Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – June 26, 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.    Former Navajo Code Talker Willeto dies.
Frank Chee Willeto, a Navajo Code Talker and former Navajo Nation vice president, died Saturday at his home in Pueblo Pintado. He was 87.
2.    WWII soldier’s dog tag found in Italy now helping granddaughter.
Two Italian gardeners were working in their backyard this spring when something caught their eye. The shiny item coming up through dirt near Rome turned out to be the dog tag for an American soldier from World War II. It belonged to Army Sgt. Mike Baranek, an Akron South High School graduate who died at age 64 in 1980, when he was living in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
3.    Senior leaders: Now is the time for Law of the Sea treaty ratification.
The military’s senior leaders are ramping up efforts to convince the senators to ratify the Law of the Sea Convention. With a defense strategy that emphasizes the Asia-Pacific region and the increasing importance of the Arctic, they argue the time is right to join the United Nations treaty that regulates the resources of the sea and uses of the ocean.
4.    A wearable robot helps paraplegics walk.
“It’s a nice feeling to be upright, to walk and to have people at eye level,” said a beaming Peter Kossmehl at the Potsdam Rehabilitation Centre in Germany. The 40-year-old from the German state of Brandenburg had just tried out a bionic exoskeleton — a wearable, battery-powered robot — that enables paraplegics to take a few steps again.
5.    In an effort to reach vets, VA turns to their families.
As part of PTSD awareness month, the Department is highlighting its Coaching into Care program, which uses family and friend to encourage troubled vets to seek help
6.    Marines release new plan to prevent sexual assault.
The Marine Corps on Monday released a plan aimed at preventing sexual assault and holding offenders and commanders accountable, noting that “despite our efforts, we have been ineffective at addressing and eliminating sexual assault.”

7.    Nation’s largest veterans job fair headed to Detroit this week.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expects up to 11000 veterans to attend its free VA for Vets Hiring Fair from Tuesday through Thursday

8.    Counselors helping PTSD vets, families.  North Lake News Register  The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has designated June as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness month to call attention to this condition.

9.    High veterans’ jobless rate leads to state and federal initiatives.  Stars and Stripes  More than four decades after the Vietnam War, veterans are still struggling to get … advice: Don’t put a check mark next to the veteran’s box on job applications. … in Michigan and nearby states led the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to …

10.     Home under scrutiny after vet found outside.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  A spokeswoman for the state Department of Veterans Affairs, which runs the … Records obtained by No Quarter show the veteran – who suffers from severe …


Have You Heard?

National Veteran Wheelchair Games Begin!

The 32nd National Veterans Wheelchair Games are now underway in Richmond, Virginia. Stay connected all week!
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More Veteran News


  •   West Roxbury VA offers class on caring for Vietnam Veterans.  Wicked Local  Vietnam veterans are now age 57 and older, and many of them are dealing with … 50 years have passed since the United States first got involved in the conflict. … can differ greatly from the care provided to a World War II veteran, for example …
  •    Partnership has helped veterans, state for decade.  The Columbian  VA strives to serve, assist Pacific Northwest veterans … and the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs — a partnership that … So, in 2002, the state agency partnered with the VA to get those veterans their benefits. After a …
  •   We Must Attend To Vets’ Mental-Health Needs.  Arizona Republic  VA Secretary Eric Shinseki “often reminds us…as the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of our returning veterans.” That is “why we recently announced VA will add an additional 1,600 mental-health staff professionals and an additional 300 support-staff members nationwide, including 16 at the Phoenix VA Health Care System.”  American Medical News The “Veterans Health Administration plans to add about 1,600 mental health professionals and 300 support staff to help treat a growing number of veterans seeking care. The aggressive national recruitment plan aims to improve recruitment and retention of psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals and speed the hiring process.” The “mental health and well-being of our brave men and women who have served the nation is the highest priority for this department,” Shinseki said in recent announcement.
  •  Effort Includes More Use Of Video Conference Technology.  MedPage Today VA “wants its community mental health clinics to conduct more than 200,000 mental health consultations using video conference technology this year, up from 140,000 last year. The program is designed to make more efficient use of the VA’s mental health staff while meeting the needs of veterans, officials said.” In a statement, VA said the “program improves access to general and specialty services in geographically remote areas where it can be difficult to recruit mental health professionals.”
  • A Veteran Of Games, Wheelchair Athlete Aims For Gold Medals. McClatchy  Disabled veteran “Gary Kirkendall wasn’t expecting three silver medals when he went to the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Pittsburgh last year, but he’s going for the gold for this year’s games.” Kirkendall “traveled to Richmond, Va., this weekend to participate in this year’s games, Monday-Saturday.” He said the event “gives you something to do and to look forward to, so you’re not dwelling on your situation.”
  •   Over 3,000 Volunteers Expected To Help With Games. WTVR-TV Organizers of the Richmond event “say more than 3,000 volunteers from the community will be helping” them this week. The “games run June 25 through July 1.”
  • Hickey: VA Is Aggressively Working To Eliminate Claims Backlog By 2015. Federal Times  “The top benefits official for the Veterans Affairs Department told a House committee June 19 that VA is being aggressively innovative in trying to reach a goal of eliminating the veterans benefits claims backlog by 2015 while providing 98 percent accuracy. The Veterans Benefits Administration is ‘strengthening the expertise of our workforce by changing the way we are organized and trained,’ said Allison Hickey, VA’s undersecretary for benefits, who said that of more than 600 ideas received, 40 were tested to come up with a modernized system.” When it comes to VA’s increasing backlog of claims, Hickey “said claims from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans account for the increase and delays, because younger vets have more complicated claims that take longer to process.”
  • Vets Housing. Bloomberg News “Stephen Peck, the son of actor Gregory Peck, was honored” Thursday “night at the 40th Annual Housing Person of the Year Gala, held” in Washington, DC, at the National Building Museum. Peck and several other “were all honored for their work on behalf of veterans with housing problems.” This year’s event “had a special focus on housing and foreclosure problems among veterans, which Carol Galante, the acting assistant secretary for housing-Federal Housing Administration commissioner for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said were especially severe at present.”
  •   Residents Challenge Veterans Housing Plan. Newsday  “North Amityville residents, skeptical of a plan to build housing for homeless veterans at a closed Army Reserve base in the hamlet, have asked officials from the Town of Babylon and the nonprofit housing group that would run the facility for more assurances about its impact on the community.” The project would cost $21 million, and provide 60 units plus support services for veterans and their families. The proposal “has the support of veterans groups, town officials. But, some neighbors raised concerns during a recent town board meeting.
  •    Many Men Suffer With Mental Illnesses, Avoid Seeking Help Because Of Social Stigma. Columbus (OH) Dispatch “The impact of mental illness on men has been highlighted recently by the large number of military personnel – most of them men – returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Elizabeth I. Jackson, a psychiatrist with the VA in Columbus, and other experts “say mental illness is underreported in men, in large part because of the stigma.” Jackson’s facility has hired more mental health professionals in the last few years. The Dispatch added, “The VA also has done more outreach in recent years and has educated local law-enforcement officers and other first responders on how to handle crisis intervention with veterans returning from war.”


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