Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – January 27, 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.    Panetta: Troop numbers to fall, but no hit to active-duty pay and benefitsOverall troop numbers will fall, ships and planes will be retired and some programs will be curtailed, but building the “smaller and leaner” U.S. military of the future won’t immediately hit the pocketbooks of active-duty troops or wounded veterans.
2.    DOD identifies brigades slated to leave GermanyTwo Army heavy brigades based in Germany will return to the United States as part of the new defense posture in Europe, the Department of Defense confirmed Thursday.
3.    GAO: Pentagon’s mental health, TBI programs not tracked properlyDefense Department programs supporting psychological health and traumatic brain injury treatment and research are poorly coordinated, and the department has failed to provide reliable and comprehensive data on how more than $2.7 billion in funds for such programs have been used in recent years, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
4.    Shinseki Urges Industry to Keep Hiring Vets.  Military.com  Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki urged the private sector to help lower the climbing unemployment rate among post-Sept. 11 veterans Wednesday, one day after President Obama proposed a new “Veterans Job Corps” in his State of the Union address.
5.    In-Depth: PTSD and the Veterans Affairs Process.  KARK  Sitting in the United States Government: Eugene J Towbin Healthcare Center, veterans walk in and out of its automated doors just one floor below us. Inside a group therapy room, Dr. Vince Roca describes what it’s like for a service member to be …
6.    Rush Holt says 18 vets commit suicide daily.  The Star-Ledger – NJ.com  That would mean 126 veterans a week or more than 6000 a year — and Holt isn’t wrong, a PolitiFact New Jersey investigation found. A number of organizations — including the US Department of Veterans Affairs — say that statistic is the best estimate …
7.    VA Home Loan Centers Announces New Regulations May Adversely Affect Veterans.  PR Web  Although the program was designed to streamline the modification process, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has stated that an unintended consequence of the new law has been the emergence of additional obstacles for the borrowers and …
8.    National Veterans Small Business Conference To Be Held At Cobo In June.  Detroit Free Press  “The National Veterans Small Business Conference will be held at Cobo Center in June, bringing an estimated 6,000 veterans, small business owners, federal employees, and advocates to the city” announced Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and officials with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, including VA Chief of Staff John Gingrich. While making the announcement during a Wednesday news conference at Cobo, Gingrich said “veterans are crucial to our economy, and we need to find them jobs.” According to the Free Press, the June conference will “include an on-site hiring fair to provide veterans with job opportunities and interviews.”  AP   “Detroit will host an annual conference and job fair for veterans this summer that organizers say could inject $3 million into the local economy.” At Wednesday’s news conference, Gingrich said, “Our Detroit hiring fair will provide veterans with on-the-spot job opportunities and interviews, while also offering career search classes and one-on-one counseling.” The AP adds, “Michigan is home to more than 700,000 veterans and about 330,000 are served by the VA medical center in Detroit, Veterans Affairs officials said.”
9.    US Soldiers Face Host Of Mental Health Issues.  HealthDay  “US military personnel and veterans are plagued by substance abuse, depression and suicide, three new studies indicate.” The “studies were published online Jan. 25 in the American Journal of Public Health and are scheduled to appear in the March supplement print issue of the journal.”
10.  Officials To Help Count Va Capital City’s Homeless.  AP  “Two officials representing the federal housing and veterans affairs agencies plan to join volunteers in counting the homeless” in Richmond, Virginia. The AP says that “US Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Johnston and Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary Jose Riojas will be among those conducting annual the point-in-time count of those lacking homes. The survey will take place Thursday morning at St. Paul’s Episcopal church downtown, which will serve lunch and offer haircuts and health screenings.”

Have You Heard?

Veterans Small Business Conference Heads to Detroit

The National Veterans Small Business Conference, the government’s premier event for Veteran-owned small businesses, is coming to Detroit’s Cobo Center June 25-29. Learn more

