Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – February 08, 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.    Wolfenbarger tapped to be Air Force’s first female four-starAir Force Lt. Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger would become the highest-ranking woman officer ever to serve in the Air Force if a nomination forwarded Monday by President Barack Obama is approved by the Senate.
2.    DOD backs parade for returning vets, but not until all troops are homeThe Pentagon fully supports the idea of a parade for returning war veterans down the Canyon of Heroes in New York City.
3.    Navy separation process leaves sailors in the darkIn his first 2 1/2 years in the Navy, Aeron Crouch jumped three ranks to second-class petty officer and appeared to be a rising star among the forward-deployed in the Pacific. He was a leader – motivated, tenacious, always improving and asking for more, tougher, responsibilities.

4.    Federal Appeals Court Finds California’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional.  EDGE Boston   Announced it would file a lawsuit against the US Department of Veteran Affairs on behalf of a disabled veteran from California whose application for spousal benefits for her wife was denied. Eight gay and lesbian servicemembers and veterans who were …

5.    Birmingham Drug Company takes on veteran emergent prescriptions.  Richmond County Daily Journal  “This is the biggest morale factor for veterans in Anson, Richmond and Scotland counties,” said O’Neal, a retired Army veteran and former state commander of AmVets, who serves as an advocate for area veterans. “See, it used to be Walmart had the …

6.    IDVA launches – – Illinois Government News Network.  This page provides access to press releases from the Veterans Affairs Press Office. … the many federal, state, and local benefits and resources available to them.
7.    The Week Ahead: Defense World In Holding Pattern As Budget Release Looms.  The Hill  “With President Obama’s 2013 budget release delayed by one week, the defense community is in a holding pattern as it awaits the full details of the Pentagon’s 2013 budget – the first to implement a $487 billion cut over the next decade.” On Thursday, meanwhile, the House Veterans Affairs Committee is “looking at reforming the Veterans Affairs Department’s ‘flawed fiduciary system.'”

8.    Number Of Homeless Female Veterans Rises Sharply, Report Finds.  New York Times  “At War” blog reports, “The number of homeless female veterans more than doubled from 2006 to 2010, and they will remain at risk of abuse and lack of shelter without better services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a recently released government report.” In its report, the Government Accountability Office “urged Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which works with the VA to provide veteran housing, to collaborate on…data collection.” Both departments “said they generally agreed” with the report’s findings.
9.    Memo On PTSD Costs Sparked Army Review.  McClatchy   “In a lecture to colleagues, a Madigan Army Medical Center psychiatrist said a soldier who retires with a post-traumatic-stress-disorder diagnosis could eventually receive $1.5 million in government payments, according to a memo by a Western Regional Medical Command ombudsman who attended the September presentation. The psychiatrist went on to claim the rate of such diagnoses eventually could cause the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs to go broke.” McClatchy says the “memo has helped spark what the Army Medical Command calls a ‘top-to-bottom’ review of a Madigan forensic psychiatric team charged with screening soldiers under consideration for medical retirement.”
10.  VA To Offer Faster Online Health Benefits Sign-Up For Demobilizing Vets.  FederalDaily  Veterans Affairs will “introduce a streamlined online application for VA health benefits (VA Form 1010EZ) for service members returning from deployment.” FederalDaily adds, “VA said it is working with the Defense Department to introduce it at demobilization sites nationwide by early spring, and to roll it out to all 61 demobilization sites nationwide.” Secretary Shinseki commented on the new application system, saying it “noticeably reduces the paperwork and reduces a 10-day process to three days.”

Have You Heard?

