Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News March 16, 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.    Marines to deploy more troops to Pacific under programThe Marine Corps plans to reinvigorate a program slowed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that deploys U.S.-based units to Okinawa and other parts of the Pacific on six-month rotations.
2.    Marine Corps cuts won’t affect current enlistments, top general saysThe Marine Corps plans to trim its ranks by 20,000 over five years, but no Marines will be forced out of the service early, according to the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for combat development and integration.
3.    Marine team giving specialized training to Uganda forcesA team of 30 U.S. Marines is in Uganda to give specialized training to forces assigned to the African Union mission in Somalia and better equip them to counter the tactics of the al-Qaida-affiliated insurgent group al-Shabaab.
4.    Karzai calls for U.S. troops to pull out of Afghan villages.  The United States and NATO should pull all their troops out of Afghan villages, where many are conducting training or stability operations, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a statement released after a meeting on Thursday with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
5.    Kandahar massacre reverberates across the riverFor the soldiers of Company C, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, who occupy Pashmul South, a dusty outpost just across the Arghandab River from Panjwai, there have been daily questions about the shootings from local leaders, villagers and the Afghan security forces with whom they work.

6.    Veterans Village to fill 130 jobs.  Times-Georgian  He said the local US Department of Veterans Affairs center is currently staffing such positions as physicians, physical and occupational therapists and nurses. When completed, the center will bring 130 new jobs to Carrollton.
7.    Veterans Agency Broke Law in Contract Awards, US Watchdog Says.  BusinessWeek
The US Department of Veterans Affairs violated a 2006 law that directs the agency to favor small businesses led by veterans, a government watchdog agency ruled for the third time in six months.

8.    Gulfport man owes VA $92K for theft of funds.  Senior US District Judge Walter J. Gex III sentenced William E. Seliby, 51, today on a guilty plea in a case involving money from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Seliby must report to a federal prison by June 11. Once his time is served, …

9.    Illinois’ Veterans will have to pay more.  KFVS  The rate increase is the first one the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs has passed onto Veterans since 1979. “Just the salaries of staff and the increased staffing hours required to take care of the residents,” said Administrator Steve Emling …

10.   Front lines to home front: Transitioning Delaware veterans back into workforce.  DFM News  JPMorgan Chase Executive Director of Military and Veterans Affairs Nate Herman said the firm’s current “100000 Jobs Mission” reaches out to veterans across the country and focuses on developing opportunities for them in three distinct areas: jobs, …


Have You Heard?

A Long Overdue Welcome for Vietnam Veterans

On March 31, The USO will host a free welcome home event for Vietnam Veterans, in a long overdue show of gratitude for those who served. VA will be on hand to sign up Vets for services and care.
Learn more at VAntage Point.


