Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – June 18, 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.    Aberdeen scientists fight a war against IEDs.  Inside a two-story, cylindrical metal structure at Aberdeen Proving Ground, scientists detonate a homemade bomb to take high-speed pictures of the shrapnel flying apart. Elsewhere on the Army installation in Harford County, soldiers train on radio jammers intended to render enemy remote controls useless. At still another location, inventors work on hand-held test kits that will enable troops to identify chemicals used by bombmakers.
2.    A Marine’s toughest battle.  In his 20 years in the military, Marine Corps Master Sgt. Michael Magon received numerous medals for his service and twice deployed to Iraq. But as a civilian, he struggled.
3.    World War II vet, 92, wins PTSD disability benefits.  The war gave him flashbacks and nightmares. He flailed around in his sleep, bruising his arms. Memories of being bombed and rocketed seemed real, and painfully intense. Tech Sgt. Stanley Friedman was ultimately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the signature disability from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
4.    Deployed dads’ sacrifice tough on the whole family.  When dad is deployed, family life can be tough. Especially on Father’s Day.

5.    Veterans’ finances hit by friendly fire.  Albany Times Union  In the last six years, the VA has removed 467 fiduciaries for misuse of funds, … States who was convicted of stealing from a disabled veteran – she worked at a …

6.    Conn. veterans agency to offer discount card.  The Hour  Connecticut’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs is partnering with a national program to offer the state’s veterans and their families discounts at …

7.    Families fight for financial freedom.  Ct Post  Across the country, disabled veterans’ families are waging bitter battles with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, trying to remove VA-appointed fiduciaries …

8.    Veterans Corner: VA has extended care services available.  Hanford Sentinel  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a spectrum of geriatric and … of being offered in many local communities where veterans can receive care near their … on a joint cost-sharing agreement between VA, the veteran and the state.

9.    Disabled Vets Increasingly Cheated By Fund Managers.  San Francisco Chronicle “Gambling addicts, psychiatric cases and convicted criminals are among the thieves that have been handed control of disabled veterans’ finances” by the Veterans Affairs Department, according to a Hearst Newspapers investigation. “For decades, theft and fraud have plagued the fiduciary program, in which the VA appoints a family member or a stranger to manage money for veterans the government considers incapacitated.” Although VA spokesperson Josh Taylor “says the program is being reorganized and improvements are being ordered every year,” the Hearst analysis of “court records and documents…shows that the thieves’ take since 1998 is more than $14.7 million — almost twice the amount reported to Congress.”
10.   DoD Conference To Address Military Suicides. Army Times  A “conference scheduled for next week in Washington on suicide among US military personnel and veterans has taken on new importance in light of reports showing active duty suicides to date are outpacing last year’s numbers.” The annual meeting, scheduled for “June 20-23, will bring top officials, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, VA Undersecretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel and others together to discuss the topic.” The Pentagon’s Defense Suicide Prevention Office Director Jackie Garrick said the “goal of the conference is to provide basic information, research findings and share best practices in the realm of suicide prevention, different interventions, post-ventions and surveillance activities.”


Have You Heard?

Honoring Fathers Who Serve

Millions of dads have served the country in uniform, and for Father’s Day, we honor and thank them for their service by listening to their stories. Read our Father’s Day essay collection on VAntage Point.


