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1. Obama to speak at Vietnam wall on Memorial Day. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the memorial. The president called the event a chance to give Vietnam veterans the recognition many never received.
2. For wounded servicemembers, a two-wheeled gift of mobility. Army Staff Sgt. Alejandro Jauregui faces a long rehabilitation, a path he will eventually walk on prosthetic legs, but he regained a bit of mobility on Wednesday when he and 25 other wounded warriors received Segways during a ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial.
3. Will justices review how states treat veterans’ disability pay in divorce cases? A disabled veteran has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider anew whether states violate federal law when they allow divorce courts to count a veteran’s disability compensation in calculating spousal support.
4. Thousands practice leaving Korea in the event of northern aggression. In a country where the U.S. military lives by the motto “ready to fight tonight,” the families of servicemembers in South Korea are asked always to be prepared to take flight at very short notice..
5. Local agency helping vets with medical claims. Springfield News Sun The US Department of Veterans Affairs has added more illnesses to the list of those that may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange. Bill Lackey Randy Ark, a Vietnam veteran who collects disability benefits for diabetes linked to exposure to Agent …
6. Conifer rendezvous aims to help area veterans. Denver Post Rebecca Sawyer Smith, public affairs officer for the US Department of Veterans Affairs at its Denver office, said, “We’re bringing the resources to them.” With VA employees on hand to provide information on veterans benefits, medical eligibility and …
7. Serving Those Who Served. Patch.com A new court designed to specifically serve the needs of military veterans was created Wednesday.
8. Run to remember a special veteran. Illinois Times Gietl, a veterans affairs adviser at LLCC, said after initially speaking with McMillen she knew he would be perfect to be her new student worker. “He immediately impressed me with how open he was about everything, how focused he was about his life and …
9. VA Walks and Rolls to Raise Awareness for Homeless Veterans. Patch.com About 250 Hudson Valley veterans have been helped through the program since 2007. The United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki made ending veteran homelessness a top priority in 2009 with a five-year plan aimed to reach that goal.
10. Lawmaker seeks answers in wake of soldier deaths. Citizens Voice Battlefield burn pits are commonly used to dispose of chemicals, paint, medical and human waste, metal, munitions, petroleum and lubricant products, plastics, rubber and discarded food, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ website.
Have You Heard?
Hiring fair & open House and
National Veteran Small Business Conference
Cobo Center, Detroit, MI
Hiring Fair & Open House: June 26-28, 2012 – 10:00am – 7:00pm
Small Business Conference: June 26-29, 2012
- Detroit’s Cobo Center will be the site of an unprecedented Veteran-focused week of events, set to take place June 26-29, 2012.
- The events, hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, are expected to bring thousands of Veterans, employers, business owners and Veteran advocates to the city.
- The week features three key events: a three-day Hiring Fair, a three-day Open House and the annual National Veteran Small Business Conference and Expo.
- The three concurrent events will provide one-stop access to benefits, health, business, and employment services for our nation’s heroes. In addition, conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a large-scale volunteer project, creating Veteran care kits, to be distributed to VA medical centers.
- The Veteran Hiring Fair, which is free to Veterans seeking jobs, will bring together federal and private industry hiring managers, job coaches, and human resource professionals to provide Veterans with everything from job search skills and career counseling, to resume writing workshops, interview coaching, and on-the-spot job interviews. We are asking all veterans to register in advance at: www.VAforVets.VA.gov/Detroit.
- The Veteran Open House is free to attendees, and is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Veterans and their family members to receive individualized help and advice on benefits and services from federal and state agencies as well as local and faith-based organizations. Onsite medical exams will be available for eligible Veterans.
- The Small Business Conference and Expo annually attracts thousands of Veterans, business owners, contractors and federal employees, with a focus on promoting partnerships among Veterans, businesses, and government agencies. Veteran small business owners can connect with procurement decision makers from other businesses and federal agencies, expand knowledge through over 200 training and business requirement sessions, and use VetGovPartner to facilitate online and onsite networking, including face-to-face sessions with senior procurement decision makers.
Registration fees and details for the small business conference are at: www.
More Veteran News
- House Panel Supports Shared Role For Veterans’ Medical Records. CQ “Citing concerns over the growing backlog of veterans’ claims for medical benefits, House appropriators on Wednesday advanced a bill that would call on the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to share information essential to reducing the backlog. The House Appropriations Committee reported to the floor draft legislation that would provide $71.7 billion in discretionary funding for veterans’ benefits programs and military construction, matching the fiscal 2012 enacted level.” The legislation “would fence off funding for the so-called DoD-VA integrated health record information technology initiative until the two departments implement recommendations by the Government Accountability Office,” which has “been tasked with determining problems with the joint program.” On Thursday, according to CQ, Senate appropriators are scheduled to make up their version of a 2013 MilCon-VA spending bill.
- VA Should Delay Change In Purchase Process For Prosthetics, Panel Head Says. CQ “A House subcommittee chairwoman said Wednesday that she will try to delay a Department of Veterans Affairs change in purchasing prosthetics, citing concerns that the new process could slow availability of replacement limbs and other devices to wounded veterans. After a hearing by the Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee on care for amputees, Chairwoman Ann Marie Buerkle said she would pursue the issue,” adding that “proposed process ‘heightens the risk fiscal will override clinical’ concerns.” Representatives of VA, however, have “said the change was an effort to bring the department up to federal purchasing standard requirements.”
