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1. Flag Day often overlooked as day of national pride. There will be no fireworks and no time off from work. In fact, there may not be any celebration at all. But the calendar shows that Thursday is the designated holiday to honor the stars and stripes: Flag Day.
2. After 90 years, US Medal of Honor returned to heirs of Filipino soldier. Even when she was a young girl, Maria Delilah Turzar, 40, had always been fascinated by the framed, faded magazine article displayed on the wall of her grandmother’s house. It was about her great grandfather, Private Jose Nisperos, the first Filipino and Asian to receive the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military award.
3. Panetta denies classified bin Laden information was leaked to Hollywood. Disputing allegations by some Republican lawmakers, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta denied Wednesday that any classified information or material was given to the Hollywood producers of a planned film about the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year.
4. Government seeks dismissal of ex-airman’s lawsuit over botched surgery. The U.S. government has asked a federal judge in Fort Worth to dismiss a lawsuit filed this spring on behalf of retired Air Force airman Colton Read, who had both legs amputated when a routine surgical procedure went horribly wrong in a military hospital in California three years ago.
5. Montanans serve — and are uninsured — in high numbers. Jessica Vander Vos Bennett, who spent four years in the U.S. Army training in Kuwait and in combat in Iraq, is unemployed, uninsured and cannot afford medical care. She is one of more than 9,000 Montana veterans who are uninsured, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
6. In Memory Day honors Vietnam War veterans not listed on the Wall. When Carol Fox placed a picture of her husband, Capt. Walker Paul Fox, at the Vietnam Wall as part of the In Memory Day ceremony on Thursday, it was another bit of closure for the families of 96 veterans whose names won’t be carved into the granite.
7. Veteran Transportation Continues in Style. Examiner.com The vans, although purchased through the DAV, are signed over to the VA. … decorated in patriotic colors with a massive flag logo, will proceed to a local auto body … Ford made available automobiles to each state delegation for the trip to the …
8. Health Net Federal Services Launches Veteran and Military Spouse. In an effort to help reduce … today announced the launch of the Veteran and Military Spouse Employment … regulatory issues with federal and state agencies including, but not limited to, the ….
9. VA Launches Virtual Hiring Event For Veterans. Federal News Radio Veterans Affairs is “taking its jobs fair to Detroit later this month – Just don’t call it a jobs fair. VA calls it a hiring event, because employers will be equipped to make job offers on site.” According to Federal News Radio, “servicemembers at five bases will have virtual access” to the event, which will have 21,000 available jobs, says Mary Santiago, VA’s director for employment services.
10. iEHR Testing Environment To Launch By Sept. 30, Reveals VA-DoD Timeline. FierceGovernmentIT “By Sept. 30, 2012 the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense will stand up a joint development and testing environment for its Integrated Electronic Health Record, or iEHR. The milestone is one of several revealed in a document” that was “submitted to members of Congress May 4, 2012.” The document “adds that DoD and VA will craft a performance evaluation plan by July 31, 2012.”
Have You Heard?
Editor’s note: This is the third essay in an 11-part Father’s Day series entitled, Honoring Fathers Who Serve. In May, we asked readers to submit essays about the men who have served our country.
My dad’s name is Jay Fay, J-P-F. He was in the Army in Alaska from 1989-1993. He was a member of the 501st Airborne Infantry as an arctic paratrooper. During this time he was in a car accident with a friend who was test driving a car and it flipped. My dad got really hurt. He had punctured his lung, ruptured his spleen, and broke his collar bone, his ribs, and his hand. He was on a ventilator for 58 days. It took my dad 6 months to get better. The entire process of getting better made my dad decide to become a Physical Therapist. After his time in the Army, he decided to go to Slippery Rock University to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy. He graduated with his first degree in Community Health and then went to graduate school for three more years and got his degree as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. He had worked very hard to recover and finish his time in the Army. He also worked hard at school. He now works for the VA in Pittsburgh helping Veterans. I am so happy when I get to see my dad at work. I want to become a Physical Therapist too and work with my dad. I am proud of you, dad!
Alyse Fay is nine years old and recently finished the third grade.
More Veteran News
- VA: Burn-Pit Registry Would Not Be Effective. Military Times “Veterans Affairs Department officials are opposing legislation to create a registry of service members who may have been exposed to toxic fumes of open burn pits in Iraq or Afghanistan, and they say they do not see the value of such an effort. ‘VA can identify all service members that deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and has used this information in the development of an injury-and-illness surveillance system,’ said Curtis Coy, VA’s deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity, at a Wednesday hearing at which a burn-pit bill was discussed.” The Times points out, “Most major veterans’ groups support creating a burn-pit registry.”
