Top 10 Veterans Stories in Todays News March 09, 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.    Ambassador: U.S. will not accelerate removal of troops from Afghanistan.  America will not accelerate the removal of its troops from Afghanistan despite a series of attacks on U.S. soldiers by Afghan security personnel angered over the burning of Qurans at a coalition airfield, according to the top U.S. diplomat here.
 
2.    Afghan air force probed in drug running investigationThe U.S. is investigating allegations that officials in the Afghan air force, funded largely by the U.S., have been using aircraft to ferry narcotics and illegal weapons around the country, American officials said.
 
3.    US military struggles to teach troops to respect QuranTroops serving in Afghanistan were advised never to touch the Quran, never to place anything on top of one, and to keep it off the floor and out of bathrooms. They were even told never to “talk badly” about it.
 
4.    US Army suicides surged by 80 percent in 2004-2008, study findsSince the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, suicides in the U.S. Army have soared to levels that haven’t been seen in three decades, a recent military study reveals.
 
5.    Air Force spouses could see tuition assistance cutsHundreds of Air Force spouses overseas receiving Air Force Aid Society tuition assistance could soon be feeling the pinch of Air Force budget cuts.

6.    VA to hold Outreach Open House in York.  York News-Times  A Veterans of the Armed Forces Open House to provide rural-area veterans information and assistance with US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and services takes place March 16 and 17 at the York County Fairgrounds Cornerstone Ag and …

7.    Springs Paralympic Club Gets Grant To Help Injured Service Members.  KRDO
$11000 of this grant comes from the United States Olympic Committee’s US Paralympics division through funding provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and $20000 is from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)’s Parks: Return …

8.    VA Finds More Misplaced Or Missing Grave Markers.  KWTX  The US Department of Veterans Affairs says it has discovered 102 more headstones or markers on the wrong graves and 21 graves in need of markers in the cemeteries under its management. The update raised the total number of …
 
9.    US Army Suicides Rising Sharply, Study Finds.  HealthDay “Suicides among US soldiers rose 80 percent from 2004 to 2008,” according to a study published online March 7 in the journal Injury Prevention. The “analysis of data from the US Army Behavioral Health Integrated Data Environment” also revealed that “as many as 40 percent of these suicides may have been linked to combat experience in Iraq, yet nearly a third of the soldiers who committed suicide saw no combat at all,” the study found.  MedPage Today  “Those who sought such help were about four times more likely to commit suicide than those who had not made any mental health visits (RR 3.9, 95% CI 3.0 to 4.9), Michelle Canham-Chervak, PhD, of the Injury Prevention Program of the US Army Public Health Command, and colleagues.” Notably, “patients who were hospitalized with mental illness had more than a 15-fold higher risk of suicide than those not hospitalized (RR 15.5, 95% CI 11.2 to 21.5).”
 
10.   For Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress, Pain Killers Carry Risks.  New York Times  “Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to be prescribed opioid pain killers than other veterans with pain problems and more likely to use the opioids in risky ways, according” to a VA study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. According to the Times, VA “and the Department of Defense have for years been trying to reduce the use of opioid pain therapy among active duty troops and veterans amid reports of overmedication, addiction, rampant drug abuse and accidental deaths caused by overdoses or toxic mixing of medications.” Dr. Robert D. Kerns, VA’s national program director for pain management, “said in an interview that the department would draw attention to the new findings to push doctors to consider alternatives to opioid therapy, particularly” with post-traumatic stress disorder patients.

Have You Heard?

March is Professional Social Work Month and more than 9,000 master’s level social workers serve as licensed independent practitioners in VA’s healthcare system. The mission of VA Social Work is to maximize health and well being through the use of psychosocial interventions for Veterans, families and caregivers. These services include assessment, crisis intervention, high-risk screening, discharge planning, case management, advocacy, education, supportive counseling, psychotherapy, resource referrals and resource acquisition. Social work services are a key component in the continuum of clinical services provided to Veterans in VA facilities.  They serve as key members of interdisciplinary treatment teams and respect the distinctive role and expertise of each member of the health care team with the Veteran at the center, ensuring the best possible care for our Veterans.  Social workers have training and expertise in specialty areas of Mental Health, such as PTSD and substance use, and provide advanced levels of clinical practice and specialized case management services to Veterans. Social workers also frequently develop new programs to meet the needs of Veterans and their family members/caregivers. To learn more about VA social workers, visit www.va.gov/socialwork.

 





