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1. Marino launches vets’ story project. Wilkes Barre Times-Leader Marino said the project is being done in conjunction with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Library of Congress and commemorates the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. “The Library of Congress reaches out to members of Congress …
2. Spouses added to vets’ tax exemption. Amarillo.com The office also said that totally disabled veterans are those who either receive a 100 percent disability rating or are considered unemployable by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “We’re just now taking applications,” said Kathy Sweney, …
3. A hard journey home. Kankakee Daily Journal The US Department of Veterans Affairs has advised local agencies to be prepared for a high percentage of vets with concussion injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), said Karen Smietanski, Kankakee County Veterans Assistance Commission …
4. US National Guards conduct more military funerals. Wall Street Journal Slightly more than 1.7 million of the 16 million men and women who served in World War II are still alive, and they are dying at a rate of about 850 a day, according to estimates by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. …
5. Wyo. architect develops device to help vets with PTSD. The Republic A veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes, the US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates, and tens of thousands of others have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress. The real danger, experts say, is that it can be extremely difficult to diagnose …
6. Friction between Afghan forces hangs over remote post. There is no need to imagine the aftermath of perhaps the worst attack on the Afghanistan Border Patrol in its young history. The Taliban captured the grim scene on video. The siege inflamed the simmering distrust between the border patrol and the Afghanistan National Army in a turbulent region.
7. Walgreens to drop Tricare prescriptions on Jan. 1. Walgreens pharmacies will no longer accept Tricare insurance after Saturday, meaning those covered by Tricare must either pay for prescriptions out of pocket or fill them elsewhere. The change is the result of a months-long fight between the nationwide chain and Express Scripps, the company that handles Tricare pharmacy orders.
8. Even Today, The Stigma Of Mental Illness Won’t Fade. US News & World Report “Despite some progress made in demystifying” medical illness, the stigma associated with it “remains widespread in US society.” According to Dr. Garianne Gunter of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, “the US military has recognized” that many troops returning from warzones “won’t seek help for mental illness because of the stigma.” To counter the stigma, “both the US and British armed forces have launched efforts to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness, urging soldiers to come forward for treatment.”
9. Injection May Ease PTSD Pain. KNSD-TV A new, “simple injection may soon help treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” The injection is “quick and relatively painless injection” and “helps doctors treat a terrible battlefield disorder.” Roughly “25 PTSD patients have been treated with the drug at the Naval Medical Center.” Results have been characterized as “promising” to date.
10. Iraq War Casualties Hit Small Towns Hardest. Bloomberg News “Roughly half of those who died” in the Iraq War “came from towns with fewer than 50,000 people, and of those, about a quarter were from places with less than 10,000, a Bloomberg analysis of US Census figures suggests.” Michael O’Hanlon, a senior defense policy fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that “the all-volunteer military gets many front-line troops from rural areas, where there’s a culture of patriotism, a tradition of service and often limited economic opportunities.” The former is particularly true in an area like Hickory, NC, which has lost 26% of its manufacturing jobs since the Iraq War began in 2003.
More Veteran News
- Sacrifices Remembered As Iraq War Reaches End. Westchester (NY) Journal News “Nearly a decade of wars has taken a grueling toll on the families of thousands of dead warriors, including 20 from Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.” However, “many of the families are rejoicing over the end of the Iraq War, and stated plans to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, seeing what they hope is a positive realization of what their loved ones fought and died for.” The families of deceased soldiers in the Westchester area had mixed emotions about the Iraq War ended just before Christmas.
- Dim Job Prospects Spoil Homecoming Joy For Many Soldiers. Military.com “US soldiers who returned from Iraq before Christmas often received emotional welcomes from family and friends at airports and military bases across the country, but after fighting in the war many face a new battle at home: finding a job.” Given the economy, newly returned soldiers will find securing a job difficult. “A major hurdle is that many employers don’t understand the value of the skills and experience of former soldiers, Tom Tarantino, himself a veteran and spokesman for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), said in a congressional hearing earlier in 2011.” Some employers fear that “veterans could be called back to service after they are hired” or that they may suffer from PTSD.
- Veterans Offered Help With Electrician Training. Chicago Daily Herald “A new national program kicks off in Elk Grove Village with up to 10 slots to train and employ military veterans as electricians.” Though “the training from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) requires upfront tuition, a not-for-profit called USA Cares will pay that until an individual’s GI Bill benefits come through, as well as helping with other expenses.” Through the program, veterans are “guaranteed 12 months work for successfully completing the program and will receive stipends from their employers, said Marcie Bennett, USA Cares’ Jobs for Veterans program manager.”
- Angell Discuss VA’s Efforts To Reduce Homelessness. Sirus/XM Radio An interview with Susan Angell, the VA Director of Homeless Initiatives, who said that majority of homeless veterans are they are “alone and on their own,” unlike many other homeless people. According to Angell, very few homeless veterans were career soldiers. Angell added that the number of homeless veterans has decreased by 12% over the past year, which occurred through a change in paradigm. Previously, the VA rescued homeless veterans first. Now, the VA seeks to shelter veterans before they become homeless. In the second part of the interview, Angell noted that in October, the VA completed its “Make the Call” outreach campaign.
- Homeless Vet: Thank God For This Shelter. WFMY-TV “The First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro” is a “haven” for homeless veterans. The church runs the Winter Emergency Shelter, which houses roughly a dozen homeless veterans. “The shelter has been open for a few years, but this is the first year it’s open just to accommodate veterans.” So far, the shelter hasn’t housed any veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan.
- Florida Marine Veteran Shot In Craigslist Robbery Used Fingers To Plug Bullet Wounds. ABC News Lt. Col. Karl Trenker, “a US Marine veteran is recovering from a Craigslist transaction gone bad in which he was shot and then forced to plug the wounds with this fingers, benefiting from a military background that police say possibly saved his life.” Trenker was shot in the chest and abdomen while chasing two men that ran off with a men’s necklace that his wife posted on Craigslist. “Police said four of Trenker’s seven children were in the car and witnessed the alleged robbery and the chase, but not the alleged shooting.” Trenker recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. Three suspects were later arrested.
- High-tech Procedures Enhance Man’s Vietnam War Surgeries. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- For Utah Military Families, The Iraq War Isn’t Really Over. Salt Lake (UT) Tribune
- Families Of Veterans Should Be Aware Of PTSD Symptoms. Rapid City Journal
- New Texas Law Gives Veterans’ Spouses Tax Relief. AP
- New Beer Will Help Support Troops. KIMT-TV
- Minn. Business Helps Veterans. KAAL-TV
- Dogs Graduate To Become Military Veterans’ Best Friends And Helpers. PhillyBurbs.com
- Group Honors Jewish War Dead. Twin Cities (MN) Daily Planet