Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – November 14, 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. Veteran benefits and services apps now available.  Lake County News  Using GPS technology, the apps provide maps and driving directions to the nearest county Veterans Service Office, US Department of Veterans Affairs health facility and clinics, and other facilities and organizations that offer services to veterans. …
2. Program serves entrepreneurial veterans.  Dubuque Telegraph Herald  In Wisconsin, this generation’s war vets face a 13 percent jobless rate, according to the state Department of Veterans Affairs. And half of the state’s disabled veterans are unemployed, the agency estimates. It’s an even more daunting challenge for …
3. For love of the veterans: Boyd Legion Auxiliary member serving as state president. Chippewa Herald  She plans to put special emphasis on Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation programs. She wants to improve library-related needs for veterans and work hard on the Homeless Woman Veteran Project and on veterans’ job fairs. Chwala pointed out that today, …
4. Local veterans get patriotic ‘thank you’.  Hometownlife.com  Following the ceremony and roll call, the veterans and guests enjoyed lunch and dancing. The event is recognized as an official regional Veterans Day event by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
5. Understanding Veteran Benefits for Seniors.  Patch.com  In Georgia alone, there are more than half-a-million veterans and most aren’t utilizing the resources provided to them by the government. According to the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, only 36 percent of eligible veterans are currently receiving …
6. Project showcases paintings, graffiti, other artwork by troops in Iraq Afghanistan. Based on his two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan, Army Staff Sgt. Stephen Quarles can tell you the best place to gauge unit morale: the latrine.
7. Honoring those who served: Veterans Day in D.C.Braving the cold weather, hundreds of veterans came to the National Mall Friday to commemorate Veterans Day. Many congregated at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where esteemed journalist Joseph L. Galloway was the keynote speaker at the annual Veterans Day ceremony.
8. U.S. Marine Corps fights for its budgetToward the end of his tenure, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates encouraged the U.S. Marine Corps to redefine itself.
9. State Veterans Office Balances Needs Of Wide Range Of Ages.  Vermont Public Radio
According to the Vermont Department on Veterans Affairs, there are roughly 52000 veterans currently living in the state. Clayton Clark is the director of the department. He says it’s important to realize that Vermont’s veteran population …
10.  A Look inside the Department of Veteran’s Affairs on Veterans Day.  DigitalJournal.com
Families across the United States are quick to forget just how many Veterans from wars that took place so long ago are still around to celebrate this special day with their friends and families. Veteran’s day is a day to remember all of those soldiers …

 

Have You Heard?

A Message of Challenges and Resiliency on Veterans Day

From the challenge of coming home to the issue of jobs, on Veterans Day, Secretary Shinseki is talking about how important Veterans are to America–and how important it is to leverage their skills.

More Veteran News

 

