Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – February 18, 2012

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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.    Army leaders talk future BCT cuts, sequestration effects.  The Army is still “a few months away” from decisions about additional brigade combat teams that will be eliminated, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno told Congress on Friday.
 
2.    For visiting Marines, an ‘incredibly powerful, healing measure’For the Company B Marines who arrived back in the states on Feb. 4, and for whom the trauma of war is still fresh in their minds, visiting their wounded comrades at Walter Reed and presenting Purple Hearts at the Marine Corps Memorial was a therapeutic venture.

3.    St. Louis Leads Way in Welcoming Veterans Home.  FedSmith.com  The winter 2009 edition of “NIH MedlinePlus” quoted US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts almost 30% of Vietnam veterans, as many as 10% of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans, 11% of veterans of the war in Afghanistan and 20% of …

4.    Scam targets vets and family.  Enumclaw Courier-Herald  First, what is Aid and Attendance? A&A is financial assistance from the Veterans Administration that helps with daily activities like bathing, dressing and taking medications. As a general rule, a veteran or the spouse of a veteran who is receiving …

5.    McKevitt honors war veterans.  The Island Now  McKevitt, whose father is a US Army veteran, praised the 14 veterans from local VFW and American Legion organizations honored during the ceremonies for the selfless sense of duty they demonstrated. “These are truly heroes as far as I’m concerned.

6.    Sixty Jobs To Be Cut At State Homes For Disabled Veterans.  Essential Public Radio
Under Corbett’s spending plan, the state Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs would need to cut about 60 jobs from its six homes for disabled and chronically-ill veterans and their spouses. Craig said the cuts would have been worse if it …

7.    First Alabama state veterans cemetery on schedule for 2013 opening.  al.com  Initially, the cemetery will have space for 2776 burials, said Sandy Speakman, general counsel for the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. “We are very pleased with our progress,” Speakman said. Dr. Barry Booth is one of those who’s keeping up with …

8.    Roanoke Homeless Veterans program extended.  WSLS  In the first year, it served 65 homeless veterans. In the last six months, it enrolled 32 additional veterans. (more) There are 960 homeless veterans in Virginia according to a US Department of Veterans Affairs report. The Roanoke TAP’s Homeless …

9.    Bill Addresses Loophole In Financing Of Veterans’ Education.  New York Times “Lawmakers introduced bills in both chambers Thursday intended to close a loophole that enables for-profit schools to take advantage of G.I. Bill aid to rake” in Federal money. In 1998, Congress “instituted the so-called ’90-10 rule,’ requiring that for every nine dollars of tuition covered” by Federal aid, there should be at least one dollar’s worth of private funds. The legislation introduced on Thursday “would close a loophole that counts military education benefits differently from Department of Education aid, which allowed schools to circumvent the rule by designating veterans’ education benefits as if the money were not paid” by the Federal government.

10.     Effort To Create Maine Veterans Court Advances.  AP  “The Maine Legislature is getting close to approving a special court to deal with military veterans accused of crimes.” The bill, which would “create a court program for veterans who are willing to plead guilty and get counseling,” is “expected to be approved by the Legislature.” Maine Gov. Paul LePage “also supports it.”

 

Have You Heard?

When someone is arrested in Tulsa, Okla., police officers ask if they served in the military.

Veterans facing criminal charges who are in need of mental health or substance use treatment may be eligible for Veterans Treatment Court, if they live in one of the growing number of communities where these courts exist.

Veterans Treatment Courts were developed to avoid unnecessary incarceration of Veterans who have developed mental health problems.

Although most courts work with Veterans of all service eras, communities are often motivated to start these courts by concerns about Veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq and encountering legal trouble. And not just in Tulsa.

In 2010, there were 24 operational Veterans Treatment Courts, from Buffalo to Los Angeles, with several others in development. As of early 2012 there are now 88, with more on the way.

