Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – February 03, 2012


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.    DOD: No policy changes, despite Panetta statement about Afghan transitionThe United States is not preparing to cut bait in Afghanistan, a Pentagon official stressed a day after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta mused about hastening the handover of security responsibilities to Afghan forces.
2.    DOD adds Vicodin, Xanax to drug testing, offers 90-day amnestyThe Defense Department announced an expansion of its drug testing program Wednesday to include widely abused prescription medications containing hydrocodone and benzodiazepine, but it’s offering an unprecedented 90-day amnesty period for servicemembers to come clean or get treatment.

3.    Haunted by deaths, company sets out on final mission in Afghanistan.  As the company of 1st Infantry Division soldiers and their Afghan National Army partners huddled in small groups on the ground, many shivered uncontrollably as the water in their CamelBak canteens froze on their backs. It was Dec. 10, and they were halfway through a 96-hour mission, the last of their deployment. In two weeks, they would be on their way home.

4.    City set to receive national VA archive.  Dayton Daily News  The entire project could create 440 new retail, tourism and educational jobs within five years, according to a federal funding application submitted to the Dayton Development Coalition. However, US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki …

5.    Hypocrisy and Intransigence- Mainstays of the Agent Orange Controversy.  Salem-News.Com  … primarily in view of liability/compensation concerns. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (US DVA) presently compensates US Viet Nam Veterans for health conditions that may have resulted from Agent Orange exposure while serving in Viet Nam …

6.    Filipino veterans got $214M from US last year.  More than 18500 Filipino World War II veterans or their family members last year received a total of $214.4 million (about P9.22 billion) in benefits and services from the United States’ Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to the US Embassy …

7.    US Attorney: Local woman used faked resume, documents to get $437000.  York Daily Record  In September 2010, using her “fraudulently acquired military status,” the release states, Smith applied for a loan backed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to purchase a property in York County. As part of the loan application process, …

8.    US Veteran’s Affairs Office Trials Electric Cars.  EV World  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including the VA Maryland Health Care System, and 20 other federal agencies nationwide are participating in a General Services Administration (GSA) pilot to test the efficacy of electric cars by incorporating …

9.    With veteran unemployment high, Daily News to help vets in their job search.  New York Daily News  Veterans series will profile local veterans as they look to secure their financial freedom.  Unemployed Veterans line up for a Veterans Job Fair hosted by the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ office in Soho.

10.  New rule takes effect for veterans coverage.  The Gonzales Cannon  The US Department of Veterans Affairs announced a change in regulations regarding payments for emergency care provided to eligible Veterans in non-VA facilities. The new regulation extends VA’s authority to pay for emergency care provided to …

Have You Heard?

Some Veterans covered under the Veterans Group Life Insurance program (VGLI) now have the opportunity to increase their coverage to the current maximum coverage under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program.  “Currently, 70 percent of the Veterans covered under VGLI are under age 60, have less than $400,000 of coverage, and will greatly benefit from this law change,” said Allison A. Hickey, Department of Veterans Affairs under secretary for benefits.  Under the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, enacted on Oct. 13, 2010, Veterans can increase their coverage by $25,000 at each five-year anniversary date of their policy to the current legislated maximum SGLI coverage, presently, $400,000. To date, approximately 21 percent of eligible Veterans have taken advantage of this opportunity, resulting in nearly $113 million of new coverage being issued. The VGLI program allows newly discharged Veterans to convert their SGLI coverage they had while in the service to a civilian program.  Before enactment of this law, Veterans could not have more VGLI than the amount of SGLI they had at the time of separation from service. Eligible Veterans are notified of the opportunity a week before the start of the 120-day period prior to their anniversary date, and twice more before the actual anniversary date.


