Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News May 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.    Vietnam War MOH recipient Roberts retires from the Army.  Col. Gordon R. Roberts, who received the Medal of Honor as a sergeant during the Vietnam War, retired from the Army on Friday at Fort Bragg. Roberts was the most senior soldier on active duty wearing the nation’s highest military honor.
2.    Maj. Gen. Mark Graham, suicide prevention advocate, retires.  Maj. Gen. Mark A. Graham, who lost two sons and became an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention, retired from the Army at Fort Bragg on Friday after 34 years of service.
3.    Military mom, son set to graduate from college on the same day.  Ryan Thompson and his mother, Colette Mitchell Thompson, will graduate Sunday at the same time, miles apart. Ryan, 27, will be walking the Lawn at the University of Virginia. His mother will be at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va.

4.    Civil War preservation, tourism initiative lands $10000 grant.  Since Memorial Day last year, project volunteers have worked through the US Department of Veterans Affairs to replace the worn, broken or missing government headstones for more than 70 Civil War veterans buried in nine cemeteries in Lake and Porter …

5.    Disabled veterans in Texas fleeced by VA-appointed money managers.  Houston Chronicle  So she turned to the US Department of Veteran Affairs and promised – for a small fee – to watch over an 82-year-old disabled veteran. With his $5000, she agreed to buy him a burial plot. Instead, the Houston caregiver paid her own bills – and got …

6.    Will justices review how states treat vets’ disability pay?  Pensacola Business Journal
In dissolving the near 20-year marriage of Peter James Barclay, an Air Force veteran, and his wife Claudia Kay, an Oregon district court judge in 2010 considered the value of Peter’s VA disability payments in awarding spousal pay of $1000 a month.
7.    Disabled Veterans Can Get Lifetime Park Passes.  A ceremony, which featured a large American flag and two ceremonial cannons, was held at the State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill Friday afternoon. Representatives from local veterans groups attended the event. Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner …

8.    Northwest Tech offers vet education under Veterans Retraining Assistance Program.  Alexandria Echo Press  That legislation includes the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), a joint program of the US Department of Veterans Affairs and US Department of Labor to provide training to military veterans unable to find work.

9.    VA Announces Vet Job Retraining Funds; Eric Shinseki Comments.  ExecutiveGov  The Veterans Affairs Department plans to fund eligible veterans’ educational training for high-demand jobs, the agency announced Wednesday. VA and the Labor Department opened the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program up for applications on Tuesday in …
10.Lansing Community College Program Gives Boost To Veterans.  Lansing (MI) State Journal  Lansing Community College’s “Military Medic To Paramedic program is one of at least two” such programs in the US, and it was the “key reason” why VA Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki spoke Friday at the college’s graduation ceremony. The “grant-funded program allows students to apply their military experience toward their degrees.”


