Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – November 11, 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.    How To Support Our Troops And Vets This Veterans Day.  USA Today  Ideas on how to “make an impact” for veterans, including by supporting “veterans year-round” through “volunteering or donating money to the Veterans Affairs Department.” USA Today adds, “According to the VA website, about 30% of the current adult homeless population has served in the Armed Forces. Help these homeless veterans by creating a food or clothing drive and coordinating with a local VA homeless program to get the items to these veterans in need.”
2.    Retailers, Restaurants Offer Veterans Day Freebies. USA Today
3.    Veterans Day Events To Be Held Across D.C. Region.  Washington Post
4.    Civil War Soldiers To Be Honored On Veterans Day.  Washington Post
5.    White House Works With Google On New Veterans Job Search Bank And Widget. Federal Computer Week
6.    VA serving increasing number of female veterans.  Charleston Gazette  As the number of female veterans in the armed forces continues to rise, officials with the US Department of Veterans Affairs are expanding efforts to help women deal with issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, sexual trauma and even …
7.    Wanted: Photos of Veterans.  Patch.com  Courtesy of Patti Theros There are more than 24 million veterans who have served in the armed forces, returned and are now living among us in the United States, according to the US Department of Veteran Affairs. We all know someone–a friend, …
8.    Putting Veterans to Work: a Win-Win for Veterans and the Private.  govWin (blog)
The benefit of connecting with the community, according to Hirning, is that you can tap into programs for veterans. The US Department of Veteran Affairs, for example, has a program for employing veterans, and many states have similar incentives. …
9.    VA prosthetics lab steps up to help amputees (WITH VIDEO).  News-Herald.com
There aren’t any slow days in the prosthetics and orthotics lab at the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland. “The way we define it in the VA (US Department of Veterans Affairs), if it goes on the body or in the body to improve …
10.  Notice to military Veterans.  Marshalltown Times Republican You can help yourself and your family by learning about the many programs available through local and state agencies. During a recent Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs instructional program, VA leaders emphasized that increased awareness should be …

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  •   Veterans comprise wide spectrum of local community.  Gunnison Country Times  And then there are veteran Western State College students. Deanne Groom, veterans affairs certification officer at WSC, reports that 28 students at the college are now receiving money for education from the federal government. Although a veterans group …
  •   Different Takes: Shifting Vets From Medicaid To The VA Is A Win-Win.  Gant Daily  Commentaries follow from Bill Allman, who developed and now manages the Washington State Health Care Authority’s program, and from Alex Deluao of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. Bill Allman writes: “About 10 years ago, …
  •   Student veteran reflects on sensitivity, military benefits.  Daily 49er  “As of spring 2011, there are 350 students who have enrolled at Cal State Long Beach, who identify themselves as having served in the military,” said Marshall Thomas, director of CSULB’s Veterans Affairs Services. The number of student veterans …
  •   Grass Roots: Vietnam vet wants to open a coffeehouse haven for veterans.  Capital Times (blog)  An estimated 11 to 20 percent of the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have PTSD, compared to up to 30 percent of veterans of the Vietnam War, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The federal agency that serves veterans thinks …
  •   The Lake Country Sun.  Lake Country Sun  In 2010, more than 3 million veterans received disability benefits from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, including more than 1 million veterans each from the Vietnam War and Gulf War era, as well as veterans as far back as World War …
  •   New Credit For Hiring Veterans Shows That Tax Code Reform Remains Elusive.  Washington Post  “Politicians in both parties have repeatedly called for a simpler, flatter tax code with fewer of the loopholes, credits and deductions that make tax filing a nightmare and deprive government of billions in revenue. But when the Senate votes on Thursday on a portion” of President Obama’s “job bill – one with broad bipartisan support – a key element of the measure will be a brand-new tax credit, this time for businesses that hire unemployed veterans.” Tax experts “say the hiring credit is a particularly stark example of how irresistible the tax code has become for politicians seeking to advance popular policy goals” and that it demonstrates how hard it would be to shut down popular credits and deductions.
  •  As Injured Vets Return Home, Congregations Reach Out..   Washington Post  “With symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affecting an estimated one-in-six returning service members,” US “congregations are coming face-to-face with the tolls of war. Experts say faith groups have much to offer, even when the wounds include PTSD and traumatic brain injury.”
  • First Lady, Jill Biden Thanked for Helping Veterans.  Huffington Post  Gary A. Officer, president and chief executive officer of Rebuilding Together Inc., thanks First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden “for supporting not only Rebuilding Together and Sears’ Heroes at Home, but also the welfare of veterans through their own initiative, Joining Forces.”
  •   Uncovering Hidden Eye Injuries In Wounded Warriors. EyeWorld News Magazine  Dr. Glenn Cockerham, “chief of ophthalmology, Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System, Calif., and colleagues have studied closed-eye ocular injuries among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with blast-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI).” The “less obvious internal eye injuries that may go undetected without the comprehensive examination that Dr. Cockerham is focusing on.” Iraq veteran Gordon Ewell “believes if there’s one thing preventing him from going completely blind,” it is Dr. Cockerham’s research.
