Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News June 14, 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.    Aging U.S. flags given a dignified goodbyeWhen bright and beautiful, they were proud symbols of sacrifice. But faded and frayed, they were forgotten. Flags that evoked images of Bunker Hill, Bataan and Baghdad ended their days in garages and Goodwill stores. Hundreds of these forlorn flags rescued by veterans with the American Legion are honored every year in a dignified military ceremony that delivers them to a pyre.
2.    Pentagon chief orders all military to review mental diagnoses.  The Defense Department on Wednesday announced that it again would expand its review of post-traumatic stress diagnoses dating back to the start of the war in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today said the review would include all branches of the armed forces.
3.    Ground broken on new facilities aimed at treating brain injuriesAir Force Master Sgt. Earl Covel had gone through just about every treatment anyone could think of for the brain injuries he sustained over his 12 deployments. Nothing seemed to be working very well. Then a friend told him about the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a facility dedicated to the treatment, diagnosis and research of mild traumatic brain injury and psychological health issues.
4.    Proposed changes to GI Bill focus on preparing veterans for collegeLawmakers and veterans groups are again pushing for improvements to the post-9/11 GI Bill, a 3-year-old benefit that was itself a dramatic update to the traditional post-military education offerings.

5.    Review by VA Clinicians Assists Health Care Providers.  Department of Defense
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs … of the health concerns of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and practical management …

6.    VA officials: Beware of companies charging fee for pension service.  WBIR-TV  Veterans entitled to certain benefits are finding more ways to receive them. However, VA officials say veterans are paying for services they should receive for free. “There’s plenty of county service officers, state service officers,” said Nathan …

7.    Are States, Cities Ready for a Wave of Veterans?  Governing  He has been covering state and local public policy and administration for more than 30 years. Here’s some sobering news straight from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs: A backlog of nearly 900000 disability claims — with more than 65 percent of …

8.    Ohio vets say added VA staffing too low.  Middletown Journal  Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, plans to ask the VA to explain how it arrived at the decision, spokeswoman Lauren Kulik said. The VA decided upon its new hiring plans for mental health staff in each state by considering the veteran populations, mental health …

9.    State Commissioner Worried About Cuts to Veterans Services.  The state’s top veteran is warning counties not to cut vital help to veterans as more and more returning service members claim benefits they’ve earned during years of service. “I hope I’m wrong,” Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Larry Shellito told 5 …
10.  Speaker Silver Applauds Passage Of Assemblywoman Russell’s Legislation To Provide Assistance To Veterans Suffering From Military Sexual Trauma.  Saugerties (NY) Post Star.  On Tuesday, New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver “and Assemblywoman Addie Russell…announced the passage of legislation requiring the Division of Veteran’s Affairs to develop a program that will assist New York’s men and women veterans who are suffering from military sexual trauma (MST). ‘I commend Assemblywoman Russell for sponsoring this bill and bringing this serious problem to our conference’s attention,’ said Silver.” The Post Star notes that for the year 2010, US Department of Veterans Affairs “records show that 68,000 veterans were treated for MST.”

