Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – November 08, 2011


Veterans! Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the day compiled from the latest sources


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1. As Obama unveils new veterans initiatives, lawmakers reach compromise on jobs billSaying he’s frustrated by congressional inaction on his jobs proposals, President Barack Obama on Monday unveiled a new slate of veterans hiring initiatives, including personalized career counseling and a job-search site for veterans.

2. New Sesame Workshop website aims to help military children, families stay connected.  Sesame Workshop has launched a new website designed to help children stay connected with their military family members.
3. Senate officials acknowledge error that inflated GI Bill money to for-profit schoolsSenate officials admitted they erred in publicly released calculations that for-profit colleges doubled or tripled their GI Bill funding intake last year, saying the actual increases were much more modest.
4. Dept. of Veteran Affairs mobile unit to be at museum.  Salisbury Post  The US Department of Veterans Affairs will have its mobile unit and personnel on site Saturday as part of the “Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Memories” gathering at the Price of Freedom Museum, located at the old Patterson School, …
5. Google develops job search engine for the US military.  Ubergizmo  Well, fret not – Internet search giant Google has successfully developed a job search engine specifically for the US military, this coming about after teaming up with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This particular customized job search engine …
6. Northern California Veterans Cemetery receives grant.  Red Bluff Daily News  The Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo is getting a $900000 check from the US Department of Veterans Affairs in a presentation at 8 am Tuesday, Nov. 8. The California Department of Veterans Affairs, or CalVet, applied for the grant from the …
7. Is the homeless veteran problem set to explode?  Ray’s research and work in the United States shows the problems leading to homelessness don’t arise immediately after a military operation, he adds, but a few years later. He and his team, in cooperation with a Veterans Affairs outreach worker, ..
8. Women change face of combat, VA care.  In Sacramento, Barbara Ward of the state Veterans Affairs Department said the biggest issue for women may be a wholly different one: Finding a job. The national unemployment rate for post-9/11 female veterans was 14.7 percent in September, …
9. HP Selected for Veterans Affairs Contracts.  VAdvert Press Center   HP today announced that the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected HP Enterprise Services as a prime contractor for the VA Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) program. HP Enterprise Services also has been awarded the Enrollment …
10.  Minnesota Veterans Day program set for Inver Grove Heights.  Hutchinson Leader
Mark Dayton invite veterans, families, elected officials, and community members to celebrate and honor all Veterans who have served this country with bravery. This program was selected by the US Department of Veterans Affairs as the official regional …


