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1. Arlington ceremony honors ‘citizens who are truly heroes’. Patrick Brady earned a Medal of Honor in Vietnam, piloting ambulance helicopters again and again through foggy, heavily defended enemy territory to rescue wounded men. On Friday, he and fellow living Medal of Honor recipients honored three civilians who Brady said “are the kind of people that we fought for.”
2. OC’s Combat Veterans Court helps ex-warriors fix their lives. Los Angeles Times Her weekly sessions provide a one-stop service, bringing together representatives from the district attorney’s office and the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Justice Outreach program, along with probation officers and volunteer mentors.
3. Wounded Iraq War veteran, family find home, help they need in Egg Harbor Township. Press of Atlantic City “It’s funny that after all of this, it wasn’t the VA (US Department of Veterans Affairs) that helped us — it was a bank,” Snow said. The foreclosed property — for which the family only has to pay a monthly refundable security deposit of $50, …
4. MOPH Salutes James L. McCormick on Receipt of Prestigious 2012 Citizen Service. EON: Enhanced Online News In his “spare time,” McCormick assists veterans with their VA casework, provides counsel to veterans with suicidal tendencies, and makes arrangements for various veteran’s parades and tributes, all through his role on the New Haven City Planning …
5. VA denies special contracts to vets. Herald and News The Department of Veterans Affairs has rejected almost two-thirds of veterans seeking special contracts, snubbing some of them because they live in community property states or did emergency work in Haiti. The VA says it has turned away …
6. California Veterans Home Fund Gives Taxpayers an Easy Way to Help. San Francisco Chronicle A simple check mark on you state income tax form this year can help veterans living in one of the California Veterans Homes live a more fulfilling life by providing recreational materials like movie and books
7. Making some adjustments for life. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Kathi Tomic sits in the living room of the Oak Creek home she shares with husband Mike, a Vietnam veteran. They built the 1700-square-foot home in 1995 with help from a Department of Veterans Affairs grant. By Jan Uebelherr of the Journal Sentinel
8. In their blood: Pair are the first VA clinic volunteers. Beaver Dam Daily Citizen Both Lewis and Tabb are active as members of the local Elks Lodge. “We got involved with the VA Clinic through the Elks,” said Tabb. “The Elks have a state program that awards $300 a quarter to use for veterans’ needs,” said Lewis.
9. Commissioner Grinder Delivers Governor’s Vietnam Veteran’s Day Proclamation. The Chattanoogan Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder will deliver Governor Bill Haslam’s proclamation to Barry Rice, president of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 240 on Saturday. Governor Haslam has declared March 29, …
10. Shirley WWII Veteran Receives French Legion Honor. Nashoba (MA) Publishing “Army veteran Ed Zukowski, 96, of Shirley may be the most decorated WWII veteran living in Shirley, having received no less than 14 medals from his own grateful nation. Now, he has received the highest honor from France, the country he helped liberate from German occupation.” In a ceremony “attended by state and local officials” on Friday, as well as Zukowski’s “family and friends and several members of the press, Christophe Guilhou, Consul general of France in Boston, presented the award.”
Have You Heard?
National Vets Winter Sports Clinic Starts March 25
The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic will be held March 25-30 in Snowmass Village, Colorado. Veterans will ski, fish, kayak, and more, as well as bond with fellow disabled Vets.
More Veteran News
- American WWII Veterans Retain Ties In Myanmar. AP “They’re in their 80s and 90s, and it all happened a very long time ago and far away, but American World War II veterans are still repaying ‘debts’ to their comrades-in-arms in northern Myanmar–because without them they might never have returned home.” Rather than “retelling war stories as old soldiers are prone to do, these survivors of some of the war’s harshest campaigns have set up education, health and other programs in this remote region to help the Kachin, an ethnic group that fought alongside them against the Japanese.”
- Lawmakers Ramping Up Support For Veterans. U-T San Diego “California is bracing for a huge influx of veterans as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, posing fresh challenges for a state short of both cash and services.” State lawmakers have introduced “dozens of measures that aim to help veterans find jobs, go to college, start businesses and even keep more combat pay from the tax collector. Other measures would ensure benefits for gay veterans discharged under the repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and provide all members of the National Guard with ‘whistle-blower’ protection.” One measures “attracting a lot of attention is a reintroduction of closely watched legislation that would establish limits on protests at military funerals — a direct response to picketing by a small church congregation in Kansas to draw attention to its anti-gay message.”