  •   VA serving increasing number of female veterans.  Charleston Gazette  Women veteran’s health clinics are a new concept, said Amber Brunetti, outreach social worker for the state Department of Veterans Assistance. Before gender-specific health clinics were introduced, women weren’t able to receive their care at the VA …
  •   PTSD for U.S. veterans similar in all wars.  UPI.com  Psychologist Antonette M. Zeiss, chief consultant to the Office of Mental Health Services at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, said overall incidence of PTSD does not appear to have changed across the wars we have fought in the late 20th and early …
  • Employers Say They Like Veterans,  San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune The Labor Department has “joined with Microsoft Corp. to provide veterans with vouchers for no-cost training and certifications that can lead to important industry-recognized credentials. … ‘The program will help our returning heroes gain access to the training and certifications they need to land good jobs in growing industries,'” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told reporters during a conference call. Meanwhile, on Thursday, the US Senate “in a rare show of bipartisan spirit” voted to “extend tax credits to businesses that hire unemployed veterans. … ‘A law that cuts taxes and improves the lives of veterans had to have been pretty much of a no-brainer,’ said Scott Gould, deputy director of the Veterans Administration, during a swing through San Diego.”
  •   Groups Call On Deficit Reduction Panel To Spare Veterans’ Programs From Cuts.  CQ   “As lawmakers try to hash out a deal this month to cut more than a trillion dollars in spending, veterans’ organizations are mobilizing to urge Congress to protect their members’ benefits. The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars — two powerful groups with 2 million members each — are pressuring lawmakers on the deficit reduction committee to avoid cutting benefits programs for veterans.” Last month, the Legion “sent a letter to every member of Congress warning them about the impact any cuts could have on veterans and military families.” Tim Tetz, the Legion’s legislative director, “said most members on the deficit panel have been receptive to the Legion’s message, but a few exceptions remain.”
  • Veterans Often Struggle From Armed Forces To Work Force.  Baltimore Sun  On “Nov. 8, Donna Miles wrote an article for the Department of Defense American Forces Press Service” in which VA Secretary Eric Shinseki “noted that 850,000 veterans are currently unemployed. For veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, the unemployment rate is 12.1 percent — 3 percent above the national average.” Striving to “hire veterans in a slow economy is a tall marching order. But remember while you are enjoying this three-day weekend that some of our neighbors are fighting for their lives in far-off lands”; and let us not “take them for granted.”
  •   Veterans Day: Military Spouses Share Their Pain.  ABC News  For Army wife Kat Honaker, “it has been a four-year long struggle since her husband came home from Iraq in 2007.” Last year, Honaker opened her “bedroom door and found her husband inside with a gun in his mouth.” On the way to the hospital, Honaker’s husband started screaming that they were “going to get blown up. Her oldest son, 13 at the time, took charge. ‘Stand down soldier… we will get you cleaned up…we have to move. That’s an order,’ the son said, not missing a beat. He would later tell his mom he learned it from playing ‘Modern Warfare.'” Her husband was eventually diagnosed with a TBI and PTSD but “because the Army lost” all of Honaker’s military career records, he has “been ineligible for awards.”
  • Battles At War, Tensions At Home.  Canandaigua (NY) Daily Messenger  “A new study suggests that when parents are deployed in the military, their children are more than twice as likely to carry a weapon, join a gang or be involved in fights — including the daughters. The study was based on a 2008 questionnaire survey of about 10,000 students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades in Washington, the state with the sixth-largest active duty population in the country. … ‘I see a lot of kids with anxiety who don’t want to bother the parent at home,'” said Wendy Sullivan, family therapist at the Rochester Vet Center in Brighton. When children hide their fears, it “puts a whole new set of strains on the child and family,” she said.
  • Female Soldier Statue Dedicated In Charleston.  Charleston (WV) Gazette State officials “finally dedicated the West Virginia Female Veteran Memorial Statue” on Friday during a Veterans Day ceremony in Charleston “before about 50 people.” The statue, which was approved in 1998, has been “completed for some time, but installing it dragged on for more than 10 years as state and local officials bickered over its location and the depiction of the soldier. Members of some veterans’ groups, including many women, objected to the design of the statue, which depicts a soldier in a T-shirt and military fatigues,” contending that the woman should be “in dress attire.” Sculptor Joe Mullins said the statue is “meant to depict a post-Persian Gulf War veteran, symbolizing the increased role of women in the modern military since that 1991 conflict.”
  •  New Nevada License Plate To Honor Female Veterans.  Las Vegas Review-Journal Gov. Brian Sandoval during Veterans Day ceremonies Friday unveiled a new license plate to honor female veterans. The plate will be available for purchase Dec. 7.  Canton Daily Ledger (IL)  “Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and representatives of various veterans’ organizations have unveiled the new women’s veteran specialty license plate.” The new “red, white and blue” women’s veteran license plate was “on display during a press conference at the James R. Thompson Center. Members from the Secretary of State Veterans Advisory Council, American Legion, and National Women Veterans United were on hand for the unveiling.”
  •  Michigan Ranked Worst State For Veterans Benefits.  WNEM-TV “Michigan comes in 53rd for the amount of money spent on veteran benefits. That ranking has us behind US territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico. Jason Allen is Michigan’s Senior Deputy Director of Military and Veterans Affairs. We visited him in lansing to pose our tough questions. … Allen does admit that when it comes to the state’s treatment of it’s 703-thousand veterans.” Allen was shown saying, “we need as a state to become more aggressive to communicate and encourage people for the benefits that they have earned.” WNEM continued, “Allen insists that’s happening. He says upon taking office, Gov. [Rick] Snyder put together a taskforce to correct the state’s veteran services.”