More Veteran News


  •   Panel OKs ‘veteran designation’ measure.  The Advocate  A State Senate committee Wednesday quickly approved legislation that provides for a “veteran designation” on driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards. “The veterans want this bill … because it easily affords them a …
  •  Disabled Veterans National Foundation Urges Careful Application.   MarketWatch Kizer is a former undersecretary for health in the US Department of Veterans Affairs and Veteran of the US Navy who engineered the transformation of the VA health care system. The Affordable Care Act will not change eligibility for VA health care,
  • Volunteers Greet US Soldiers On Way Home From Iraq And Afghanistan. NBC Nightly News  “It’s the end of an era” at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, “where since 2004 volunteers have gathered…to welcome American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as they arrive in the US for home leave.” Wednesday marked the “last of those incoming flights into Dallas.” NBC added, “With more troops heading home permanently, the Army is consolidating” such “charter flights into Atlanta, where there’s no greeter program.”  CBS Evening News “President Obama condemned the massacre of civilians in Afghanistan, he also reminded us of the enormous sacrifices that Americans in uniform are making in that country today.” One group that has kept those sacrifices in mind is “Welcome Home a Hero,” whose volunteers have “greeted more than 900,000 vets passing through the Dallas airport since 2004.” CBS noted, “With the war in Iraq over, the military is ending the rest and recuperation flights that brought troops through Dallas.”
  •    Breaking It Down.  Houston Press  Veteran Matthew Gonzales “says…his back is ruined and his knees are shot,” because, during his service in Iraq, he often jumped out of trucks while wearing heavy gear. Social worker Carroll McInroe “saw hundreds of guys like him in his five years as the Iraq/Afghanistan coordinator in the Spokane, Washington, office of the Department of Veterans Affairs.” After noting that VA’s budget request for fiscal year 2013 has been praised by the group Veterans for Common Sense, the Press adds, “McInroe is not sure that money is being well spent, at least not until there are pain-management clinics in every VA hospital.” The Press quotes McInroe, who said, “The bottom line is that we need to be doing something more for these guys besides addicting them to powerful narcotics.”
  •   Safety Of Female Homeless Veterans Examined At Hearing.  Washington Post “Despite progress in the Obama administration’s goal to end veterans’ homelessness by 2015, a new Veteran Administration’s inspector general’s report finds that the effort is hampered by a lack of program safety” for homeless female vets. Noting that the report was to be discussed at a Wednesday Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on VA efforts to assist homeless vets, the Post reports, “Pete Doughtery, acting executive director of the VA’s Homeless Veterans Initiative Office, said in prepared testimony that VA researchers are examining barriers female veterans face in obtaining services.” The Post, which points out that VA’s last count of the homeless vet population showed that it was down by 12 percent, says, “VA officials credit much of the reduction to a housing voucher program run in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.”
  •   Statins Tied To Slightly Lower Risk Of Parkinson’s.  Reuters  According to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health, people who take statins have a slightly lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than do people who do not take statins. Dr. Benjamin Wolozin, a pharmacologist from the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial VA Medical Center, was not involved with the study, though he did comment on it. Wolozin said that even if statins prove to be protective against Parkinson’s, something study researchers state is not proven by their study, statins probably would not “modify the course of the disease if you already have” it.
  •   Heavy Drinking Increases Days In Hospital.  Third Age “People who score highest on a key test for alcoholism experience longer post-operative hospital stays than those with lower scores, US researchers say.” Anna D. Rubinsky of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, lead author of a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, “said those who scored highest on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test Consumption were also more likely to return to the operating room within 30 days of a surgical procedure than patients with low score.” In a statement, Rubinsky said, “The findings from this study indicate that preoperative alcohol screening might serve as an effective tool to identify patients at risk for increased post-operative care. Implementing preoperative alcohol screening and providing proactive interventions could potentially decrease the need for costly postoperative resources and improve patient outcomes.”
  •   Mediation In Calif. Homeless Veterans Suit Fails.  AP  “Three homeless Southern California veterans suing the US Department Veterans Affairs for failing to provide proper housing say court-ordered mediation has not worked and are requesting the case be brought to trial in June.” Dave Bayard, a VA spokesman, “says he cannot comment on pending litigation.” The three vets are represented by a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union, which “says the government is renting out much of a large tract of land West Los Angeles that was supposed to house veterans.”
  • Macomb County Veterans’ Court Will Offer Treatment, Mentoring For Offenders.  Huffington Post  A “new program in Macomb County would offer sympathy before penalties and provide alternatives for veterans who find themselves caught up in the justice system.” Next month, there are “plans to assemble” the Macomb County Veterans’ Treatment Court. In “place of jail or prison time,” the court will “offer a program of legal assistance, mentoring services and mental health and substance abuse treatment,” although serious “crimes like child abuse, rape and murder will not be covered by the program.”  Macomb (MI) Daily  Before taking part in the program, vets “will be screened” by VA “for potential benefits, and each will be assigned a volunteer mentor. Nanette Colling, veterans outreach specialist for the John D Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit, called Macomb County ‘progressive’ in its effort, noting that the Detroit VA has added an outreach specialist to accommodate the growing number of veteran courts in Michigan.” At least three publications run the AP story.


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