- Commissioner Grinder Delivers Governor’s Vietnam Veteran’s Day Proclamation. The Chattanoogan Tennessee VA Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder will “deliver Governor Bill Haslam’s proclamation to Barry Rice, president of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 240 on Saturday.” Gov. Haslam has “declared March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day.”
- Taking Care Of Returning Wounded Veterans. AP “With hundreds of thousands of wounded veterans looking for work after World War II, many states offered businesses an incentive to hire the returning heroes. They created special disability funds to help pay the tab should a soldier with a missing arm or eye suffer a second, debilitating injury in a private-sector job.” But as a “new generation of wounded warriors returns from Iraq and Afghanistan, about 20 states have shut down their special disability funds because of rising costs and others are teetering on insolvency, tearing holes in the safety net the funds were intended to provide.”
- Veterans Turn To Yoga To Deal With Stress. WPLG-TV Veterans are benefiting from the Connected Warriors program that offers free yoga classes. “Instructor Judy Weaver received the inspiration to start the program after teaching Yoga to an army ranger returning with post-traumatic stress disorder. ‘It just hit home to me I have to do something. I see a population that is so deserving. … And, what they are put through to get that job done and the services that they come back to are lacking,’ said Weaver.” Volunteers are teaching 18 classes a week “and they hope to take their program nationwide.”
- Ride 2 Recovery Helps Soldiers Recover From Physical, Mental Injuries. KFOX-TV “Wounded Fort Bliss soldiers are recovering from their injuries using biking as therapy” in a Ride 2 Recovery program that is “part of the Fitness Challenge Foundation, in partnership with the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs Volunteer Service Office.” The program also is used by veterans.
- Bales Case Put Spotlight On PTSD, Veterans’ Mental Health Issues. NBC Nightly News “We’re joined by our NBC News military analyst, retired US Army Col. Jack Jacobs, a combat veteran in the Vietnam War and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. Considering the fact 2.5 million Americans in uniform have cycled through these dual wars, you have expressed a concern about a kind of broad-brush caricature emerging.” NBC (Jacobs): “A large number of people have been down range in Afghanistan and Iraq before, and have no problems. Lots of people have had more tours, many more tours, in fact, than he did. I — one S.E.A.L. had 12 combat tours, no problems. … To say that everybody who puts on a uniform automatically becomes a candidate to do something heinous is very, very silly indeed, and can’t be demonstrated by the facts.” AP “Sparked debate about whether the Army failed in detecting a soldier’s mental instability or pushed him too far.” Officials say there is “no test is considered diagnostically definitive for mental illness in general or PTSD in particular.” But critics say the Army has a “history of bandaging the problem and rushing troops back into combat by loading them up on prescription drugs.” Notably, according to attorney Geoffrey Nathan, who has “represented a number of court-martialed troops,” military courts “do not recognize PTSD as a legitimate defense.”
- New Applications Accepted For Tricare Dental. Army Times Metropolitan Life, the “company that will assume management” of the TRICARE Dental Program on “May 1, has started taking new enrollment applications.” TRICARE officials said beneficiaries should begin receiving information “in the mail this week regarding the process to reauthorize payments.”
- $4 Billion Price Tag For VA, Defense EHRs. Modern Healthcare Veterans Affairs Assistant Information Technology Secretary Roger Baker said the proposed, “joint electronic health-record system” being constructed for the VA and the DOD will cost “$4 billion just to develop and probably a lot more to license and install.” Baker said he had no estimate of the full cost of the system, but “deployment in an organization for the scale of VA, a lot depends on what do we end up licensing. … We think that the scale of dollars that the VA and DoD spend are going to help us on that best-of-breed path,” he added. Modern Healthcare notes that the upgrade is also expected to affect the Indian Health Service, which “runs its own modified version of the VistA system.”
- Veterans Instructed To Disregard Letters. Rapid City Journal “Hundreds of letters sent last week informing local veterans that their primary healthcare facility had been changed was the result of a ‘computer programming error,’ according to the VA Black Hills Health Care System. ‘Veterans should disregard the letters that went out,’ said Carol Jensen, Public Affairs Liaison for BHHCS. ‘We are upset that this has happened and will be sending out letters to address the issue.” According to BHHCS, veterans in “South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming received letters from the VA’s Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta, Georgia” in error.