- VA Budget Request Estimates Lacked Transparency, Says GAO. Fierce Government “The Veterans Affairs Department may not have provided Congress with accurate healthcare service estimates in its fiscal 2013 appropriations request, according to a June 11 Government Accountability Office report.” This “lack of transparency ‘results in unclear information for congressional deliberation,’ say report authors.” Among other things, the authors “recommend VA clarify in its budget justification whether estimates include funding for ongoing services.”
- VA Scrambles As Education Pact Deadline Looms. Military Times “The Veterans Affairs Department is still unsure about the ramifications of President Obama’s ‘Principles of Excellence,’ VA’s director of education services told Congress on Wednesday, even though the June 30 deadline for schools to sign on is fast approaching. The Principles of Excellence – a series of measures designed to ban deceptive marketing and recruiting by schools, demand ‘high-quality academic and student support services,’ and require schools to disclose cost and quality information to prospective students – were included in an executive order that Obama signed in April.” Curtis Coy, “VA’s deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity, said the department has not yet considered pushing back the June 30 deadline, but acknowledged that it was an option.”
- Proposed Changes To GI Bill Focus On Preparing Veterans For College. Stars And Stripes “Lawmakers 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.” Advocates for veterans “have lobbied for more pre-college counseling for veterans to inform them of schooling options and post-graduation job prospects.” After pointing out that such counseling is already available, Stars And Stripes adds, “Curtis Coy, deputy VA undersecretary for economic opportunity, said department officials are concerned that mandating the counseling could overwhelm existing programs.”
- HUD, VA To Provide Additional Housing And Support For Homeless Vets. RealEstateRama On Wednesday, US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki “announced…that HUD will provide an additional $2.5 million to public housing agencies to supply housing and case management for 380 homeless veterans.” The “permanent supportive housing assistance…is provided through HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), a program administered by HUD, VA, and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing with case management and other supportive services for homeless veterans across the country.” Through “‘HUD-VASH we will accomplish our goal – to prevent and eliminate veteran homelessness by 2015 and improve quality of life for veterans’ said” Shinseki.
- VA Examining Why Black Women Have Lowest Suicide Rate In US Population. National Journal Daily “Mental-health experts, the US military, the groups that aid returning service members, their families are trying to provide a sense of support for veterans and active-duty troops in an attempt to prevent the growing number of suicides.” Members of the US military “have been taking their own lives in alarmingly increasing numbers over this past decade at war in Afghanistan and Iraq.” Veterans Affairs “is looking to black women, the group in the US population with the lowest suicide rate, to learn the factors behind that statistic and, hopefully, then determine how best to use that knowledge to help service members.”
- Panetta Orders Review Of Mental Health Diagnoses. AP “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday he has ordered all branches of the military to conduct an extensive review of mental health diagnoses amid criticism of how the services treat the men and women suffering the invisible wounds of the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under questioning from a Senate panel on Wednesday, Panetta disclosed that he had asked the Air Force and Navy, which includes the Marine Corps, to follow the lead of the Army in launching an independent study of how it evaluates soldiers with possible post-traumatic stress disorder.” The Army review, according to the AP, will “serve as a model for the other services.” McClatchy While testifying before a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Panetta “suggested he meet with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to discuss improvements” in the military’s disability system. The chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) replied, “I totally appreciate your saying that to me today, but sitting down and talking with Secretary Shinseki is something we’ve been hearing for a long time. We need some recommendations and we need to move forward and we need it to be a top priority out of the Pentagon as we transition now out of Afghanistan.”
- Analysis: Suicide Is Second Leading Cause Of Death In Military. USA Today (6/14, Zoroya, 1.78M) reports, “The most common way that US servicemembers die outside of combat is by their own hand, according to an analysis released by the Pentagon on Wednesday. Since 2010, suicide has outpaced traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer, homicide and all other forms of death in the military besides combat…says” the report, which points out that one in “four non-combat deaths last year were servicemembers killing themselves.” USA Today adds, “On a related issue, Panetta revealed Wednesday that he will have all service branches follow the Army’s lead in reviewing mental health cases dating to 2001,” in order “to see whether any current or former servicemember was denied appropriate medical retirement benefits.” Panetta, who spoke about the review before a Senate panel on Wednesday, also told the panel that all branches of the military have been directed to look into what is causing the kind of numbers found in Wednesday’s report.
- VA Clinicians Offer Guidelines For Treating Combat Vets. Modern Physician “A newly published review of the healthcare needs of recent combat veterans aims to help public and private providers who care for them. A group of Veterans Affairs Department clinicians compiled a comprehensive review of health issues for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and practical management guidelines for their primary-care providers.” The “review and care guidelines” have been “published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.”
- Survey: Young Vets Respected But Misunderstood. Military Times “A new survey ranks the US military just behind firefighters and nurses as the most ‘valuable figures’ in US society, but it finds a widely held perception that the majority of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress. The survey, released Wednesday, looked at whether the public believes Iraq and Afghanistan veterans could make good community leaders,” but “that they need time to recover from combat first.” The “survey of 801 adults was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies.”