Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – February 09, 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.    Midlevel officers weigh risk, reward of criticizing Army leadershipThe net effect of two articles critical of the Army and its wars — in Iraq then, and Afghanistan now — is hard to assess. But it raises other important issues: How it affected each author’s career, and what it portends for other line officers who depend on the military for their livelihood but who believe they see their leaders failing and want to speak up
2.    Operational commander: Despite perception, Afghan forces will be ‘good enough’.   Afghan troops might seem relatively incompetent to the U.S. servicemembers fighting alongside them, the operational commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan acknowledged Wednesday at the Pentagon.
3.    Chaplains speak out on contraception mandate in health care directiveMilitary priests have joined the Roman Catholic Church’s fight against a new government mandate requiring employers to offer health coverage that includes contraception and sterilization.

4.    Government contracting 101: five winning tips.  Bangor Daily News  Special to the BDN Can you imagine your small business providing a key product or service to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Aviation Administration or the General Services Administration?

5.    Youth suicide prevention platform launched.  College of Medicine, Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), Psychology Department; US Department of Veteran Affairs; United Ways of Vermont 2-1-1; Vermont Youth in Transition; Vermont School Crisis Planning Team; VMH Memorial Foundation, …

6.    Access to Provent Therapy Expanded to Veterans.  Sleep Review  United States military veterans now have the option to use Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy, a small, noninvasive nasal device for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The US Department of Veterans Affairs has granted a multiyear, federal supply …

7.    VA Division Saves $742000 With Telehealth.  InformationWeek  The entire US Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Northwest Health Network, also known as Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 20, was able to trim upwards of $742000 from its budget during the same period by facilitating 23580 remote …

8.    Picking Up the Pieces From Military Sexual Assault.  truthout  The VHA is the agency within the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) responsible for picking up the pieces of lives injured and shattered by combat, war trauma and military sexual assault. It will be faced, over the next months and years, …

9.    States try to help veterans find jobs.  Bellingham Herald  State governments commit more than $4 billion of their own resources annually to support the country’s estimated 22 million veterans and their families, according to the National Association of State Departments of Veterans Affairs.

10.  Skill mismatch hampers job search for some veterans.  Minnesota Public Radio  About 12 percent of Minnesota’s approximately 23000 post-Sept. 11 veterans are unemployed, according to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s double the state’s overall unemployment rate of about 5.7 percent. The challenge will be …


Have You Heard?

New Online Enrollment Application Available for Servicemembers

VA partnered with the First Army at Camp Shelby, Miss., to launch a streamlined version of its online application for VA health benefits (VA Form 1010EZ) for Servicemembers returning from deployment. Learn more