More Veteran News


  •   Pentagon Must Overcome Bureaucracy On PTSD Diagnoses. Tacoma (WA) News Tribune  The Defense Department’s plan to expand its review of PTSD diagnoses “back to the 2002 start of the war in Afghanistan and include all branches of the military.” However, during a Senate hearing “last week,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “said he wasn’t satisfied with how the military has handled the problem of PTSD diagnoses.” Panetta and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki have been “meeting on the subject and trying to implement improvements” but Sen. Patty Murray is rightly “concerned that a military bogged down in bureaucracy won’t be able to both handle a 10-year review and address current mental health concerns at the same time.” The DOD “needs to be more forthcoming with its plans for cutting through the bureaucracy and funding treatment for mental health problems.”
  •   Military Families Discuss Challenges At Summit. Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer  About 200 people sought help at the 2012 Congressional Military Family Caucus Summit on June 14 at the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center. Military Family Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Albany) “said the major topics at the summit included health and wellness, education and employment among soldiers, veterans and their families.” Patricia Shinseki, the “wife of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and who serves on the White House Joining Forces Initiative, said employment is needed for veterans and spouses,” who possess “tremendous leadership skills and value a strong work ethic to present employers with valuable assets.” The unemployment rate is “12.7 percent for veterans and 25 percent for military spouses.”
  • Conference Held On Needs Of Women Vets. AP   Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services hosted its “annual conference for women veterans” on Saturday at the Bristol Community College in Fall River. The goal of the annual event is to help “provide women veterans with information on federal, state, and local benefits while expanding awareness of the needs of women veterans and advocating on their behalf.” The keynote speaker was “Colonel Susan Luz, author of ‘The Nightingale of Mosul.'”
  •   Army Task Force: Female Soldiers Need Better Health Care. USA Today  An Army task force “led by female officers,” has issued a report calling for “basic improvements” to help women “avoid higher rates of urinary tract or vaginal infections, stress-related menstrual difficulties and the chafing, bruising and bleeding caused by ill-fitting body armor designed for men.” Task Force Leader Army Col. Anne Naclerio said data indicated the Army treated “about 450 women for urinary tract infections in Afghanistan” last year. Factors contributing to infections include a “tendency by women to drink less water and delay urinating while on a mission in full battle gear.” But the task force found that women are not being made aware that a device, which enables them “to urinate standing up” is available during deployment.
  •    Detroit To Host Veterans’ Assistance Events. American Forces Press Service  From June 26 through June 29, Detroit’s Cobo Center will “host three major” VA-sponsored events: The VA for Vets Hiring Fair, the Veteran Open House, and the National Veterans Small Business Conference and Expo. Detroit’s VA for Vets Hiring Fair is “free and will feature some 22,000 federal and private-sector job openings.” VA hosted its “first veterans hiring fair here on Jan. 18, attracting more than 4,100 veterans and resulting in more than 2,600 on-the-spot interviews as well as more than 500 tentative job offers. … ‘We had a number of folks who went home that night employed, which I think is a terrific signal…that the opportunities are real and the jobs are available,'” VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki told the AFPS “about the Washington event.”
  •   Yes, Wall Street Can Reach Out.  New York Times  Last year, nearly “one of every three young male veterans was out of work” but Drexel Hamilton is “trying to change” that statistic. The institutional brokerage firm contributes 20 percent of its expenses “toward housing, educating and training” disabled veterans for careers in finance. In 2007, disabled Vietnam veteran Lawrence K. Doll used his own money to found Drexel Hamilton, which now has “$3.2 million in assets, six offices across the country and 35 employees,” nine of whom are veterans. Doll is also “co-founder of the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, a nonprofit group that finds candidates for banking careers and subsidizes a portion of their training at Drexel Hamilton.”
  •  Defense And VA Eye Commercial System For Managing Medical Tests.  NextGov VA and DOD have “decided to focus on commercial products for a system to track laboratory work such as blood tests within their integrated electronic health record.” In a June 5 RFI, the Military Health System “asked potential vendors to provide information on developing a lab information capability that includes commercial off-the-shelf products.” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Defense Department CIO Roger Baker have “backed using open source software for the iEHR, which will cost $4 billion to develop and is slated for deployment in 2017.” A draft “blueprint for the iEHR that Nextgov obtained said the future health record data infrastructure will end up as a hybrid of public and private data centers.”
  •  Va. Initiative Seeks To Reduce Veteran Unemployment By Helping Companies With Hiring, Training. AP  “New initiative in Virginia is taking a different approach to reducing veteran unemployment. Instead of focusing on helping veterans with job searches, Virginia Values Veterans will help employers that want to hire, train and retain them.” The state Department of Veterans Services “announced V3 this week during a conference attended by more than 40 employers.”  Virginia Business Magazine  Companies that are “part of the program will go through a certification process that includes customized workforce assessment and training. Spotsylvania-based TMG Inc. will work with DVS to create the certification program.”
  •  Vets On Patrol For Work.  Bergen (NJ) Record   “Nearly 250 veterans and active-duty military personnel came to Rutgers University on Thursday to face a new battlefront: Landing a job at the tail end of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The turnout was for the ‘Job and GI Bill Fair’ sponsored by the Rutgers Office of Veteran and Military Programs and Services and the G.I. Go Fund.”
  •  Bills Would Help Veterans, Spouses Work As Nurses, Teachers And EMTs.  Burlington County (NJ) Times  New Jersey lawmakers have “advanced three pieces of legislation intended to help veterans and their spouses land jobs as nurses, teachers, and emergency medical technicians and paramedics.” Approved June 14 by the Assembly’s “Military and Veterans’ Affairs committees, two measures would require state boards to create temporary nursing licenses and teacher certificates for qualified military spouses who hold similar credentials from other states.” The third measure “requires the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to certify EMTs or paramedics who have equivalent military training or experience in the armed forces or National Guard.”


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