February is designated as National Recreation Therapy Month in recognition of the contributions made to health care nationwide by recreation therapy professionals.  As integral members of medical teams, recreation therapists serve patients by using leisure and arts modalities (e.g., creative writing, expressive arts, horticultural therapy, therapeutic horseback riding), and clinical interventions ranging from stress management, cognitive and sensory stimulation, to wellness education and palliative care.  More than 800 recreation therapists serve in VA medical centers, community living centers, and domiciliary programs, and work with all Veteran populations including those from OEF/OIF/OND; medical foster home and vision-impaired rehabilitation programs; amputation system of care; mental health programs; long-term care; hospice; polytrauma rehabilitation; and general medicine.  Please take a moment to acknowledge your local recreation therapists for their support and service to Veterans and their families.



More Veteran News


  •   GI Bill Students Surprised When Living Stipend Stops Between Semesters.  Army Times  “Breaks between college terms have become tough on some students using Post-9/11 GI Bill, they say, because they no longer receive living stipends during those periods.” Tom Tarantino of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America “said there is little hope of the policy being changed soon because fixing it would require finding” two billion dollars “to cover the expanded benefits.”
  • Families Link Burn Pits To Health Woes, Debt.   Army Times  “An allergy and asthma specialist at New York’s Stony Brook University Medical Center is conducting a study of veterans whose health problems may be linked to burn pits and other environmental exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan.” The research is analyzing “data provided by veterans and service members to the advocacy group Burn Pits 360,” which hopes the study “will help the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments develop health care models to treat illnesses related to environmental exposures.” According to the Times, VA “says it treats veterans for their known symptoms and is working to understand the unexplained health problems of some Iraq and Afghanistan vets.”
  •   Some Veterans Can’t Outlive VA Bureaucracy.  Army Times  Last month, while testifying last month before the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Theodore Jarvi, an attorney representing the National Organization for Veterans’ Advocates, “said he personally has had ‘more than 60 veterans die while waiting for their benefits claims to be adjudicated.'” According to the Times, though, VA is “making progress in creating a fully electronic claims system in hopes of turning the tide on its continually growing benefits backlog. But there are deep concerns that a flood of new claims coming from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans over the next few years could make things worse before they get better.”
  •  VA Hotline Reveals Significant Need For Assistance.  Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle  “‘We really didn’t know there would be such a great response and need for this,’ said Deborah Amdur, a Veterans Affairs official based in Washington who visited…Canandaigua” on “Wednesday to mark the first anniversary” of a toll-free VA hotline for veterans’ caregivers “that has handled more than 27,000 calls in its first year.” The program “operates on the second floor of Building 6 at the VA campus in Canandaigua.”
  •  Ohio VA Center Says Dental Clinic Care Now Safer.  AP  The director of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Dayton, Ohio, says the facility has “received a ‘clean slate’ on issues identified by the VA’s inspector general’s office.” The director, whose hospital was “rocked last year by allegations of improper…hygiene” at its dental clinic, “says any lingering patient-care concerns have been addressed and improvements made.” According to the AP, official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are “trying to determine whether there’s a link between three veterans testing positive for hepatitis and the care they received” at the dental clinic.
  • Operating Rooms On Wheels Help Hospitals Renovate, Offer Emergency Relief When Needed.  Medgadget  “The Miami VA Medical Center is….using” five “Mobile Surgical Units from MMIC (Mobile Medical International Corporation) to continue operating on patients without missing a beat.” The units are “also useful in disaster relief and for military operations.”
  •   James E. Baker Was First Black Administrator Of Local VA Medical Center.  Battle Creek (MI) Enquirer  90-year-old James E. Baker, an African-American who during six years at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Battle Creek, transformed the facility “into a successful treatment center with a nearly homelike atmosphere” that was “more therapeutic for recovering veterans. The conversion paved the way for today’s medical center and reflected Baker as an administrator and as a man.”
  •  Retirement Communities Putting World War II Memories Down On Paper. NBC Nightly News  “World War II veterans are dying at the rate of 740 a day, along with everybody else who contributed to the war effort and then worked so hard to build a better country here at home. Some members of that generation are getting their memories down on paper so we’ll all have them. An increasing number of retirement communities,” including a “place called Kendal at Hanover in Hanover, New Hampshire,” are “doing it in book form.”

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