- VA Doctor Finds Similarities In Brains Of Athletes And Vets With Head Injuries. CBS Evening News “In sports — including boxing and football — traumatic brain injury has been linked to a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.” In a new study, researchers found “striking” similarities when comparing the “brains of athletes with known CTE with the brains of four Iraq-Afghan veterans who survived IED explosions or multiple concussions.” The “four veterans all developed typical symptoms of CTE and died prematurely several years later.” CBS News An “‘animal model developed by the researchers will enable a better understanding of the brain pathology involved in blast injuries and ideally lead to new therapies to help service members and veterans with traumatic brain injuries,'” said “Dr. Joel Kupersmith, the chief research and development officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, which helped fund the research.” AP “A small study raises more concern about the long-term consequences of brain injuries suffered by thousands of soldiers – suggesting they may be at risk of developing” CTE, a degenerative brain disease that has also been found in “some retired football players.” Dr. Lee Goldstein of Boston University “led the study with Dr. Ann McKee of the VA New England Healthcare System.” Results of the study were reported Wednesday, “in the journal Science Translational Medicine.” Dr. Joel Kupersmith, research chief at VA, said, “This work raises a number of questions for researchers to explore in further studies.” USA Today “A generation of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans exposed to explosions may be at risk for early-onset dementia, according” to McKee’s study. She and the other scientists who conducted the study “said their work showed evidence of a progressive degenerative brain disorder known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease found in recent years among deceased professional football players who had suffered multiple concussions.” The ramifications of the study, said McKee, are that “hundreds of thousands of military personnel are at risk for this disorder.” “The study findings were based on comparing brain autopsies of four Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with four young athletes, as well as studying mice exposed to a simulated blast.”
- Army Reviews Mental Health Cases Going Back To 2001. USA Today The US Army is “launching a servicewide review of mental health cases dating back to 2001 to ensure that soldiers suffering a behavioral health illness were not denied appropriate medical retirement benefits. The move by Army Secretary John McHugh and Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, comes after findings this year that several” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnoses at Madigan Army Medical Center “were wrongfully reduced to lesser illnesses during medical retirement evaluations.” William Keppler, the leader of the psychiatric team that reduced the diagnoses, is now on administrative leave. USA Today adds, “According to an Army investigative document, Keppler was quoted as complaining that PTSD diagnoses pay out $1.5 million in retirement over a veteran’s lifetime and that doctors should be ‘good stewards’ of tax dollars or the Army and Department of Veterans Affair would ‘go broke.’ Washington Post “The Army’s review of 400 cases” at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Madigan Army Medical Center is located, “has led to more than 100 service members having their PTSD diagnoses restored. The controversy stems from the work of a special forensic psychiatric team that in 2007 began evaluating mental health diagnoses of service members preparing to leave the military. The screening team reversed at least 290 PTSD diagnoses made by the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
- VA Helps Allow Paralyzed Woman To Control Robotic Arm With Her Thoughts. ABC World News A paralyzed woman moving a “robotic arm, using only her mind.” ABC added, “A report in the journal ‘Nature’ explains the pioneering technology is making big progress.” The “hope is that eventually computers will enable paralyzed patients to move their arms and legs with only their thoughts.” CBS Evening News “Today researchers are reporting that a woman who is completely paralyzed has used a robotic arm controlled with nothing but her thoughts.” That is according to “study published” on Wednesday “in the journal ‘Nature,'” which said Cathy Hutchinson’s thoughts were relayed to the arm through a computer-wired sensor that was “bolted to her skull.” According to CBS, researchers are now “working on a wireless connection that would eliminate that part that’s bolted to her skull.” AP Wednesday’s study was conducted by “scientists at Brown University, the Providence VA Medical Center in Rhode Island, Harvard Medical School and elsewhere.” Hochberg, a “a researcher with the Providence VA, Brown and Massachusetts General Hospital,” said that when Hutchinson used the robotic arm to drink coffee on her own for the first time in 15 years, the “smile on her face … was just a wonderful thing to see.”
- Tours Of Great Lakes National Cemetery Show Veterans A Benefit Of Their Sacrifice. Detroit Free Press Veterans “who served in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam or Operation Desert Storm toured the Great Lakes National Cemetery on Tuesday as part of an effort to inform them about their military benefits, including free burial at the 544-acre cemetery.” Craig Larsen, a spokesman for VA, discussed the tour, saying, “As much as we try to get the word out through a robust outreach program to educate and inform veterans and their dependents of the benefits” to which “they are entitled, once they go back into the community, they don’t give it much thought.” Rick Anderson, director of the Great Lakes National Cemetery, said tours “can prove extremely beneficial in getting the word out to the public.”
- Final Salute Offers Housing To Homeless Female Veterans. Washington Post
- Fenway Park Event Honors Sacrifices Of Veterans. Boston Globe
- Veteran Housing Plan Stirs Debate. Tampa Bay (FL) Times