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  •   Give Thanks To Veterans Friday. Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle  St. John Fisher College President and Navy veteran Donald Bain writes, “On Veterans Day, I ask you to take a moment to honor and thank the remarkable men and women who have served our country.”
  •   Parade Magazine Pays Tribute To Veterans.  Parade Magazine Profile of  six veterans, including 29-year-old Yonas Hagos, who after being seriously wounded in Iraq has “become a successful entrepreneur.” Also profiled was Sarah Letts- Smith, who said she “lost some really dear friends in Afghanistan and in Iraq,” Gulf War veteran Tracy Garner, Korean War veteran Vartkess Tarbassian, and World War II veteran Bib Kessler, who all went to college on the GI Bill, and disabled Vietnam vet Tom Corey, who has “returned to Vietnam 15 times to meet with Vietnamese veterans and discuss issues such as the treatment of POWs and the effects of Agent Orange.” Also appearing in the veteran tribute issue of Parade Magazine was a story on how readers can donate to veteran assistance groups and an op-ed by Gen. Colin L. Powell, who urged readers to help such groups.
  • VA’s Experimental Program Gives Hope To Stroke Survivors. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review   “An intensive therapy program to help stroke survivors who cannot talk or write has become so sought-after by veterans, say officials with the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, that it has a waiting list” of potential patients. Thus far, 39 “veterans and five active military personnel from 35 states have completed” the Program for Intensive Residential Aphasia Treatment & Education. Meanwhile, PIRATE has “scheduled 14 evaluations through April 14, and has 17 applicants on a waiting list.” PIRATE is “unusual because it concentrates one-on-one therapy, packing in five six-hour sessions a week,” said Lara Kertesz of Honolulu. She said the nearly month-long treatment “at the VA is tantamount to a year’s treatment elsewhere.” Her husband Dr. Michael Dondelinger, “an Air Force dentist,” is a PIRATE patient.
  • Program Takes Wounded Warriors Back To Battlefield.  CBS News’ 60 Minutes Operation Proper Exit is a therapy program which “takes troops who have recovered from their physical wounds and brings them back to Iraq…to confront” the memories of when they were injured and “to work through the feelings of anguish many soldiers have when they head home, leaving their buddies to fight on without them. A total of 68 soldiers and Marines have been on this remarkable journey.” CBS News “went along with the latest group of eight,” some of who now civilians, “as they returned to the battlefield.”
  •   Illinois Veteran, A Triple Amputee, Writes His Story.  AP  Bryan Anderson “doesn’t say no to any experience, despite losing both legs and most of his left arm to a roadside bomb in Iraq six years ago.” And now the Army veteran can add “writing a biography to his expanding list of adventures.” In his book, “No Turning Back,” Anderson details “enlisting in the Army and receiving a deployment date of Sept. 11, 2001, serving two tours in Iraq as a sergeant in the military police, driving over a roadside bomb in October 2005 and recovering for 13 months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he was one of the few triple amputees to survive. … ‘I want to inspire other people to start living their lives,'” says Anderson.
  •  Veterans Day Parade Saved.  USA Today  “Just three months after the Phoenix VA Healthcare System announced it was short on funds for its annual Veterans Day parade, local residents and companies have come through with about $100,000 in donations. Contributions ranging from $5 to $25,000 have saved the Nov. 11 parade, which costs about $60,000 to put on. … ‘Not only will (the donations) pay for this year’s parade, it will also give us good seed money for next year’s parade and activities,'” said Phoenix VA Health spokesperson Paula Pedene. She said the hospital started receiving donations “from throughout the area immediately after the funding shortage was made public.”
  • New Groups Join Veteran’s Day Parade In Denver.  Denver Post  Two groups previously prohibited from participating in Denver’s annual Veterans Day parade marched Saturday: The Denver chapter of Veterans for Peace and the LGBT Community Color Guard. This was also the first time the parade officials accepted corporate sponsorship. A spokesperson said an exception was made for United Launch Alliance because 500 veterans are among the rocket manufacturer’s 1,700 local employees.
