Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – October 27, 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.    Panetta reassures troops in Pacific worried about budget cutsA clear theme emerged at two town hall meetings held Wednesday by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Japan and Korea: The heated rhetoric of budget cutting is weighing heavily on the minds of overseas troops.

2.    VA to allow easier sharing of medical info with Pentagon.The Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday that it’s changing its rules to make it easier to share some kinds of medical information with the Department of Defense.
3.    DOD oversight of sexual harassment policies inadequate, GAO findsMost U.S. servicemembers who believe they have been sexually harassed do not bother to file formal complaints because, in part, they do not think their concerns will be taken seriously.
4.    In about-face, Marines restore tuition aid levelsLittle more than a week after slashing tuition assistance by 80 percent, the Marine Corps has restored its tuition assistance program to previous levels,
5.    Apple May Gain as VA Seeks Security for 100000 Devices.  BusinessWeek   — The US Department of Veterans Affairs is exploring security systems that would permit employees to use as many as 100000 mobile devices, including Apple Inc.’s iPad and phones using Google Inc.’s Android, without endangering the …
6.    VA Mental Health Caseload Climbing: New Report.  New Haven Independent  The report shows that over a five-year period from 2006 through 2010, more than 2 million veterans received mental health care from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans accounted for an increasing proportion of those …
7.    New $12 Million Veterans Initiative Apartments Due to Break Ground in Phoenix.  PR Web   Madison Pointe will be a short walk to the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center, Vietnam Veterans of American and the US Department of Veteran Affairs, giving veteran residents convenient access to world-class medical care and veteran services.
8.    Fort McPherson chosen for state jobs program.  Atlanta Business Chronicle  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development recently approved a master redevelopment plan for Fort McPherson that calls for a 127-acre biotech research complex, a 21-acre federal Department of Veterans Affairs clinic, 153 acres of green space …
9.    Village Nominates Local Veteran for District Honor.  Hanley is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 672. He took over as commander from 2005 to 2008. Each year he was named an All-State Post Commander, and the last he was one of 98 individuals recognized as an All-American. …
10.  Ribbon Cutting to Open New VA Polytrauma Center in San Antonio.   Ribbon cutting to open officially the new US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Polytrauma Center in San Antonio, TX. …


Have You Heard?

New Polytrauma Rehab Center Opens in San Antonio

On October 25, Secretary Shinseki was on hand to help dedicate the newest Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center in San Antonio. The $66 million facility will offer inpatient and outpatient care to Veterans and servicemembers who have suffered multiple injuries. View photos of the event