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  • Groups Voice Concerns Over New Rules On Veterans’ Education Benefits.  Chronicle Of Higher Education Several “higher-education associations, including” the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the “main lobbying group for for-profit colleges, told members of Congress on Wednesday that they are concerned about some of the steps the Obama administration is taking to crack down on deceptive practices by colleges that recruit veterans.” Last month, President Obama “signed an executive order that sets new rules for how institutions that receive military and veterans’ education benefits recruit students, disclose financial information, and track student-learning outcomes.” The Chronicle noted that while testifying Wednesday “before a subcommittee of the House of Representatives’ Veterans Affairs Committee, veterans advocacy groups praised the executive order as necessary government oversight of an area where fraud and predatory practices have been problems.”
  •  VA-DOD Data Dictionary Of Medical Terms To Be Distributed As Open Source Software.  Federal Computer Week  “The Veterans Affairs and Defense departments have partnered with 3M Co. to adopt a common vocabulary of terms and a structured data system for their joint digital health record under development, the company announced May 16. Under a mutual agreement, the VA and DOD have adopted 3M’s Healthcare Data Dictionary of thousands of medical terms and concepts, and 3M has agreed to freely distribute an open source version of its data dictionary.” This “‘agreement will accelerate Electronic Health Record adoption across the industry and help achieve a common language for health care,’ Dr. Hon Pak, former chief information officer for the US Army Medical Department, said in a news release.”
  • Panetta: NATO Allies Must Invest In Defense. Chicago Sun-Times  The “future of Afghanistan is a centerpiece of the Sunday-Monday NATO Summit,” which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will attend. In addition, according to City Hall, Panetta is “tentatively scheduled” to appear an Sunday with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a “business roundtable on the Near North Side”; and on Monday, Panetta will visit the “James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, along with Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki.”
  •   How Can The VA Better Serve Women Veterans In Utah, US? Salt Lake (UT) Tribune  For the “next five weeks, those interested” in the future of women veterans’ healthcare and benefits can comment on “Veterans Affairs’ draft plan for better care. … ‘Expanding care and services to women veterans is too important to limit ourselves solely to the views within the department, so we are seeking feedback from all stakeholders, most importantly women veterans themselves,'” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki in a statement. In response to “criticism of VA’s care for women, Shinseki last year formed a task force to develop an action plan to address women veterans’ issues.” The public comment runs “until June 22. US Medicine  Shinseki stressed that the VA “must be visionary and agile enough to anticipate and adjust not only to the coming increase in women veterans, but also to the complexity and longevity of treatment needs.'” Although the VA has “made progress in serving women veterans, ‘work remains to be done,'” according to the draft report, which concluded that some “gender-based health disparities” and data collection “gaps” may be hindering “our understanding of women veterans’ needs and their utilization of VA benefits and services.”
  • New Survey Focuses On Needs Of California’s Female Veterans. Sacramento (CA) Bee  California has the “most female veterans of any state.” The results of a survey released by the State Library’s California Research Bureau Friday showed that although female veterans “said they need employment, health and education benefits to successfully transition back to civilian life,” many of them were unaware of the “services that are available.” In addition, the survey, which was conducted at the request of the “Commission on the Status of Women” and California’s VA Department, found that a “significant number” of the respondents reported “mental health issues,” including sexual trauma and PTSD. The State Library is planning to release a “final, in-depth report later this year.”
  •   Rucker Discusses New Role As Arizona VA Director. KTHV-TV  Former VA Director David Fletcher retired Monday after a state audit found a lack in supervision over the Department’s budget; and on Tuesday, Gov. Mike Beebe appointed Alicia ‘Cissy’ Rucker, praising her three decades of experience. Rucker, who is a retired colonel from the Arkansas National Guard and Desert Storm veteran, says the military offers much more than what some service members may realize.” Rucker said, “One of our big challenges is going to be get the information out there, saying, ‘If you have a problem, here is who you call’ and then, making sure somebody is there to answer the phone and talk to them.” KTHV added, “Rucker says her first day of the job will be on Memorial Day, attending the annual ceremony for fallen soldiers at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery.”
  •   Documentary Tells Story Of Female Veterans’ Courage, Challenges. Salinas Californian  CSU Monterey Bay plans a free screening of the new documentary, “SERVICE: When Women Come Marching Home,” next week. Filmmaker Marcia Rock also will be on campus for a question-and-answer session. The screening will honor Armed Forces Week as well as the women who “make up 14 percent of today’s military,” a percentage that “is expected to double in 10 years.” The film shows how women service members handle trauma, their accomplishments, and “the inadequate care they often receive.” The Californian says the film also shows “the resourcefulness of these women, and how they created a supportive network through social media.”
  •   Mental-Health Event To Aid Area Veterans. Chillicothe (OH) Gazette  An event at the Chillicothe Veterans Affairs Medical Center on May 30 will “focus on providing support and education designed for family and friends of veterans who are pursuing mental wellness and recovery.” The program will include a “presentation on the basics of mental illness, substance use disorders, effective treatments,” and available resources. In addition, local veterans will share their “recovery stories”; and mental health providers will conduct an “open question and answer session.”
  •   Ret. Army Colonel Speaks On Military Review Of PTSD Treatment. KTHV-TV  After the “military announced a sweeping review of how the service evaluates soldiers” with PTSD, Retired Army Colonel Mike Ross of the 39th infantry “provided some insight into what issues servicemen and women are dealing with when they return from war.” His discussed issues that occurred upon returning home in 2005 after his brigade served Iraq in the “middle of March 2004” during which the infantry “lost 36 soldiers,” 16 of whom were “from Arkansas.” Ross says he hopes the “recent review will lead to different treatment programs.”
  •   VA In Syracuse Raising Awareness On Military Sex Abuse. WSYR-TV The Veterans Affairs hospital in Syracuse is “bringing attention to something once considered taboo: sex abuse in the ranks” of the US military. Staff at the “facility want former military personnel to know that help is available for those who have suffered from Military Sexual Trauma (MST).”


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