US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, “has called on the departments of Justice and Veterans Affairs to release the results of any internal investigations related to the suit.” The office of US Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) says he has yet to hear back from the Justice Department regarding his request that Justice investigate the allegations made in the lawsuit.
9. Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Signature Wound Of The War. Providence (RI) Journal “Improved armor and advances in battlefield medicine have increased survivability for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but for some, living has come with the burden of traumatic brain injury – often described, together with posttraumatic stress disorder, as the ‘signature’ wound of the War on Terror.” With PTSD, which “disrupts emotion and cognitive functioning –– and which is often also seen in victims of TBI –– there is no pill or single treatment to relieve suffering, although medications can alleviate some symptoms, such as headache and insomnia, and other interventions can address memory loss and other deficits. At the Providence VA, the clinic headed by Neurology Section chief Dr. Stephen T. Mernoff and Correia, offers a team approach involving many disciplines.”
10. Number Of Vets Seeking Mental Healthcare From VA Soars: GAO. Modern Healthcare “The number of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq receiving mental healthcare from the Veterans Affairs Department climbed more than 300% in the five years through 2010, to 139,000 veterans, according to a new report” from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Modern Healthcare continued, “The number of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq receiving mental healthcare from the VA as a percentage of veterans receiving any kind of healthcare from the VA, climbed to 2.66% in 2010 from 0.72% in 2006, according to GAO data. The data result from a report designed to inform members of Congress on how many veterans are receiving mental healthcare, to identify what the barriers to such care are and to identify VA’s efforts to increase veterans’ access to mental healthcare.”
Have You Heard?
VA recently launched a campaign to increase awareness about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the services provided to Veterans and service members recovering from TBI and co-occurring complex injuries. The campaign debuted with a 25-minute documentary 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, Va. “The stories of true courage and determination are an inspiration to all who watch this documentary,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The stories go beyond their injuries resulting from combat or vehicle accidents by highlighting their heroic roads to recovery, aided by VA’s system of care. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to watch the video.” The stories highlight the fact that effects of TBI can range from mild to severe, lasting for a brief or prolonged period of time. Treatment is available and VA provides specialized services to support Veterans and service members through evaluating and diagnosing TBI, related problems, and enabling their recovery. The documentary and other videos can be viewed at www.polytrauma.va.gov.
More Veteran News
- Program Training Vets For Wilderness Protection Careers. CBS Evening News The Veterans Conservation Corps, which is made up of former “military men and women retraining for careers in wilderness protection.” Kevin Heiner “directs the Southwest Conservation Corps, which created the program, along with a group called Veterans Green Jobs.” CBS said that with “more servicemen and women scheduled to come home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan authorities are concerned the unemployment rate among vets may only go up.”
- Recent Vets More Likely To Be Unemployed Than Their Civilian Counterparts. Washington Post “Despite the marketing pitch from the armed forces, which promises to prepare soldiers for the working world, recent veterans are more likely to be unemployed than their civilian counterparts.” The “jobs package President Obama has been promoting across the country is a tax credit of up to $9,600 for each unemployed veteran a company hires.” The Post adds, however, “More important than financial incentives for hiring returning veterans is making the skills and experience they earned in the military more understandable for civilian employers, experts say.”
- Late Soldier’s Mission Lives On In Help For Homeless Vets. New London (CT) Day Shalini Madaras, whose son was a solider killed in Iraq, has “raised money for a new transitional home in Bridgeport for female veterans who are homeless.” Preston Maynard, “director of the homeless program at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, said it is difficult to know the true number of homeless women because they are more likely to stay with friends or family than to go to shelters and soup kitchens.” Maynard “said they are doing a lot of outreach to women and women with children.”
- Veterans Affairs Expands Outreach To Vets Confused Over Benefits. Denver Post This year, outreach efforts have been expanded by the Denver Veterans Affairs Regional Office. The office has also started a TeleBenefits program with the Grand Junction VA Medical Center.
- Returning Vets Need More Help. Florida Times-Union Wounded Warrior Project Chief Executive Officer Steven Nardizzi wrote, “In a recent survey by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the department is failing its own standard for scheduling mental health appointments for veterans.” In a “letter sent last week to the Secretary of the VA, Eric Shinseki, the Wounded Warrior Project demanded a boldness of vision in addressing this real and dire issue.” Nardizzi added, “With veteran suicides at still alarming levels and an unabating need among returning warriors for effective mental health care, VA must mount a more aggressive, effective mental-health strategy.”
- VA Hospital Superior. Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review Chewelah, Washington resident Dick Hamilton wrote, “I can say that without question the care” at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Spokane is “much superior to that which I’ve received in the private sector, where doctors are over-scheduled, constrained by insurance companies and other monetary considerations, and so cannot provide the best care.” The “Spokane VA hospital is a community treasure, attending to the heroes who have preserved our freedoms and served us all.”
- VA Offers Help For Homeless Vets. Biloxi (MS) Sun Herald “The Department of Veterans Affairs and many other community organizations will conduct a homeless veterans stand down from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at the VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System campus on Veterans Avenue.” The “stand down is held each year to provide homeless veterans food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA benefits counseling and claims assistance, and referrals to a variety of other services, such as housing and employment. The VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System and other government and community agencies that serve homeless veterans collaborate to put on the event.”
- VA, Agencies Assist Homeless Vets. Pensacola News Journal “The Department of Veterans Affairs, in conjunction with other community organizations, will provide a variety of services to homeless veterans during a stand down from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28, at the Joint Ambulatory Care Center, 790 Veterans Way, off” US 98. The “objective of the event is to provide homeless veterans food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA benefits counseling, claims assistance and referrals. The event is an effort between the VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, Pensacola Vet Center and other local agencies who serve the homeless and/or veterans”
- Mobile Vet Center Is Reaching Out To Veterans At Risk. Southeast Missourian “The Mobile Vet Center from Memphis, Tenn., will be coming to the outpatient clinic at 3051 William St. in Cape Girardeau from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. The event is part of the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center’s ‘Homeless Stand-Down.'” The VA’s “stand-down” program is “one of its most successful programs to help homeless veterans.”
- Burial Benefits For Military Veterans Extended. AP “Officials from the National Cemetery Administration in South Carolina are explaining the details of burial benefits for military veterans and their families.” During a free presentation, representatives “from the Fort Jackson cemetery near Columbia spoke Sunday at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community. Veterans and the general public were invited.”