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1. Chairman of Guard Bureau joins Joint Chiefs. The Joint Chiefs of Staff has grown by one, with existing members, however reluctantly, welcoming the chairman of the National Guard Bureau as a full member.
2. AKO users warned following Stratfor website hack. The U.S. Army’s Web portal for soldiers is asking anyone who registered usernames with open-source intelligence provider Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, to watch for identity theft and report any credit card fraud to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command.
3. As budget cuts loom, questions arise about U.S. forces in Europe. When a task force of Marines deployed to eastern Europe on a five-month mission to train partner militaries, it did not come from U.S. bases in nearby Germany. The 185 reservists flew over from a base in the States.
4. U.S. warships will continue their rounds in Persian Gulf, Pentagon says. The U.S. military won’t tiptoe around the Persian Gulf region because of Iranian threats, the Pentagon promised Tuesday. “The deployment of U.S. military assets to the Persian Gulf region will continue as it has for decades,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said.
5. Looking for new recruits. Moody County Enterprise Finding younger members is becoming a problem across the country, especially as more and more World War II veterans begin to die and their families request that an honor guard attend their funerals. The US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that …
6. Veteran, service dog denied overnight stay at Asheville veterans shelter. Asheville Citizen-Times Bracken had not checked in with the Veterans Affairs hospital in town and did not have a referral from the VA, Rogers said. The VRQ is run by ABCCM, but it receives about $1.5 million annually in operational funds from the US Department of Veterans …
7. Disabled veteran’s family needs help to finish home. Daily Inter Lake … 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg, NC, White was released from duty with a medical retirement, and was declared as having a “low ranking disability” by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, despite his extensive injuries. …
8. Military Families: ‘Growing Up With War,’ High School Students Report. Huffington Post
Most teens rarely find themselves wrapped up in foreign affairs, but for military families, it affects many aspects of their lives and the lives of their loved ones as well. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 43 percent of active duty …
9. Goal of ending vet homelessness in sight. Stockton Record More than 70 percent between the last two counts, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which says the numbers of veterans without housing has been dropping across the nation as well. Compared with 2009, homeless veterans today have more …
10. Veterans Evaluation Services to lay off 73. Houston Business Journal Veterans Evaluation Services Inc. began to layoff 73 employees on Dec. 29 because of funding cuts from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The Houston-based company that provides veterans compensation and pension examinations said in notification …
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VA will host its first Veteran Career Fair and Expo on Jan. 18 in Washington, DC. The free event is for Veterans and will provide information on education, benefits, jobs, health care, and small business opportunities. The event is sponsored by VA for Vets.
More Veteran News
- Aviation Method Linked To Safer Surgeries. American Medical News “A nationwide program aimed at improving communication among physicians, nurses and other members of the operating room team helped lower surgical morbidity over three years, said a study in the December Archives of Surgery.” The study focused on a Veterans Health Administration “program inspired by aviation practices to train OR teams on using checklist-guided preoperative and postoperative debriefing to prevent mistakes and achieve safer surgical outcomes.” American Medical News added, “The OR team communication training, when combined with procedure-specific initiatives guided by evidence, can help improve surgical outcomes, said an invited critique that accompanied the study.”
- Program Aims To Keep Vets In Residences. Trinidad (CO) Times Independent A US Veterans Affairs Department “program has been established to help veterans and their families avoid homelessness.” The Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, which “hopes to help as many as 35,000” vets, “awards grants to private nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives that will provide supportive services to veterans with very low incomes who are living in or transitioning to permanent housing.” In commenting on VA efforts to help vets with housing needs, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stated, “The problems that lead to homelessness begin long before veterans and their families are on the streets. By putting more resources into prevention services for people at risk of becoming homeless, we will continue to help veterans and their families get back on their feet and turn their lives around.”
- Acting Out War’s Inner Wounds. New York Times Disabled Iraq veteran Matthew Pennington and “many veterans injured in combat are finding that their invisible psychological and neurological wounds are proving more debilitating than their obvious physical ones.” After starring in a film that director Nicholas Brennan made about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the two men created a “Web site to distribute the film and offer their services as speakers. They have done about a dozen such engagements, including one at the Veterans Affairs Health Care Center in Augusta, where Mr. Pennington receives his care and has, at times, clashed with bureaucrats and doctors.” But VA received more positive coverage when the Times quoted Dr. Matthew J. Friedman, director of the Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD in New Hampshire, who said public speaking can be therapeutic for PTSD sufferers.
- Psychiatrist Says VA Is Trying To Help Vets With PTSD. CNN “Dr. Drew” aired an interview with Dr. Judith Broder, a psychiatrist who in 2004 “started A Soldier’s Story, an organization that offers free…psychological counseling to members of our armed services who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.” While speaking to Dr. Broder, show host Dr. Drew Pinsky asked, “Am I right to say” that Veterans Affairs has “made a really diligent effort to try to deal” with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Dr. Broder replied, “They certainly have made an effort. I believe they’re of course overwhelmed and they can’t provide all the care that they would like to provide, so what has happened in the past few years is that we’re getting an increasing number of referrals from the caregivers at…VA because they know they can’t do what we can do.”
- Brothers Accused Of Scheme To Defraud VA. WFTV-TV “Two brothers are facing charges in a scheme to defraud the US Department of Veterans Affairs, authorities said on Monday.” WFTV noted that Andrew and Joshua Nusbaum are “accused of manipulating the bidding process to help one of the brothers get government contracts all over the south, from Alabama to South Carolina. According to documents filed” at the Federal courthouse in Orange County, Florida, the “scheme is related to the mortgage crisis.”
- Victory Through Retreat. Augusta (GA) Chronicle The Veterans Affairs hospital in Augusta has “created a marriage retreat for veterans and spouses to help them re-acclimate to each other – and it’s helping save marriages, if not more than that.” The Chronicle added, “Since the program began three years ago, the Charlie Norwood Veterans Administration Medical Center chief of chaplain services, the Rev. Ron Craddock, has been all over the country speaking about it and helping other VA facilities start their own. It has received a Best Practice Award from the secretary of veterans affairs.”
- Ohio Veterans Struggle To Find Work. Youngstown (OH) Vindicator “As the final troops deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom have come home, they have joined a steady stream of people returning from Afghanistan who also are seeking jobs. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services created a section on its website for veterans to post their resumes and hunt for jobs, and various veterans- services agencies provide employment counseling.” The Vindicator adds, “The federal Veterans Affairs offices in Columbus” is “working with AmVets and other agencies to get veterans hooked up with the right assistance programs.”
- German Shepherd Helps Army Vet Battle With PTSD. Sarasota (FL) Herald Tribune
- Veteran’s Daughter Brings WWII’s Hidden Legacy To Light. Burlington County (NJ) Times
- Veteran Honors Soldiers By Raising Flag Everyday At Home. Salisbury (NC) Post
- Ky. Man Takes Helping Vets To National Level. AP Bob Fulkerson, a resident of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, is “taking…honoring veterans to a national level.” His “volunteer work at the local and state level led to him being selected as national vice commander, southern region, of the Sons of the American Legion.” Fulkerson “said his primary goal during his term as national vice commander is to increase membership.”