  •   Students Of Service.  Dunkirk (NY) Observer Today  SUNY Fredonia “honored veterans during the fourth annual Veterans Remembrance Ceremony on Friday.” During the event, “four student veterans were honored with scholarships. ‘It is a privilege to welcome all here today for the SUNY Fredonia’s fourth annual Veterans Remembrance Ceremony to honor and remember Veterans and active duty military members of the Armed Services. SUNY Fredonia will proudly join President Obama and VA Secretary (Eric) Shinseki this coming Veterans Day in lauding the nation’s 23.4 million living Veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy,'” said SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner. Junior Lori Dispenza, who has “served four consecutive enlistments in the US Army, was also honored with the SUNY Fredonia Veteran’s Scholarship.”
  •   Women Veterans Training Center Opens Veterans Day.  Rapid City (SD) Journal “The buildings are in Belle Fourche, but the Northern Hills as a whole is the hub for the first residential job training center for homeless women veterans in a 10-state region. The Women of War campus officially opens at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of November, the 11th month of the year.” Counselor Marlene Marvin “said buildings at the center are nearly ready to house the first job trainees, to feed them in a new cafeteria and to coordinate their job training programs. Up to 28 women and 18 dependent children will live at the center when it’s in full operation.” Notably, Marvin, Project Director Russ Surdez, and “most of the Belle Fourche-based staff” are veterans.
  •  Program Helping Female Vets Suffering From Substance Abuse, Trauma.  CBS Evening News  Samaritan Village Women’s Veteran Program, which is located in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The “all female” program is the “first…of its kind dedicated to helping female vets suffering from substance abuse and trauma.” CBS added that of the more than 200,000 women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, “nearly 20% have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
  • Women Change Face Of Combat, VA Care. San Diego Union-Tribune  “As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end, female veterans will be changing the demographics of who seeks care for service injuries, especially the ‘signature’ wound of these wars: post-traumatic stress disorder,” or PTSD. With “another Veterans Day approaching this week, the VA continues to scramble to provide services for these women, including female-only clinics, child-care facilities for patients and treatment for ‘military sexual trauma,’ which is reported by one in five female veterans.” The Union-Tribune notes that among other tings, VA has “created female-only clinics in some cities.”
  •    Standing Guard: Homeless Female Vets Find A Refuge This Veterans Day In Ballston.  Saratogian  Ballston, New York-based Guardian House “has been designed to assist up to 11 homeless female veterans return to the mainstream of life through personal counseling, life skills and job training and pursuit of educational opportunities . Each woman’s goal is to complete tasks set up to meet her individual goal-oriented plan.” Guardian House board President Julie Towne said the US Department of Veterans Affairs “pays us a fee to house residents.” In a Saratogian (11/6) op-ed, meanwhile, Ballston historian Rick Reynolds says that he hopes Guardian House “will be of great help to those who will now frequent it.”
  •  Shelter For Homeless Veterans Opens In Sioux Falls.  AP  “A new shelter in Sioux Falls is hoping to help homeless veterans get back on their feet.” Volunteers of America “opened the new shelter, located at Cliff Avenue and 14th Street, to offer food, housing and job opportunities to veterans who are living on the street. The Department of Veterans Affairs has set a goal to end homelessness among veterans by 2015,”
  •   Service Honors Sacrifice Of Vietnam War Veterans.  Chicago Sun-Times   “The sacrifices made by the 261 Lake County soldiers who died in the Vietnam War as well as the countless others who made it home were recognized Saturday during a Veterans Day service in Stoney Run Park.” The ceremony included the “presentation of the wreath and a 21-gun salute, along with the traditional playing of taps. In a compelling moment, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department helicopter — a 1965 military issue Huey (UH-1) — flew over the gathering in a thumping display of intensity.” American Legion Department of Indiana POW/MIA chair Marty Dzieglowicz “reminded those in attendance that while we remember those who were lost and honor those who returned…there are still 1,682 soldiers in Southeast Asia who are missing or unidentified,” eight of whom are “from Lake County.”