More Veteran News


  •    West Roxbury Seminar On Bringing Peace To Vets At End Of Life. West Roxbury Transcript  “Circle of Caring at Hospice of the Good Shepherd and the VA Boston Healthcare System West Roxbury present ‘Bringing Peace: The Unique Needs of Vietnam Veterans at the End of Life,’ on Thursday, June 14, at 1400 VFW Parkway at the VA Boston Healthcare System West Roxbury.” At the event, healthcare “professionals, social workers, mental health professionals and other caregivers for veterans will learn about the unique medical and psychosocial end-of-life needs specific to Vietnam veterans including assessment and intervention techniques.”
  •  Young Veterans At High Risk Of Urinary Incontinence. Family Practice News  “Men younger than age 55 who have served in the US armed forces are almost three times as likely to report urinary incontinence as are their nonmilitary peers.” One “‘implication of this finding is the need for additional screening for men who are members of the armed forces, especially those who are returning from the current wars,’ said” the man who conducted the research, Dr. Markland, an internist at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Vets Lost In Translation: From The Battlefield To The Office. Time  The US government is “stepping in with new initiatives to reduce the debilitating financial and psychological effects of joblessness among vets. In addition to a federal program offering subsidies to companies who employ vets, President Obama announced on May 31 a partnership with the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council to allow troops to get industry-recognized credentials on the basis of their military training and experience.” Meanwhile, organizations like the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) “and companies like Disney are trying to help bridge the communications gap with workshops that help vets adapt their résumés to reflect the universally valuable skills they acquired in the military.”
  •   New Guide Encourages Businesses To Consider Veterans For Employment.  Washington Business Journal  “More than 1,600 companies have hired 70,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year through Joining Forces, a national initiative supported by the public and private sectors to provide service members and their families with opportunities and support. This statistic was noted in a blog posted Tuesday to by Brad Cooper, executive director of Joining Forces.” The Business Journal adds, “A new guide published by Syracuse University and supported by the White House, with contributions made by Accenture PLC and BAE Systems Inc. and other companies, encourages businesses to consider veterans for employment.”
  •  VRAP Aims To Help Older Vets Find Jobs.  KFDA-TV The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) aims to “help reduce the number of unemployed veterans.” In order to qualify for VRAP, “you must be an unemployed veteran who’s between 35 and 60 years old, and not receiving financial aid from other government programs.” Under the program, veterans are “granted $1,473 dollars a month for up to 12 months to help pay for education costs.”
  • Report: Employers Have Trouble Translating Military Skills Into Applicable Work Experience.  MSNBC  “Employers value the leadership and other characteristics associated with military duty, but they also have trouble figuring out how military experience might translate into civilian job skills…finds” a new report by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a “think tank that examines national security and defense issues.” Before putting its report together, the CNAS “conducted in-depth interviews with representatives of 69 companies in an effort to understand why employers either hire or don’t hire veterans.” The “biggest problem: It’s difficult to figure out how to translate military skills into applicable work experience in civilian life.”
  • Haley VA To Open New Mental Health Clinic. Tampa Bay (FL) Times  “The James A. Haley VA Medical Center plans to open a new, larger mental-health clinic by the summer of 2013 to cope with a rising number of area veterans seeking care…said” VA on Tuesday. In a news release, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said, “This new facility will ensure that Florida’s veterans continue to have access to high-quality medical care.” Haley, according to the Times, also “said it was hiring 13 new mental-health clinicians and three support personnel, part of a national expansion of the VA’s mental-health workforce in the wake of criticism that veterans often face delays getting treatment for mental-health issues.” A spokesman for the Bay Pines VA said his facility will be getting 54 new mental health employees.
  •    Pentagon Says Active Duty Suicides Are Eclipsing Battle Deaths, But VA Can Help Troubled Vets. YNN-TV  “According to the Pentagon, more active duty troops are dying this year by suicide than in battle.” But Stratton VA Medical Center Suicide Prevention Coordinator Joseph Hunter said his agency can help vets if it’s requested, either through VA’s suicide prevention hotline or a care facility visit or a visit to VA’s Facebook page or a text to a VA counselor. Hunter added, “People do get better.” According to YNN, VA “has recently added 1,700 mental health staff positions and doubled the size of its PTSD treatment team.”
  •   Blogger Says Phone Line Can Help Vets In Crisis. Seattle Post-Intelligencer  “The latest news from the Pentagon is not good. Suicides among US military personnel are at their highest rate in years.” Schindler adds, however, that if “you are someone you know is struggling with depression, having suicidal thoughts or is slowing withdrawing into isolation, contact the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential help at 1-800-273-8255 (talk).”
  • To Rehabilitate Young Vets, Go Hunting. NPR  “Recreational rehabilitation programs have long been a favorite for helping disabled veterans acclimate after war, and the number of young and disabled vets returning who need those services is on the rise. Two brothers – with nearly 60 years of military service between them – are trying to help with a unique retreat that’s free for young vets.” The brothers’ program, which takes places on the “LEEK Preserve – an acronym for the names of the founders’ family members Lew, Elaine, Ed and Kate” — gets vets “out of their hospital beds for a few days to hunt in rural Pennsylvania.”



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