Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News March 21, 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.    Sasebo icon retiring after more than 60 years’ service to the NavyAs a child, Mike Yoneda and his family were interned by the U.S. government for four years during World War II because they were Japanese.

2.    Families on front line of soldiers’ distress.  It started with the nightmares — middle-of-the-night eruptions when her fiancé would jolt her awake with his screams, his body drenched in sweat. Renee Paxton watched as the outgoing, quick-witted man she loved and would later marry slowly came undone.
3.    Labor numbers show 2011 was especially hard on young vetsPost-Sept. 11 veterans had a tougher time finding work in 2011 even as the overall veterans employment situation improved slightly from the year before, according to new data from the Department of Labor.
4.    Congress divided, but commander says war is ‘on track’Speed up the U.S. handoff in Afghanistan to avoid endangering the progress U.S. troops have made, lawmakers told the war’s top commander Tuesday, and by the way, slow it down or risk endangering progress, other lawmakers said.

5.    SLV vets push for better services.  Pueblo Chieftain  But there still will be medical procedures that will require veterans to travel to the Front Range. Diss told county commissioners from across the valley they could help veterans by pushing for the US Department of Veterans Affairs to contract out some …

6.    Vet center coming to Joliet.  Morris Daily Herald  The US Department of Veterans Affairs is reaching out to veterans studying at community colleges around Illinois with a mobile service center that will offer counseling and provide information on other benefits for veterans and their families.
7.    Veteran brings history to life.  Danville Commercial News  So Cavanaugh began reaching out to find a local veteran who would be willing to come speak to his students. “Our assistant principal, Janice VanDuyn, suggested Torch Prentice of Danville as a possible speaker,” Cavanaugh said.

8.    Elks Offer Help and Hope to Youth, Veterans and Communities.  Indian Country Today Media  For example, veterans at the VA hospital/nursing home in Salt Lake City were treated to a Valentines Day visit from their local Elks lodge, including Robert D. Pagnani, the Utah Elks state veterans chairman. One hundred and fifty gift bags containing …

9.    Wheelock: Thanks to those behind central La. veteran’s cemetery.  Shreveport Times
After years of planning, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs hosted a grand-opening ceremony recently for the central Louisiana veteran’s cemetery here at Leesville, near Fort Polk. It was about 20 years ago, that a local group of determined gentlemen …

10.  Korean War Vet Who Received Medal Of Honor Dies. NBC Nightly News  79-year-old Korean War veteran William Charette, a Medal of Honor recipient, has died. With Charette’s death, there are now “81 living recipients of the Medal of Honor.”