  •   Operation Welcome Home Event To Focus On Vietnam Vets.  Dayton (OH) Daily News  In the decades since serving in Vietnam, Mike Clark “had no interest in attending” military functions. But that changed in “August 2010 when Clark and his wife, Gail, were invited to attend Operation Welcome Home” in Fort Knox, Kentucky. “You couldn’t take a step on that field that someone wasn’t throwing out their hand…thanking you,” said Clark. The Daily News says the same kind of “recognition and appreciation” is in store for veterans who “attend the fourth national Operation Welcome Home slated for this Veterans Day weekend.” The inspiration for Operation Welcome Home “came from ‘Naked in Da Nang,’ a memoir penned” by Vietnam veteran Mike Jackson, who now chairs Operation Welcome Home and heads the American Veterans Institute.
  •  Helping Hand For Veterans, Homeless In Prince George’s. Washington Post  Former Army sergeant Arnold Bradley, who has been “living in an unheated GMC van since he was laid off from an automotive parts company four months ago…broke down and cried as he stood in the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex surrounded by people who were there to help him and other homeless people.” Holding a “gray sweatshirt that said ‘Army,'” the 49-year-old veteran said, “I feel like I am part of something again.” A multitude of “state, county and veterans service” providers took part in the event on Saturday, in Landover, Maryland, including Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) and state Veterans Affairs Secretary Edward Chow Jr. According to the Maryland VA, “on any given night” in 2009, about “75,609 veterans nationwide were homeless.”
  •   Former Navy Lieutenant Won’t Be Homeless On Veterans Day. WTOP-FM  “A former US Navy lieutenant who thought she might be living in her car by the end of next week will remain in temporary housing” in Gaithersburg, Maryland. After 14 years of service, Kenya Smith, 43, “was ‘administratively separated’ from her job after failing to meet the Navy’s physical fitness standards for body fat by 1 percent” in 2009. Smith’s move-out deadline at a “transitional military housing” facility was slated for next week but on Thursday, the mother of two learned that Operation Homefront will allow her to “remain on a month-to-month basis while she looks for work.” The Post notes that since Smith’s story “got out through the media, she has been contacted” by “organizations that want to help” and employers requesting “her resume.”
  • Veterans Speak About How Prosthetics Change Lives.  KPIC-TV  “The Roseburg VA celebrated National Prosthetics Day on Thursday, and several veterans who have benefited from an artificial limb got to tell their story about how it’s changed their lives. Veterans told about how the prosthetics helped them participate in the annual VA National Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego last September, and how it allowed them to do things like surf, kayak, bicycle and participate in track and field events.” The Roseburg VA was also “awarded as the winner of the VA Move Cycle event, and out-rode all the other VISN-20 facilities in the Northwest with 48 cyclists including employees, veterans and volunteers” who rode a “total of almost 1,400 miles.”
  •   Special Veterans Tribute Planned For Next Week At New Town.  Williamsburg Yorktown Daily  “Former head of the US Veterans Administration and Williamsburg resident Harry Walters established a nonprofit, the Veterans Coalition, that aims to address current veterans’ causes. As the first order of business, he organized a tribute tower to be erected in New Town along with a celebration over the holiday weekend to honor veterans on their special day. ‘The Veterans Tribute Tower Dedication in New Town will serve as permanent legacy to honor our deserved Veterans,'” Walters said in a “letter about the event.”
  •  Sally Sawyer Writes “Prelude To Reveille” Based On Vietnam Letters.  Waynesboro (PA) Herald Record   S.D. Sawyer,” examines the “trials families faced when loved ones were sent overseas to fight in Vietnam and the difficulties soldiers faced returning home in her debut novel, ‘Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening.'” Sawyer, who “lives in Gettysburg,” wrote her book as historical fiction inspired by her own story, when her “husband, Richard, served in Vietnam from December 1968 to June 1969.” Sawyer said she is “glad it could be released in time for Veterans Day this year, which is Friday.” Portions of the “proceeds from book sales” will go to the Vets Journey Home program and the Fisher House Foundation.
  •  For Veterans, Is “Thank You For Your Service” Enough? Washington Post Phillip Carter of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America writes about his struggle to eventually accept strangers’ appreciation for his military service. “Although I frequently see active military personnel and veterans in the neighborhood, I rarely stop anyone to say hello, much less say thank you, in part because I remember how reluctant I was to accept those thanks when I came home. I should do so more often, though, lest the sentiment be offered so rarely that it is forgotten.”