  •   Lag In Mental Health Care Found At A Third Of VA Hospitals. USA Today  According to analysis of internal Veterans Affairs data, veterans “seeking therapy at nearly a third” of VA’s “hospitals must wait far longer than the VA’s goal of seeing patients in 14 days or less.” The analysis shows “‘in many communities the VA is unable to give our veterans the timely access to health care they deserve,’ says” US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who chairs the Senate VA Committee and “who has called for a Nov. 30 hearing on the access issue.” Officials with VA, though, “say they do well on access when calculating the time period from the date requested by a veteran for a mental health appointment – called the ‘desire date’ – to when therapy begins.”
  • VA Seeks To Help Homeless Veterans In Los Angeles.  Southern California Public Radio  “The debate rages over how well the federal Department of Veterans Affairs helps the more than 8,000 homeless men and women living on the streets of Los Angeles. Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against” VA, accusing the “agency of failing to provide adequate help to homeless vets at its sprawling 400-acre West L.A. campus.” In addition to ending the “practice of renting out part of the West L.A. campus property to rental car companies and other commercial enterprises,” VA “officials have said they’ve…secured money for more supportive housing and expanded outreach programs, as part of the agency’s ambitious goal to end veteran homelessness.”
  •  Fort Howard Project Gets Good Report, But Some Disagree. Baltimore Sun  The US Department of Veterans Affairs “has released a report on the potential environmental impact of a proposed 1,473-unit residential development on the Baltimore County waterfront that can be summed up in two words: no problem.” But opponents “of the Fort Howard project disagree, and they mean to make waves.” The report was commissioned by VA, “which owns the property now used only for a medical clinic.” In an email, VA spokeswoman Jo Schuda, said VA’s has made a “recommendation, but VA needs the public’s input, if any, before it can issue the official” finding.
  • Three Employees Say They Were Punished For Exposing Problems At Dover Mortuary.  CBS Evening News   “We told you last night that remains of fallen American troops have been mishandled” at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary, which led to a “career-ending letter of reprimand” for the mortuary’s commander. But the three mortuary technicians “who first reported the trouble” and decided to “call for an outside investigation” also “paid a price.” According to CBS, one of the workers, James Parsons, said he was fired while another, Bill Zwicharowski, said he was “given a letter of reprimand…and placed on eight months of administrative leave without reason.” CBS, which did not say what happened to the third worker, added that a Federal “office created to protect whistleblowers stepped in” and all three employees are “back on the job now.” When asked if fallen servicemembers are now “being treated with the respect and dignity they deserve,” Zigarosky said that they are.   AP  “Gruesome revelations about mishandling the nation’s war dead mark the Air Force’s second embarrassing failure in three years, following the time when airmen mistakenly flew a B-52 armed with nuclear weapons across the country.” In “both caring for battlefield casualties and maintaining custody of nuclear weapons, the Air Force has linked its failures indirectly to the intense demands and strain of fighting two wars simultaneously.” The situation at Dover may be further explored when current Air Force chief, Gen. Norton Schwartz, who was picked by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates to “clean up sloppiness in the nuclear mission and get it back on track,” appears “Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify on other matters.”
  •   ABC6 Champion: Scott Johnson.  WSYX-TV  Scott Johnson, a readjustment counselor at the Columbus Vet Center, as parts of its “Champions” segment. WSYX reported, “Thousands of combat veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and aren’t aware of the Vet Center,” where “champions like Scott Johnson are waiting to listen to them and help work through the pain.”
  •   Returning Vets Need Jobs, Help With Courts.  USA Today  Marcy Karin and Carissa Byrne Hessick, two law professors at Arizona State University, say that while veterans’ courts in Arizona are “helpful to returning service members who have been charged with crimes,” they are not easily accessible to vets in rural parts of the state and they are “available only for those charged with low-level crimes.” Karin and Hessick ask readers to join them “in calling for additional support for local veterans in employment and criminal-justice matters.”
  •   Checkpoints: A US Veteran In Baghdad. New York Times  Brian Turner writes about his return to Iraq after having left the US military, saying, “I had resolved to return to this place, to talk to the people who lived here, the people who’d lived through the war my country fought here, to ask questions, take photos and attempt to document a little part of what Baghdad is like today, with the war ostensibly over.” Turner offers details on a “series of stops, impressions and encounters” when he made his return trip to Iraq
  • Thoughts Of A Peacetime Veteran.  New York Times   Kristina Shevory says she has a “growing sense” she is “not a full veteran” because she served during a time of peace, “between the Persian Gulf War and 9/11.” Shevory adds that many other vets who served in times of peace “say they also feel like they haven’t fully completed their service and owe something to their friends who did see action.” But Shevory says she has “reporting about the military because I know it so well and want to give voice to the combat veterans returning and their struggle to readjust to life after war.”
  •   Veterans Bring Home Special Qualities Of Self-Discipline And Optimism. Seattle Times  Vietnam vet Mike Gregoire, a veterans advocate who is married to Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, writes, “I’m grateful for our Department of Veterans Affairs and Director John Lee for the work they’re doing to ease” returning veterans’ problems, including a tough job market, post-traumatic stress disorder, and homelessness. But “amid all the suffering,” returning vets “weave into the fabric of our society the sturdy threads of optimism, self-discipline and appreciation for what we have.”

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