More Veteran News


  •    Bon Jovi: Homeless Veterans Would Be Helped By App; Contest Under Way.  Asbury Park (NJ) Press  Musician Jon Bon Jovi, “along with Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and W. Scott Gould, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, unveiled a contest Monday called Project Reach, which calls for the development of a user-friendly application that provides real-time information about the availability of shelters, meals and care for homeless vets.” The “first five entries that meet” contest “requirements will receive a $10,000 cash prize and the opportunity to test their app” at Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen restaurant in Red Bank, New Jersey. The “winning entry receives…$25,000.”  Federal News Radio  Gould, Donovan, and Bon Jovi “announced the launch of Project REACH, which is short for Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless.” During a Monday conference call with reporters, Gould said, “This will be a high-tech, high-compassion, low-cost solution” to helping homeless vets. After noting that VA Chief Technology Officer Peter Levin and Jonah Czerwinski, the director of VA’s Innovation Initiative, also participated in Monday’s conference call, Federal News Radio adds, “HUD and VA officials acknowledged it’s not likely every homeless person has access to a smartphone, which is why the agencies are also focusing on ‘caregivers,’ a term which encompasses shelter employees, community groups and Good Samaritans alike.”
  •    Study: Military Doctors Prescribe More Opiates To PTSD Patients.  Army Times “Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues are prescribed opium-based painkillers at rates higher than those who have pain but not an accompanying behavioral health disorder, according to a study published March 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.” The study of Veterans Health Administration patients “also showed that veterans with PTSD and other mental health issues were more inclined than their colleagues to abuse those highly addictive medications and suffered more ‘adverse clinical outcomes,’ such as overdose, suicide, binge drinking and other self-destructive behaviors.” According to the Times, VA researcher Dr. Karen Seal “said the study should raise awareness among physicians and patients to find alternatives for treating physical pain in patients with PTSD and other psychiatric disorders.”
  •  Times In-Depth: PTSD Cases Among Erie Area Women Veterans, Service Members Sharply On The Rise.  Erie (PA) Times-News   “As the long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan near an end, more veterans and service members are returning home — only to struggle to leave the battlefield behind. Cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, are rising considerably nationwide and at the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center, including among women” like 44-year-old Iraq veteran Susan Moreno.  Erie (PA) Times-News  Profiles Moreno, noting that she “began seeing a therapist in 2009 before later seeking treatment at the Erie VA.” Ann Muczynski, a “clinical social worker at the Erie VA, treats most of the local female veterans who have PTSD. She said the condition is ‘underdiagnosed in women.'”
  •  Returning Women Veterans Face Challenges In A System Designed For Men.  Public Radio International  “Both in deployment and at home, female veterans face challenges their male counterparts don’t,” including a “Veterans Affairs department that’s just beginning to figure out how to take care of them. Jackie K’s House is a small duplex cottage run by a non-profit called Soldier On, at the VA in Leeds, Mass. It’s one of only a handful of homeless shelters exclusively for women vets.” Such shelters, according to PRI, often have waiting lists for those wanting to get into the shelters.
  • Count: Fewer Homeless In Bellingham.  Tacoma (WA) News Tribune  “The number of homeless people” in Bellingham, Washington, is “declining, even as affordable housing becomes scarcer.” The “number of homeless veterans declined…dramatically,” from “74 last year to 29 in January.” The decrease came through the “combined effort” of the “Veterans Assistance Program, funded by a county property tax levy; the federal Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program; and Supportive Services for Veteran Families, a program of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.”
  •  Officials Look At Fort Lyon As Housing For Homeless Veterans.  Bent County (CO) Democrat  “With $5 million in ‘seed money,’ the Fort Lyon facility could begin the process of being revitalized – this time as a housing facility for homeless veterans. The Bent County Development Foundation heard Pat Coyle of the Division of Housing for Colorado on March 7 map out the plan.” Coyle “said they are proposing to the VA to house 160 veterans, providing substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, and college classes and retraining opportunities in a two-year program at the pristine facility now standing empty, but ready for occupancy.”
  •  VA Sets Three-Pronged Approach To Improving Services.  Government Computer News  “The Veterans Affairs Department is aiming to dramatically improve its services through streamlined online record-keeping, telemedicine and a variety of Web-based applications designed to make access to care easier and more efficient, said Roger Baker, VA’s chief information officer.” While speaking at the AFCEA Belvoir Industry Day on Monday, Baker “said that VA is focusing IT on three major areas: homelessness, claims backlogs and access to care.” Baker stated, “We’re transforming the VA. It’s a big organization – it doesn’t transform quickly.” But he added, this is “not the old VA.”
  •  Congress Doubts VA’s Ability To Cut Claims Backlog.  Army Times  “Lawmakers are showing little confidence” that VA “has found a way to reduce its large, stubborn backlog of disability and benefits claims.” The House Veterans Affairs Committee “says in a bipartisan letter that VA has not found a complete, long-term solution to handling a backlog that is approaching” one million claims. The letter, sent earlier this month, does commend VA for planning to introduce a new benefits management system next year but says “employees will be required to take time away from processing claims” to learn the new system. The Times, which notes that US Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has also expressed concern about VA’s ability to reduce its claims backlog, says Secretary Shinseki has “told Congress that…VA has a goal of its eliminating” its claims backlog by 2015.
  • Holly Petraeus Makes Her Own Mark On The Military.  USA Today Holly Petraeus, the wife of the current CIA director, is the “federal official charged with helping servicemembers and their families make good financial decisions, and, when they don’t, trying to stop those who prey on them. It’s a symbolically prominent role in what promises to be a major drama in American life: the attempt to care for combat veterans and their families after the longest period of warfare in US history.” With the war in Iraq being over and the one in “Afghanistan winding down, many of these families – some of whom endured a decade of repeated combat tours – are afraid that the country will move on and forget its responsibility to them.”

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