New Office more user-friendly

New Straits Times January 18, 2007 | Aimie Pardas Aimie Pardas New Straits Times 01-18-2007 New Office more user-friendly Byline: Aimie Pardas Edition: Main/Lifestyle Section: Tech & U; Outlook Column: Lab report see here microsoft office online

MICROSOFT Corp’s soon-to-be-launched Office 2007 has a new look designed to help users be more productive and discover more of the available functionalities.

In general, the features are the same, but presented in a different way. The main changes include the Ribbon, which replaces menus and toolbars, and the Office button, which acts like the Start button in Windows.

The familiar Office commands are in the Ribbon and grouped together under Tabs. Each tab shows the commands related to an activity.

For example, the Insert tab has all the commands to insert pictures, graphics or charts, the Page Layout tab has the commands for page design, and the Review tab is all about tracking changes.

To reduce clutter, you’ll find some tabs only when needed.

For example, the Picture Tools tab will only appear if you click on a picture in the document.

Then there are the Formulas and Data tabs in Excel but not in Word, and you won’t find the tab for slide design in Word or Excel.

Working with the Ribbon and Tabs does take some getting used to, even though I’ve been using menus and toolbars for some time. As the commands are shown both in graphical format and text, it seems easier and quicker to look at graphics than to read the text to find a specific command.

Anyway, once you get the hang of it, it is much faster to use than the older Office 2003 – on average, it saves a click or two.

Microsoft does provide help at the Microsoft Office Online Web site with a flash interactive command reference guide that shows you where familiar commands in Office 2003 applications can be found in Office 2007.

You can also download a guide with the new commands, or familiarise yourself with the new Office layout by downloading a trial version or taking an online test-drive.

A useful feature is the Mini Toolbar, which shows up when text is highlighted.

At first, the Mini Toolbar is transparent, but it fades in with the 15 most commonly used commands if the cursor is moved towards it. And if the cursor is moved away, it just disappears.

Another useful feature, especially when it comes to editing or formatting, is Live Preview.

As the name suggests, Live Preview shows how the document will look like when, for example, there’s a change in font or slide design before actually applying the change. This allows you to go through all the available options and see which format looks best without having to apply it. this web site microsoft office online

The more powerful your computer, the faster the preview will be. On an Intel Core Duo T2050 (1.6 gigahertz, two megabytes of cache, 533-megahertz front-side bus) computer with one gigabyte of memory and an 80GB Serial ATA drive, there was a slight lag, but acceptable.

If you are one of those who use a lot of keyboard shortcuts when dealing with Office documents, the good news is that the keyboard shortcuts remain the same in Office 2007.

But if you don’t know the shortcuts, you can rely on a new feature called Key Tips. Just press the Alt key and little letters will appear at the top to indicate what letter to press to execute a command.

Although the Ribbon takes care of the formatting and design, most of the commands for document management can be found in the new Office button that sits on the top-right corner. Working in similar fashion as the Windows Start button, here is where you’ll find commands to save, open, print, prepare send or publish documents.

Documents can be saved either in Portable Document Format or XML Paper Specification format. Office 2007 uses a different file format than earlier versions, and files saved in the new version are not compatible with earlier versions.

For example, Word files saved with a .docx extension can only be opened with Word 2007. But files can be saved in older formats.

A nice thing about the new format is that the files are smaller in size. A Word 97-2003 file that is say, 72 kilobytes in size, when saved in Word 2007 is only 31.8KB.

Another interesting feature of Office 2007 is the ability to create blog posts and publish them to common blog sites.

In Excel 2007, there is a conditional formatting that allows you to discover trends quickly with colour schemes or indicator icons. And Outlook 2007 has a new To Do Bar, which integrates tasks, e- mail messages that are flagged, upcoming appointments and calendar information as well as offers native aggregation support for Really Simple Syndication feeds.

Basically, Office 2007 has a more logical workflow than previous versions and is quicker to work with once you get the hang of it. I hardly need to customise the toolbar and buttons to suit my needs, which I did with previous Office versions.

And as with earlier Office versions, Office 2007 is available in different suites. But you’ll only find the Ribbon in Office Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Outlook 2007 and Access 2007.

All the suites come with Word 2007 and Excel 2007, and only Office Basic 2007 does not have PowerPoint 2007.

Additionally, Outlook 2007 can only be found in Office Basic 2007, Office Standard 2007, Office Professional Plus 2007 and Office Enterprise 2007.

Product: Office 2007 (Beta 2)

Manufacturer: Microsoft Corp

Enquiries: Microsoft Web site (URL:

Price: N/A


Processor: 500MHz

Memory: 256MB

Available disk space: 1.5GB (2GB for Office Professional Small Business/Professional Plus/Enterprise 2007, 3GB for Office Ultimate 2007)

Operating system: Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1

Drive: CD-ROM or DVD

Display: 1,024 by 768 pixels

Aimie Pardas


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