More Veteran News


  •  American Legion Accesses Local VA Clinics.  KULR-TV  Members of the American Legion’s program, “System Worth Saving,” are visiting Veterans Affairs clinics in Montana Friday and Saturday. They are researching the quality of healthcare for veterans in rural America, …
  •  Last Known Surviving World War I Vet Dies. NBC Nightly News Florence Green, the “last known surviving veteran” of World War I, “has died in the UK.” Green “signed up in the Women’s Royal Air Force…94 years ago.” NBC added, “Mrs. Green was 110.”  ABC World News Green was a “member of the Women’s Royal Air Force, serving food to the troops at two British air bases.”
  • House OKs Bill To Help Feds Shed Surplus Property.  McClatchy   “The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would speed the disposal of surplus federal property.” The Civilian Property Realignment Act “would set up a nine-member commission that would identify big-ticket, surplus properties ripe for sale.” The bill was approved after a “Democratic effort to exempt…Veterans Affairs properties from the closure procedure” was defeated.
  • Lawmakers Push Bill To Put Fannie, Freddie On Budget.  Dow Jones Newswires A Republican-backed bill that would include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac costs in the Federal budget was passed by the US House of Representatives. The bill would also change how the government accounts for several Federal loan programs, including Veterans Affairs’ mortgage-guarantee program. The legislation is unlikely to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
  •   Manchin Helps Form Caucus To Help Find Jobs For Veterans.  Charleston (WV) Gazette  US Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) “announced Tuesday that they formed a bipartisan caucus to help find jobs for 857,000 veterans looking for work.” After noting that US Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) are also part of the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus, the Gazette adds, “Last month, Rockefeller held a meeting where veterans from around the West Virginia met with representatives from higher education institutions, jobs programs, legal assistance for veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs to help them after they return from active duty. In November, Congress passed bipartisan legislation that’s meant to create new opportunities for veterans to get hired.”  The Hill   “In November, Congress cleared legislation…that provides help for veterans leaving the service and tax incentives for employers who hire them, including a tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, $2,400 for a veteran out of work for at least a month and up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months. The new law beefs up job training and counseling programs for veterans, including improving transition assistance planning and requiring the Labor Department to provide a clearer path between military and civilian skills.” The Hill points out that in addition to helping vets, the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus “will look at reducing unemployment among members of the National Guard and Reserve, who also have faced challenges finding work.”
  • VA Looking To Expand Hire-A-Vet Program.  US Navy Seals  Over 500 veterans “were able to receive tentative job offers during a recent ‘Hiring Fair’ conducted” by VA in Washington, DC. The agency is “now looking at how to expand this program by organizing more career fairs” for veterans “across the country.” Secretary Shinseki commented on the program, stating, “America’s Veterans need to know that, across the federal, private and non-profit sectors, hiring managers are ready to put them to work.”
  •  How Should We Welcome Home Iraq War Veterans?  NPR  audio “The Pentagon says it’s too soon” to have parades for Iraq veterans, because, according to Douglas B. Wilson, the assistant secretary of defense, there are “many Iraq vets who are now fighting on the battlefield in Afghanistan.” Wilson pointed out that the Defense Department helped plan an upcoming White House “dinner for a selected group of Iraq veterans and their guests.” NPR added, however, that a parade for Iraq vets was held last month in St. Louis, Missouri. And now, 15 “other cities are considering similar parades.”
  •  Blogger Praises White House For Setting Up Dinner For Iraq Vets.  Time  Mark Thompson says some “will no doubt carp” that the White House dinner for Iraq vets is “too political a move in an election year, especially given Obama’s criticism of the war when he was running for the job of commander-in-chief. Nonetheless, such public recognition is always warranted but too rarely given.”
  •  Women Can Suffer Same Deployment Ills As Men.  American Forces Press Service “It once was thought that servicewomen neither were exposed to the same combat situations as men nor developed the same psychological injuries. But officials now recognize otherwise,” as noted by therapist Jeanine Aversa “in ‘The Long Road Home,’ this month’s installment of the Pentagon Channel series ‘Recon.'” The AFPS adds, “The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments work together to address service members’ physical, mental and emotional injuries, including those of women, so officials say it’s now easier for female veterans to ask for help.”
  • Army Investigating Madigan Memo On PTSD Costs.  AP  “The Army has been investigating whether the cost of care and benefits is influencing the diagnosis of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder at Madigan Army Medical Center, a newspaper reported Tuesday. The review by the Western Regional Medial Command and the Army Medical Command was prompted by a memo from an ombudsman who attended a lecture in September by a Madigan psychiatrist, The Seattle Times reported.” During the lecture, according to the AP, the “psychiatrist told colleagues a soldier who retires with PTSD could receive $1.5 million in government payments and such costs could cause the Department of Veterans Affairs to go broke.”