More Veteran News


  •  Numbers Of Homeless Female Vets Doubles.  Stars And Stripes  “The number of homeless female veterans has more than doubled, and their numbers are likely to increase as servicemembers return from Iraq and Afghanistan if the Department of Veterans Affairs does not address the specific needs of women veterans, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. Women veterans identifying themselves as homeless rose from 1,380 in fiscal 2006 to 3,328 in fiscal 2010, according” to GAO’s report, which was released this week. The GAO said both VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development generally agreed with their findings. Stars And Stripes adds, “Among the GAO’s recommendations, VA and HUD should collaborate on collecting data on homeless women veterans, including those with children and those with disabilities, improve transitional housing options for women veterans and their children, as well as ensure women’s safety.”
  •   Study Aims To Aid Troops With Mild Brain Injury. San Antonio Express-News  “A team of experts at San Antonio Military Medical Center has launched a military study aimed at improving outcomes for service members suffering from a signature wound of today’s wars: traumatic brain injury (TBI).” The Study of Cognitive Rehabilitation Effectiveness, referred to as the “SCORE trial, is examining cognitive rehabilitation therapy’s value as a treatment for service members with mild TBI. The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments teamed up on this study to determine the best treatment for combat troops who are experiencing mild TBI symptoms – such as difficulties with attention, concentration, memory and judgment – three to 24 months post-injury, explained Douglas B. Cooper, the study’s lead and a clinical neuropsychologist for the center’s Traumatic Brain Injury Service.”
  •   For A Veteran, Disability Payment Is Long In Coming.  New York Times  “In a case as much about government bungling as one man’s perseverance, the Department of Veterans Affairs said last week that it would end years of litigation and repay” 88-year-old World War II veteran Leroy MacKlem “for six decades’ worth of disputed disability compensation, about $400,000.” MacKlem’s “victory is sure to give hope to scores of veterans looking to appeal decisions” made in 2007 and 2008, when VA used an “‘extraordinary award procedure’ for reviewing compensation awards larger than $250,000 or for retroactive payments dating back more than eight years.” In 2009, a Federal court ruled that the procedure was illegal. The Times adds, “Asked if the Department of Veterans Affairs had dragged out the case to avoid paying Mr. MacKlem, a spokesman replied, ‘That is simply not true.'”
  • More Than 400,000 Buried At Arlington Cemetery.  AP  “Arlington National Cemetery is a lot more full than anyone knew. At a Senate hearing Wednesday, cemetery Executive Director Kathryn Condon estimated that more than 400,000 people are now interred there,” a figure that is “20 percent more than previous estimates of about 330,000. The new estimate comes as a meticulous grave-by-grave review is under way at the cemetery following reports in 2010 of misplaced remains and mismanagement that led the Army to oust the cemetery’s top leadership and install Condon to lead an overhaul.”
  •  Cemetery Trying To Account For Missing $12 Million In Allocated Funds.  Washington Post  “Arlington National Cemetery is trying to account for $12 million – about a quarter of its current annual budget – that was allocated to the cemetery between 2004 and 2010 but apparently was never spent. Congressional leaders and federal investigators who have been probing the cemetery’s operations said at a Senate hearing Wednesday that there was no documentation detailing where the funds are or how such a large amount of taxpayer money could have gone missing.” During Wednesday’s hearing, McCaskill expressed concern about the missing $12 million. But McCaskill also “praised the cemetery’s new leadership, saying that in almost every facet – from how it handles veterans’ remains to its new contracting procedures – the changes have amounted to a ‘sea change'” from 2010.
  •  Dedication Held For New Facilities At VA Long Beach Medical Center. Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram  “With the 1st Marine Division band’s brass instruments shining and its drums thumping, military and other officials Wednesday dedicated more than $100 million in additions” at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Long Beach. The “unveiling of the nearly three-year project was headlined by a rehabilitation center for the blind named for Maj. Charles Robert Soltes Jr.,” the “first optometrist killed while on active duty in the Army. ‘This truly is a great day,’ said Dr. Robert Petzel,” VA’s undersecretary for health.
  •   Carrollton VA Clinic To Create 130 Jobs.  Carrollton Times-Georgian  “The new Trinka Davis Veterans Village, due to open this summer, will not only bring Veterans Affairs health care services closer to home, but will offer more than 130 new jobs in Carrollton.” Gary Bruton, administrator for the Carrollton facility, “said the Atlanta VA has identified patients enrolled in the Atlanta system who currently live within driving distance of the Carrollton clinic. ‘These veterans will be assigned to a patient aligned care team at Carrollton,’ he said,” adding, “They will not have to call anyone or make any special arrangements. We currently anticipate about 3,000 veterans may use the primary care services at Carrollton.”
  • Wind Turbine Maker Looking To Hire Veterans.  Oklahoman “A wind turbine manufacturer that is opening a new distribution center in Woodward has committed to hiring 300 military veterans nationwide this year. Siemens made its pledge on Wednesday in support of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative to support veterans and their families.” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki congratulated Siemens for making its pledge to hire veterans, who “make great leaders and great employees,” said Shinseki.
  •    Military Veterans Seek Support And Release Through Song At LifeQuest Music Camp.  Washington Post  41-year-old Kenneth Sargent, who injured his back in Iraq, “was one of 11 veterans gathered at a plush hotel…near Fort Carson last weekend to transpose their most difficult memories into music. The four-day camp was hosted by LifeQuest Transitions, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit organization that helps veterans navigate the uncharted leap from the battlefield to civilian life – and one of the few doing it through the arts.” The Post says most of those who take part in the music camp are “grappling with post-traumatic stress.”

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