More Veteran News


  •   For Obama, New Focus On The Piecemeal.  AP   “Blocked by congressional Republicans yet determined to show action as he seeks re-election, President Barack Obama has scaled back his ambitions from major initiatives like universal health care, to smaller-bore programs he can do on his own or that are uncontroversial enough for Republicans to go along.” On Tuesday, the “White House rolled out an initiative to challenge community health centers to hire 8,000 veterans over the next three years. Officials said it was aimed at making progress in employing veterans should Congress not make such a push through tax credits, as Obama called for in his jobs bill.”
  •   First African American Marines Honored.  ABC World News On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives “voted unanimously…to award the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to our nation’s first black Marines.” Those Marines trained at Montford Point in North Carolina. In the 1940s, white Marines trained at Camp Lejeune, while “black Marines weren’t even allowed on the base unless guided by a white officer. No black officers existed”
  •    VA CIO Says CIOs Should Have More IT Budget Authority.  ExecutiveGov  “In a time where budgets are flat or declining, Roger Baker, the chief information officer at the Veterans Affairs Department, says giving the agency chief information officers more say in financial decisions could be a way to create savings for the federal technology enterprise. The suggestion comes from the only agency CIO that has been provided authority by Congress to unilaterally cancel information technology spending projects or shift funding.” Bake made his comments during a “panel discussion at the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council Executive Leadership Conference” in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  •  Dark-Skinned Men At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency. Chicago Tribune  “Men who spend little time in the sun, live in northern locales or have dark skin may need to increase their intake of vitamin D to prevent deficiency, a Northwestern University medical researcher has found.” If someone has “‘a lot of melanin, the skin cannot make vitamin D from sunlight,’ said” Dr. Adam Murphy, the leader of the study. Murphy, who also a physician at the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Chicago, added, “If you’re dark-skinned, go out in the sun, but not for too long.”
  • Aging Brain’s Decline May Hinge On A Gene.  HealthDay  Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System “have identified a gene variation that seems to have a major effect on the rate at which men experience an age-related decline in intellectual function. The study included 144 experienced US male pilots over the age of 40 who took a Federal Aviation Administration-approved flight simulator test three times over two years.” The “study was published online Oct. 18 in the journal Translational Psychiatry.”
  • Boston University Lands $13.6M To Study Cancer Detection Tools.  Mass Device The Boston University (BU) “School of Medicine landed a $13.6 million grant from the US Defense Dept. lung cancer research program to study technologies focused on the early detection of lung cancer. The five-year study, the Detecting Early Lung Cancer Among Military Personnel consortium, will focus on veterans and active military personnel at number of military hospitals” and Veterans Affairs “medical centers across the country. Smoking rates are 50 percent higher in military populations than civilian populations and veterans are between 25 and 75 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than non-veterans, according to BU.”
  • VA Polytrauma Center Dedicated.  San Antonio (TX) Express-News  “President Obama’s announcement last week that all US troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year will have little effect on either the city’s newly opened Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. ‘The kinds of trauma cases we deal with (at the PRC) are life-long, so this work will continue,’ he said,” adding, “When the last combatant comes home there may be a dip in military mission. But in the VA, our requirements will continue to grow for years.” According to the Express-News, “Shinseki was in town to attend the dedication of the $66 million Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center.”
  •  VA Awards Contract To Build Polytrauma-Blind Rehabilitation Center In California. Washington Times “Sgt. Shaft” column, the US Department of Veterans Affairs “has awarded a $98.8 million contract to build a new rehabilitation facility located on the campus of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.” In a news release, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said, “This new Polytrauma-Blind Rehabilitation Center will allow VA to better serve our Veterans and active duty Servicemembers in a state-of-the-art facility, which will support the exceptional clinical care currently delivered through both programs.” The Times adds, “This will be VA’s first and only Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center to be combined with a Blind Rehabilitation Center.”
  •    Cost Of War: War Fosters Improvement In Care For Veterans.  KSL-TV Vets injured in combat are receiving care at an expanding George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which is located in Utah. It is “‘really our moral obligation as a state to take care of those folks who have borne this burden for us,’ said Dr. Steve Allen, director of the VA’s” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) clinical program. KSL added, “While he works at the VA,” Afghanistan vet Jeff Rogers “sees the care his comrades get: remarkable progress in prosthetics, substantial programs for the homeless and unemployed, maternity care for female vets, and real progress for vets suffering from PTSD.”
  • More Vets Getting Mental Health Care From VA.  Air Force Times  “More Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are receiving mental health care from the Veterans Affairs Department, but officials in a recent report still cited barriers that may be preventing some from getting the care they need.” After noting that one of the barriers cited in the Government Accountability Office report was that some vets living in rural areas have trouble getting to treatment centers, the Times adds, “But VA is making changes to accommodate more patients, the report said,” in part by opening more Vet Centers and by hiring more mental health workers. The Times notes, “VA Press Secretary Josh Taylor acknowledged VA’s efforts to expand health services available through telecommunications as well as off-hours clinic appointments and educational promotions.”
  •   Returning Troops Facing New Battle: PTSD.  KRIV-TV  “Only a fraction of war veterans ever seek help” for post-traumatic stress disorder, in part because they may believe that asking for help will be a sign of weakness. But Dr. Minette Beckner, a psychologist for the DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, “says they should not feel ashamed,” but should feel strong if they seek help. KRIV added, “The Houston VA offers everything from employment services to couples counseling to mental health help.”
  •   PTSD Meeting Planned In Mobile For Nov 3 And 4.  Mobile (AL) Press-Register  “To address the needs of Alabama servicemen and women mentally scarred by combat, as well as others experiencing trauma after recent natural and manmade disasters, a conference called ‘From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Growth’ is planned for Nov. 3 and 4 at Fort Whiting Armory in Mobile.” The “workshop is being presented through a collaboration of partners that includes the Alabama National Guard, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Alabama Department of Public Health, Veterans Affairs of Alabama and Auburn’s Center for Governmental Services.”
  •  World War II Veteran Wins Fight For Benefits.  Charleston (WV) Daily Mail  “After decades of writing letters, making calls and seeking advice from attorneys, Garnie Denzil Smith recently received a check for $9,797.14 for past due benefits and is to begin receiving $127 each month…said” Smith, who is 87. Smith added that while he feels “relieved,” he wishes Veterans Affairs would pay believe all the benefits he believes he is entitled to. Garnie, though, is “thankful for the amount he has received” and urges other vets not to give up fighting for their own benefits
  • Charge: Man Pocketed Dead Mom’s VA Checks.  Seattle Post-Intelligencer Earlier this month, 38-year-old William Reid was “charged this month with theft of public,” Veterans Affairs funds. The Post-Intelligencer added, “He never served in the military and wasn’t entitled to veterans benefits, court documents say. Federal court documents say Reid’s mother filed for a veterans benefits after it was determined that her husband’s death in November 2001 was service-related.”
  •   Homeless Female Veteran Population On The Rise.  WOAI-TV  The “homeless female veteran population is on the rise through out the country. ‘There’s no reason a veteran who has served our country who has taken care of this county should be without a home and our services, ‘ said Herman Montalvo.” Montalvo is the local Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care for Homeless Veterans Coordinator. WOAI added, “The Department of Veterans Affairs has set a goal to eliminate the homeless veteran population by 2015.”
  •   Women Veterans Health Fair Thursday In Little Rock.  KARK-TV  “A health fair is being held in Little Rock on Thursday for women veterans. The Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System hosts the event.” It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “in Room 7E-101 of the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital at 4300 West 7th Street.”

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