  •   PTSD Ruling Returns Benefits To Thousands Of Vets.  In December, the US Court of Federal Claims “settled a class action lawsuit that ordered the Defense Department to adjust the records of the more than 2,000 veterans…to reflect a 50 percent disability rating to those diagnosed” with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The vets had not “had their records amended by the military corrections board,” following a memo from the Defense Department “mandating that service members diagnosed with PTSD receive a 50 percent rating when they retire. A 50 percent rating guarantees lifetime TRICARE medical coverage and tax-free retirement payments.”
  •  Michele Foster Brings Army Thinking To VA.  Federal Computer Week  When Michele Foster “left the Army in 2009, she brought its approach to industry engagement with her to the Veterans Affairs Department, where she is deputy director of the Office of Acquisition Operations’ Technology Acquisition Center (TAC) in Eatontown, N.J. Under Foster’s guidance, VA now meets with companies and gives them crucial information on upcoming contracts through advanced planning briefings for industry (APBIs).” Last year, Foster won a “Public-Sector Partner of the Year award under the Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards program sponsored by the Fairfax County, Va., Chamber of Commerce, the Professional Services Council and Federal Computer Week sister publication Washington Technology.”
  • Veterans Give Even More; 1 Million Sought For DNA Data.  Raleigh (NC) News & Observer  “The Million Veteran Program could help transform healthcare for veterans – and everyone else – by leading to new ways of predicting, preventing and treating illness. The goal is to find 1 million veterans who agree to allow their genetic material, medical records and information about their lifestyle and military service to be used for research.” With “40 sites involved, including the Salisbury VA Medical Center, the program is starting to hit its stride; about 23,000 veterans have already been processed, and about 30,000 more have agreed.”
  •  Individual Differences In Anthrax Susceptibility Discovered By Scientists.  Health News Digest  “Susceptibility to anthrax toxin is a heritable genetic trait that may vary tremendously among individuals, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.” Dr. David Relman, the chief of infectious diseases at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, commented on the study, saying that, among other things, it provides a “possible means for predicting who is likely to become seriously ill after exposure.” According to Health News Digest, Relman “was not involved in the research.”
  •  VA Honors Three With Legion Of Honor.  Buffalo (NY) News  Three “Erie County residents were awarded Legion of Honor certificates during an interfaith ceremony Sunday honoring four chaplains who gave up their own lives in an extraordinary act of heroism on a sinking transport ship during World War II so that others could live. The Veterans Affairs Western New York Health Care System presented the certificates during a program in Freedom Hall at the VA Medical Center, 3495 Bailey Ave.” Those receiving certificates were Sharon Shelton, the Rev. Marian Gardocki, and Mary Danakas.
  •    More Than 250 Housing Units Could Be Built At Dayton VA.  Dayton (OH) Daily News  “After several years of delay, the Dayton VA Medical Center on Monday took a symbolic step toward returning its campus to its Civil War-era roots as a permanent home for veterans.” Representatives of the “hospital and St. Mary Development Corp. on Monday signed a letter of commitment that lays the groundwork for St. Mary to lease six acres in the southwest corner of the VA campus,” where St. Mary, a nonprofit, “plans to build an $8 million, 67-unit apartment complex for low-income veterans who are at least 62 years old.” Also on Monday, the Dayton VA “disclosed…that it is working with a second developer, Florida-based Communities for Veterans, LLC, to build 186 permanent and transitional housing units for homeless, disabled and senior veterans and their families.”
  •  Veterans Affairs Plans Health Event Feb. 16.  Altavista (VA) Journal  Veterans Affairs hospital in Salem, Virginia, “will hold an outreach event at town hall in Altavista Thursday, Feb. 16, from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.” During the event, information “will be presented about health services and resources provided by Veterans Affairs, eligibility and enrollment, women’s health, mental health, online information and how to improve access to veterans living in rural areas.”


  • Clarksburg VA Medical Center Celebrates National Salute To Patients.  WBOY-TV “Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Louis A Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Clarksburg is celebrating the National Salute to Veteran Patients.” The hospital is “inviting you to visit a veteran on Valentine’s Day or any time before.”
  •   Veteran’s Former Spouse Asks About Benefits. The “Sgt. Shaft” column for the Washington Times
  •  AP Interview: Homecoming Inspires Wounded Marine.  AP
  •   Search Is On To Honor The First Black Marines.  San Diego Union-Tribune The US Marine Corps “and the Montford Point Marine Association hope to locate the nation’s first black Marines or surviving next of kin so they can be recognized this spring when the veterans are awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.”
  •  Agencies Should Check VA’s VetBiz Before Award. Federal Computer Week
  •  VA Suspends Housing For Veterans In Substance Abuse Program. Murfreesboro (TN) Daily News Journal
  •    Memory-Erasing Drug Tested For PTSD Patients.  WPBF-TV


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