More Veteran News


  •    Study Shows Navy SEALs Handle Stress Better.  San Diego Union-Tribune  By studying neural scans, VA researchers discovered “Navy SEALs activate portions of the brain that moderate their emotions when they anticipate something stressful is coming.” According to a study published this week “in the journal NeuroReport,” VA San Diego Healthcare System researchers “say this may be why the Navy’s elite special operations troops are able to respond well in stressful situations, and are resilient in the face of repeated combat tours.” Alan Simmons, a researcher at the VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health in La Jolla, California, “said that if they can determine how SEALs do this – is it innate or learned, they don’t know – the technique might be taught to other troops.”
  •    To Be Held In Buffalo. Buffalo (NY) News  “With more than 800,000 veterans across the country unemployed, Veterans Affairs officials in Buffalo on Tuesday issued an urgent request to local vets without work to attend the ‘Hire a Hero’ job and education fair Saturday.” According to VA spokeswoman Barbara J. Sellon, “VA officials are heavily promoting this job fair…because of the high numbers of unemployed veterans locally and nationally.”
  • Wisconsin Must Do More To Find Veterans Work, VA Chief Says.  Green Bay (WI) Press-Gazette  “Wisconsin must do more to find employment for the thousands of military veterans who return from the Middle East without the promise of a job, the state’s veterans affairs chief said Tuesday.” While speaking to members of the Press-Gazette’s editorial board, Wisconsin VA Secretary John A. Scocos “said the state has made improvements in helping returning servicemen and women find civilian jobs, but will be challenged to meet demands as reductions in troop levels increase the number of veterans returning to Wisconsin.” Scocos “spoke to the newspaper to promote events marking 2012 as the Year of the Veteran in Wisconsin.”
  •    Former VA Leader To Chair EHR Board.  Modern Physician  Former VA Secretary Dr. James Peake “has been named chairman of the board of the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, the not-for-profit organization created last year at the behest” of VA. The purpose of the board is “to serve as the custodial agent of an open-source development project to upgrade the VA’s public-domain VistA electronic health-record system. In addition to Peake, Dr. John Halamka, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; and Michael O’Neill, senior adviser to the director of the VA’s Innovation Initiative, also were named board directors, while Lt. Gen. Dr. Charles Green, surgeon general of the US Air Force, was named as the Defense Department’s liaison to the project,
  •   Senators Urge VA To Trademark “GI Bill” To Curb Alleged Abuse By For-Profit Schools.  FOX News  “More than a dozen senators are calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to trademark the phrase ‘GI Bill,’ claiming that for-profit schools are abusing the term in a ‘deceptive’ effort to lure service members and their healthy government benefits. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who has been on a tear against for-profits colleges, sent a letter along with 13 other Democratic senators calling” on Secretary Shinseki to “‘exert control’ over how the term GI Bill is used.” In an email, VA spokesman Joshua Taylor said VA is “developing a response” to the letter. He also “offered words of warning to for-profit schools, saying veterans should be protected and ‘armed with enough information to make the right choice and prevent profit-driven institutions from taking advantage of them solely for their GI Bill benefits — without providing a quality education in return.'”
  •   Disabled Vets Say US Breaking Law By Favoring Blind Suppliers.  Bloomberg News  “The US Department of Veterans Affairs is violating a 2006 law that directs the agency to favor small businesses led by disabled veterans, two company owners said, adding to criticism of the agency’s compliance with the measure.” During a Government Accountability Office (GAO) hearing held earlier this week, the two owners, “disabled veterans who both run medical- supply companies, said the VA improperly ordered medical gloves from suppliers affiliated with a program for the blind without allowing their businesses to compete for the work.” The owners are protesting VA’s decision to turn down their companies in favor of Bosma Industries for the Blind Inc. At the hearing, a VA attorney named Dennis Foley defending his agency, saying that it is allowed to interpret the 2006 law and that it sometimes uses companies which try to employ blind and disabled people.
  •    TRICARE Reshuffle.  Government Executive  “The Defense Department recently announced plans to streamline the agency that manages its military health benefit program, creating a new Defense Health Agency,” that would be “run by a three-star general or admiral — two grades higher in military rank than the current TRICARE director, Army Brig. Gen. Bryan Gamble.” Government Executive adds, “President Obama announced this week additional protections for military members and veterans ‘wrongfully foreclosed upon or denied a lower interest rates on their mortgages.'” Those protections include putting $10 million into a “Veterans Affairs fund that guarantees loans on favorable terms for veterans.”
  • “Yacker Tracker” Promotes Healing.  WTVT-TV  “The Yacker Tracker monitors noise levels and alerts everyone when it’s too loud” at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. The Yacker Tracker “works like a traffic light. Red means you’re too loud and flashing yellow means caution — lower your voice.” Kimberly Manganiello, a nursing manager at Bay Pines, said noise can delay the healing process.
  •  More Tampa VA Problems?  WFTX-TV  A year ago, the “family of local wounded soldier Corey Kent blew the whistle on what they called unsanitary conditions and poor care” at VA hospital in Tampa. Now, Kent’s step-father Dan Ashby, who “advocates for veterans through his non-profit,” National Coalition for Patriots, “says the problems are back and now affecting” Nick Battles, a paralyzed Marine whose “family says he’s been receiving substandard care” at the Tampa VA. In an email, a spokesperson for the hospital said, “Generally speaking when we become aware of concerns either by a patient or their next of kin, we work diligently to ensure we are providing the care they expect and if we are not meeting those expectations, we work collaboratively with the patient/family to resolve any concerns as quickly as possible.”
  •   Ex-Soldier From Md. Indicted On Terror Charge.  AP  24-year-old veteran Craig Benedict Baxam “has been indicted in Maryland on charges that he tried to join a terrorist organization in Somalia.” On Wednesday, a Federal grand jury indicted Baxam on charges of “attempting to provide material support” to an organization called al-Shabab. Baxam, who is who is from Laurel, Maryland, “faces a maximum sentence of 15 years if convicted.”

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