More Veteran News


  •  All veterans deserve ID card.  Concord Monitor  In September 2011, two other lawmakers introduced a bill to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to issue, upon request, veteran identification cards. The Veterans ID Card Act (HR2985) was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and a …
  •  Unemployment benefit claims, worker productivity fall.  USA TODAY  Army veteran Kim Richardson listens to a recruiter at a job fair sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, on Feb. 1, 2012, in New York. By Mark Lennihan, AP Army veteran Kim Richardson listens to a recruiter at a job fair …
  •   VA: Buying Medications Outside Of Contracts Was Just An Effort To Help Veterans.  Washington Post  “The Department of Veterans Affairs’ purchase of $1.2 billion in pharmaceuticals since 2004 in violation of federal law and regulations was the result of ‘a team failure’ at the department, VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould told the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Gould and a panel of other VA officials testified that the actions did not represent criminal wrongdoing or fraud,” instead describing the “violations as misguided efforts to ensure that veterans could get drugs unavailable through the normal contracting process.” Committee members, however, “excoriated the department for its conduct and vowed to continue investigating the matter.”
  •   Canandaigua VA Support Line Celebrates One Year.  YNN-TV  The Canandaigua Veterans Affairs Medical Center is “celebrating its one year anniversary of launching the VA Caregivers Support Line. In its first year,” the toll free hotline “received more than 25,000 calls.” The line “focuses on helping veterans and their loved ones by offering support, a listening ear, or connections to further resources.”
  •  Some Parents Can Now Be Buried Alongside Vets.  Army Times  “The Veterans Affairs Department has announced new burial rules to make parents of some deceased veterans eligible for interment in national veterans cemeteries.” The new rules, announced Tuesday in a Federal Register notice, “implements the Corey Shea Act, passed by Congress in 2010 as part of a comprehensive veterans benefits bill that allows parents to be buried alongside a service member who had no surviving spouse or children at the time of death.” According to the Times, “VA’s rules say eligibility is limited to the biological or legally adoptive parents of a deceased veteran, but it can never be more than two parents.”
  • SC Leaders, Wife Of VA Chief Meet On Military Kids.  AP  On Thursday, Secretary Shinseki’s wife, Patty Shinseki, meet “with about 100 community leaders from across South Carolina to discuss education and other matters affecting military children.” After noting that the meeting will take place in Columbia, South Carolina, the AP says Patty Shinseki “is on the board of the national nonprofit Military Child Education Coalition, which works to ensure all military-connected children have quality educational opportunities. The coalition says military children generally move from six to nine times during their kindergarten through high school years and may need special support from families and educators to deal with transitions and the deployments of family members.”
  •   Researchers Show Advances In GWI Understanding, Potential Treatment Targets.  91 Outcomes Medical research presentations at Wednesday’s “public meeting of the Congressionally-chartered Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RAC-GWVI) added several new characteristics to the growing body of scientific knowledge related to Gulf War Illness (GWI) and suggested potential treatments for GWI.” Dr. Mian Li, a neurologist at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Washington, DC, “presented his initial findings from a study involving neurological examination of veterans that used more sensitive neurological testing than is most often used. His research found subtle but objective, measurable impaired autonomic nervous system abnormalities in ill Gulf War veterans.”
  • Two Government Organizations, One Health Information System.  SIGNAL Magazine  The Defense Department and Veterans Affairs “have launched an effort to combine their two electronic health record systems into one,” forming an integrated Electronic Health Record (iEHR). Beth McGrath, deputy chief management officer for the DOD, and Roger Baker, VA’s chief information officer, “identify the development of the iEHR as the biggest project they have going. However, McGrath says, ‘We’re doing it in a way that takes into account the very strong voice of the customer … and ensuring that we’ve got a continuity of capability’ in terms of both information and the ability to provide care.”
  • Gov. Steve Beshear: Pain Pill Addictions “Killing Our People.” Louisville Courier-Journal  Kentucky faces an “escalating struggle with pain-pill addictions, according to speakers,” including Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, “at the Kentucky Prescription Drug Abuse Summit on Wednesday. The conference, hosted by the US attorneys in Kentucky in cooperation with the UK colleges of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, brought officials from law enforcement, health care, government and other arenas to University of Kentucky’s Albert B. Chandler Hospital to help find ways to battle the commonwealth’s prescription epidemic.” One of those speaking at Wednesday’s conference was veteran Dustin Gross, a recovering addict who “sought treatment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, where he said he got the education and help he needed to get clean.”



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