More Veteran News

 

  •   Fort Bragg Brigadier General Defends Warrior Transition Battalion, Says It Can Improve.  Fayetteville (NC) Observer  “Independent inspections of Fort Bragg’s Warrior Transition Battalion during the past 20 months show that best-practice standards are being met in many areas, Brig. Gen. Michael Garrett said Thursday.” Garrett “held a news conference a day after Gen. Frank Helmick, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, announced that he was ordering an investigation into the practices and procedures of the Warrior Transition Battalion. Kevin Arata, spokesman for the 18th Airborne Corps, said Helmick signed the order to start the investigation Thursday afternoon.”
  •   Fort Harrison To Help With VA Disability Claims Backlog.  Helena (MT) Independent Record  “Fort Harrison is one of three sites nationwide picked to tackle the growing backlog of disability claims before the Veterans Benefits Administration.” On Wednesday, Secretary Shinseki “told US Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester…of the selection of the Veterans Benefit Administration regional office at the fort along with sites in Wichita, Kans., and Milwaukee, Wis., to take part in the VA’s ‘Transformational Plan’ to reduce the backlog of disability claims. Tester said Thursday it could mean seven new jobs at Fort Harrison.”
  •  VA To Train Homeless Vets For National Cemeteries.  Military.com  VA is “hoping to move some of America’s homeless veterans off the streets in part by giving them jobs at the country’s national cemeteries. Veterans in the program will be trained as cemetery caretakers and representatives, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told members of the House Veterans Affairs in testimony Feb. 15.” Shinseki said vets who successfully complete the apprenticeship “will be guaranteed full-time permanent employment at a national cemetery or may choose to pursue employment in the private sector.” Military.com adds, “The apprenticeship program comes even as the union representing federal employees slammed the VA for cutting back on its federal workforce by hiring private contractors for caretaker jobs.”
  • San Marcos Nonprofit To Open Veterans Shelter.  San Diego Union-Tribune  A “nonprofit that assists homeless veterans will celebrate the grand opening of its first transitional center.” The Union-Tribune adds, “Fan of the Feather, Inc., will hold a ribbon cutting for the new home, ‘The Promised Land,’ at 5 p.m. at 3562 Grand Ave. in San Marcos. The facility will provide housing for seven female veterans.”
  •  Sen. Patty Murray: The Future Veteran Workforce.  Washington Post   “On Small Business” blog reports, “When soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan began experiencing much higher-than-normal unemployment rates in recent years, the government and private sector responded.” But while speaking “at a GE-sponsored event examining the future of the workforce Thursday in Washington, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the US Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, expressed chagrin at the inefficiencies that persist between job-seeking veterans and employers who are eager to hire skilled service-men and women.” Murray added, “We need” potential bosses and co-workers to understand that veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health conditions “can get better, and they can get back into their lives.”
  • Medical: A Patient-Pleasing Doctor May Not Be Best.  Scripps Howard News Service  According to a study published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, “people who are the most satisfied with their doctors are more likely to be hospitalized, run up higher medical costs and have higher death rates than patients who are less satisfied with their care. ‘Patient satisfaction is a widely emphasized indicator of health-care quality, but our study calls into question whether increased patient satisfaction, as currently measured and used, is a wise goal,’ said Joshua Fenton,” the study’s lead author. Dr. Brenda Sirovich, a “researcher at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt., writing in an accompanying commentary, said” practicing “physicians have learned — from reimbursement systems, the medical liability environment and clinical performance scorekeepers — that they will be rewarded for excess and penalized if they risk not doing enough.”
  •  Text Hotline Now Open To Help Veterans In Crisis.  WSAW-TV  ArmyTimes.com, Veterans and service members contemplating suicide can now text for help through the Veterans Crisis Line, formerly the national Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline. The confidential text-messaging is available 24 hours a day by texting 83-8255.” WSAW added, “The new number is one of several initiatives rolled out this month by VA to address suicide in the veteran population.”
  •   VA’s Ensuring Safe Surgery Brochure.  Becker’s ASC Review  “The VA National Center for Patient Safety offers a free, downloadable brochure designed to educate patients on what will happen before their surgery and how caregivers will ensure safe and correct surgery.” The brochure is called “Ensuring Correct Surgery.”
  • VA Hospital Uses Unique Therapy Programs To Help Veterans.  WITI-TV  “Veterans are conquering their own obstacles through different therapy programs,” including ones involving music, art, and theater, at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Milwaukee. WITI added, “All of these programs are geared toward helping veterans with treatment, recovery and therapy.”
  • Iraq War Veteran Tells Local Leaders Vet Center Is Needed In Helena.  Helena (MT) Independent Record  “A local Iraq war veteran with a history” of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) “told local leaders Thursday of the need for a veterans center in Helena and how important such facilities can be in the treatment of PTSD. Local veterans advocates, including retired Adj. Gen. Gene Prendergast and retired 1st Lt. Diane Carlson Evans, are continuing a campaign to bring a center here, hoping to get the VA to take a closer look at Helena. The VA secretary said in December that it had no immediate plans to add such a facility here but would continue to look at ongoing needs.”

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