Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – January 26, 2012


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


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1.    With more details coming, analysts split on new DOD strategyOn Thursday, Pentagon leaders will brief reporters on country’s new defense strategy and what that means for the military’s short-term budget plans, and hint as to just how many soldiers and Marines might be out of jobs in coming years.
2.    U.S. special ops team rescues workers from pirates in SomaliaU.S. special operations forces conducted a nighttime raid into Somalia early Wednesday, rescuing two kidnapped humanitarian workers and killing all nine of their captors, according to U.S. military officials.
3.    90 Seconds: Pfc. George TalkingtonPfc. George Talkington, who belongs to the 2nd Battalion of the 35th Infantry Regiment, discusses being stationed at Nangalam Base in the Pech River Valley of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
4.    6000 expected at Cobo Center for June small-business conference for veterans.  Crain’s Detroit Business  Mayor Dave Bing and the chief of staff at the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that Detroit will host the 2012 National Veteran Small Business Conference and Hiring Fair. The event, set for June 25-29 at Cobo Center, …
5.    SA Sports awarded grant.  San Antonio Express  More than $4.4 million in funds from the US Department of Veterans Affairs has been awarded to 95 community organizations around the country. Through this program, grants ranging from $2500 to $500000 were provided to USOC partner organizations and …
6.    State of the Union: Obama’s Cabinet hitting the road.  Washington Post  Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki visits Atlanta to meet with top companies, including InterContinental Hotels Group, FOCUS Brands Inc., UPS and the Coca-Cola Co., to promote military veteran’s employment programs. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis …
7.    FSA helps veterans till the soil.  York News-Times  The Farmer-Veteran Coalition has developed a resource guide for new veteran farmers. State partners will add state and local resources to the guide and share it with veterans interested in farming. Kansas workshops are scheduled for March 19 and 20 …
8.    Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to Honor Springfield Resident.  eNews Park Forest  The “Veteran of the Month” award highlights the work of community servants who are also military veterans. Each month the Department recognizes a different person or group that contributes to the betterment of communities across the state of Illinois.
9.    Siemens Announces Plans to Hire 300 Veterans in 2012.  MarketWatch “Veterans make great leaders and great employees,” said Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “So congratulations to Siemens for more than doubling your pledge to hire veterans, and military family members this past year …
10.   Army vet returns from war but is faced with a new one.  Buffalo News  The US Department of Veterans Affairs conducted a heavily promoted career fair and exposition last Wednesday in the nation’s capital. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki showed up and talked up the “VA for Vets” event, which included 6400 .


Have You Heard?

All 152 VA medical centers are now actively represented on Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site. “This event marks an important milestone in the overall effort to transform how VA communicates with Veterans and provide them the health care and benefits they have earned,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “Veterans and their families told us from the beginning that they want to engage and they want relevant information delivered at the local level.  By leveraging Facebook, the Department continues to expand access to VA, and embrace transparency and two-way conversation.” The process that began with a single Veterans Health Administration Facebook page in 2008 has now produced over 150 Facebook pages, 64 Twitter feeds, a YouTube channel, a Flickr page, and the VAntage Point blog.  The overarching strategy is designed to help break down long-perceived barriers between the Department and its stakeholders. VA currently has over 345,000 combined Facebook followers. The Department plans to continue expanding its Facebook presence while also focusing on bringing Twitter to every VA medical center as well.  A directory of VA Social Media sites is located at:


More Veteran News


  •   State Of The Union: Obama’s Cabinet Hitting The Road. Washington Post  “President Obama is hitting the road Wednesday on a three-day, five-state tour to promote the themes of his State of the Union address (and visit fertile election-year battleground territory.)” By the end of the week, several Cabinet “secretaries, deputy secretaries and assistant secretaries plan to hold a total of at least 62 events to help push the president’s proposals, according to the White House.” The Post notes that on Thursday, “Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki visits Atlanta to meet with top companies, including InterContinental Hotels Group, FOCUS Brands Inc., UPS and the Coca-Cola Co., to promote military veteran’s employment programs.”
  •   Executive Actions That Might Follow State Of The Union. National Journal Daily It “took a look through the goals” President Obama “laid out in his State of the Union Address and found several actions the president may soon take alone. Veterans Working in Public Jobs: The first lady’s ‘Joining Forces’ initiative as well as many of the president’s own orders have been directed at curbing unemployment among veterans. A new proposal will soon connect veterans to public jobs in cities and national parks.”
  • 2 House Bills Promote Religious Symbols At War Memorials.  AP  “The House on Tuesday passed two bills endorsing the use of religious symbols at military memorials.” One bill “writes into law the propriety of displaying religious markers at war memorials while the other orders that the Interior Department add to the World War II Memorial in Washington a plaque with Franklin Roosevelt’s prayer to the nation on D-Day.” The first bill was “introduced by San Diego Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter in response to a 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals ruling a year ago that a cross placed on Mount Soledad in nearby La Jolla, Calif., in 1913 was unconstitutional.”
  •  To Curb For-Profit Colleges’ Targeting Of Veterans.  CQ  “Two top Democrats on the Senate education committee are introducing legislation this week that would further limit federal subsidies to for-profit colleges and that aims to eliminate incentives for such colleges to aggressively target veterans and servicemembers.” The bill, “which is sponsored by Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and committee Chairman Tom Harkin of Iowa,” would “change the definition of what counts as federal financial aid to include the Defense and VA funds.” Brian Moran, interim president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, said the “legislation will only cut off access for thousands of veterans to the skill-intensive, hands-on programming and intensive job placement support that they need.”
  •  Florida Senate Passes Measure Designed To Help Veterans.  AP  “The Florida Senate unanimously passed” a bill on “Tuesday that would provide a $10,000 tax credit for businesses that hire Florida National Guardsmen and require the state’s colleges and universities to provide priority course registration to veterans returning to school” The bill “also creates a program for some active duty personnel and veterans who suffer from mental illness as a result of their military service.”
  •  Number Of Homeless Female Veterans More Than Doubled In Four Years: Report.  Huffington Post  “The number of homeless female veterans is on the rise, and the Department of Veteran Affairs isn’t adequately prepared to handle it. In four years, the number of homeless veteran women more than doubled — rising to 3,328 in 2010 from 1,380 in 2006, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.” The Post adds, “The VA ‘does not have sufficient data about the population and needs of women veterans to plan effectively for increases in their numbers as servicemembers return from Iraq and Afghanistan,’ the authors wrote in the report.”
  • Treatment-Focused Gulf War Research Strategic Plan Set To Advance Next Week.  91 Outcomes  The US Department of Veterans Affairs Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses (RAC-GWVI) will “hold its next meetings on Tues., Jan. 31 and Weds., Feb. 1, 2012 in Washington, DC.” On Tuesday, the “RAC will meet in joint session with the VA National Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) and the VA Gulf War Steering Committee (GWSC) to jointly work on the final stages of a new strategic plan for VA medical research.” That plan, “called ‘long overdue’ by some RAC members, is expected to be focused squarely on improving the health and lives of the roughly one-third of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War who continue to suffer from otherwise unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (popularly called ‘Gulf War Illness’ or ‘Gulf War Syndrome’) more than 20 years after their wartime service.”
  •   Car Accidents Increase For Soldiers Returning From War Deployments. CNN Newsroom  “According to ‘The New York Times,’ car accidents in which service members were at fault soared by 13% after deployments” to Iraq and Afghanistan. The newspaper, “citing Army figures, says 48 off-duty soldiers died in car accidents last year, the highest total in three years.” CNN interviewed an Iraq veteran who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress-disorder, “and knows the fear of driving firsthand.”
  •  Blue Button Begets Green ButtonGovernment Health IT  “The Veterans Affairs Department has started a movement with its Blue Button feature that enables customers to download their personal health data, with the launch by the energy sector of the Green Button in California. Similar to its healthcare counterpart, the Green Button is an online tool that lets consumers download their energy data from their electric utility to their computer or other device.” Government Health IT adds, “‘We’re seeing a simple idea giving people access to their data happening in other spaces,’ said James Speros, special assistant to VA’s chief technology officer.”
  •   VA Discovers Problems With 123 Gravesites.  AP  VA “says a review of its cemeteries nationally has revealed problems with 123 gravesites, including eight cases in which people were buried in the wrong gravesite. The other mistakes consisted primarily of headstones and markers that were incorrectly moved to the wrong gravesites during renovation projects.” According to the AP, VA “said it has contacted or will contact the families affected to apologize.”
  • Valentines For Vets.  Carroll County (MD) Times  “The Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System, Help Hospitalized Veterans, and FOX 45 will welcome musical legends ‘The Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards’ for a free Valentines For Veterans Concert at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.” For “more information about the concert or to learn about volunteer opportunities throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System, please visit”
  •  It’s Time For The President To Prove He’s Brady Or Eli For Vets.  Huffington Post
  •  Mentoring: Giving Back To Those Women Who Have Given So Much. Huffington Post
  •  Does A Vet’s Widow Retain Her Military ID Card Privileges? Washington Times “Sgt. Shaft” column.
  •  Camp Lejeune Water Contamination: Watchdog Groups Slam US Navy Over New Report.  Huffington Post
  •   Suicide Prevention For Veterans. KFDA-TV
  • Wounded Northeast Ohio Veterans Will Be Able To Get World’s First Bionic Ankle. WEWS-TV
  • Mobile Vet Center Rolls Into Winchester. WTVQ-TV


  •  GI Bill Gets Tough On Veteran While Serving In Iraq. WTLV-TV


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