  •   California VA Launches Smart Phone App For Veterans. KBAK-TV  “California’s Department of Veterans Affairs launched a new mobile application to help veterans. The smart phone app uses location technology to help vets find the nearest VA hospital, mental health center or even a college career office geared towards vets.”
  • “Operation Recognition” Helps Vets Get HS Diplomas. KTKA-TV  “Galen Freeman dropped out of school early to join the Navy and fight in WWII. He always wanted to go back and get his diploma, but it just never worked out. Now ‘Operation Recognition’ with the Kansas Commission of Veterans Affairs is helping area High Schools give honorary diplomas to those who couldn’t complete school because of military service. Freeman walked proudly down the aisle, wearing his cap and gown today with his family looking on.” Freeman said, “It’s a very emotional time for me.”
  •  Tapping Method Touted By Some Ariz. Counselors To Treat Veterans’ PTSD.  Arizona Daily Star  “An Oro Valley counselor says a controversial method of tapping on certain areas of the body can relieve debilitating symptoms of a condition that affects thousands of soldiers returning from combat.” Counselor Mary E. Stafford is “touting a method of treating PTSD called ’emotional-freedom technique.’ By learning to tap on specific ‘meridian points’ of the body, Stafford says veterans can tap away negative emotions.” However, the technique “is not endorsed by the American Psychological Association”; and the VA “does not advocate the emotional-freedom technique as a stand-alone treatment,” Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System spokesperson Pepe Mendoza.
  •   Dogs Help US Veterans Cope With Trauma Of War.  Reuters  A new VA study is seeking to determine whether the dog can help veterans with PTSD and other mental health issues. Researchers will pair about 200 dogs with veterans in Colorado and Florida.
  •  Progress For Veterans. Government Executive  Two Obama Administration “officials marked Veterans Day with observations and data on how the Veterans Affairs Department is improving the lives of those who served.” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki “took to the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal to explain why veterans make good employees. ‘More than 100,000 vets work for his department, he said, about of a third of all employees — and there’s a goal of reaching 40 percent.'” And at the “Office of Management and Budget, associate director of performance Shelley Metzenbaum penned a blog saluting the department. She reported that VA managers’ increased attention to customer service measures raised the percentage of medical care appointments that were completed within 14 days of a new patient’s desired date.”
  • IT Plays Expanding Role In Helping To Heal And Employ Veterans.  AOL Government  “Officials hope new technologies, including veterans’ access to their own health records and increased information sharing among agencies and providers, will help close gaps and delays in care that can contribute to unemployment rates and the difficult transition veterans face when returning home.” Notably, CCSi has “teamed up with the DoD and VA to take steps to be more collaborative and provide veterans better services through the modernization of the My HealtheVet (MHV) system. … ‘There’s work being done to help the veterans be as healthy People with PTSD…it’s hard for them to find a job sometimes. The VA is putting tools and practices in place to address that,” said CCSi Manager George Mahler.
  • Brook Army Medical Center, UCLA Help Wounded Warriors With “Operation Mend.” ABC World News  “There are 22 million veterans in America. … And today, ABC News has begun a series, focusing on challenges they face and the people determined to make a difference in their lives when they come home.” ABC (Woodruff) added, “For some veterans, the injuries are so devastating, that before they can start over, they need to be made whole again. Marine Corporal Aaron Mankin…was just 23 years old [when] his convoy hit an IED in Iraq. He’s come a long way, and during nearly 60 facial surgeries in six years, all thanks to ‘Operation Mend,’ a unique partnership between Brook Army Medical Center and UCLA.” Mankin: “It’s more than I ever expected. More than I ever anticipated for myself.”
  • Avon Veteran Visits Korea 60 Years After War.  Billings (MT) Gazette   “Sixty years ago, as a young US Marine, Jack Price manned a 50-caliber machine gun in an antitank assault platoon during the Korean War.” He came home with “memories of devastation, starving children and death.” Although those memories “will always be with the Avon resident, a recent visit to Korea has given him a new appreciation for the country. He recently joined fellow veterans on the Revisit Korea tour where they were guests of the South Korean government.”
  • Phoenix VA Healthcare System Will Step Up Referral Oversight.  Arizona Republic The Phoenix VA Healthcare System “cut its budget and delayed equipment purchases this year to help compensate for an $11.4 million shortfall that stemmed from lax oversight of a VA healthcare program,” according to report issued last week by the VA’s Office of the Inspector General. The OIG report found the Phoenix VA “did not have effective controls over a program that sent veterans to non-VA facilities for healthcare,” which resulted in it spending “$11.4 million more on care at other metro Phoenix hospitals and long-term care facilities last fiscal year than it anticipated.” Meanwhile, Phoenix VA representatives “said they have tightened oversight…to ensure all requests for non-VA care are medically necessary and can’t be provided by the local VA.”
  •  New Uses Proposed For Lincoln’s Old VA Hospital.  AP  “A nonprofit group intends to turn the old Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Lincoln into office and retail space and housing. The Seniors Foundation says a new VA clinic would be constructed on the 59-acre hospital campus.” The Lincoln Journal Star reported last week that the “75-year lease” from the VA will most likely “be signed in spring. The new, 80,000-square-foot VA clinic would offer all the services provided at its current location at the hospital. Inpatient services still would be provided at the Omaha VA hospital.”

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