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1. Review: Changes needed in Guard, Reserve pay. A Pentagon review of compensation members of the National Guard and reservists receive is recommending that changes be made to make salaries and benefits more equitable, according to an article from The Associated Press.
2. US Labor Department announces more than $20 million in grants to provide jobs. MarketWatch Grantees are expected to maximize available assistance and find good jobs for veterans by coordinating efforts and resources with the U.S. departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services, as well as other …
3. Fight on the home front. Stars and Stripes The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has promised that its system will be cleaned out and the backlog will cease to exist by 2015, White said. A new program called eBenefits is an online system where veterans can apply for benefits, check their …
4. American Homecomings: Utah veteran not ‘just-a-student’. Salt Lake Tribune Everything else just goes away and you see the helicopter,” Carver recalls, six weeks after she and fellow Weber State University students took part in mock prison riots, staged as training for Corrections officers. “It was fake but it brought back …
5. Area veterans form peer-to-peer group. Brownsville Herald June was post-traumatic stress disorder awareness month, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For Morales, who also later served in the National Guard, he remembers a Vietnam monsoon season so wet a soldier would slide back in the …
6. Human Resources Official Touts VA For Vets. WKBD-TV “Street Beat” spoke with Kim Twinn, an assistant human resources officer for Veterans Affairs, about the VA for Vets program. Twinn said the program’s website has resources that can help vets find employment, including a “mentoring and coaching” feature to translate military skills into language that is appealing to civilian employers.
7. For Many Veterans, July Fourth Bombast Rekindles Fears. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Psychiatrists at Veterans Affairs “hospitals in Milwaukee and Madison know the Fourth of July holiday is difficult for veterans, so they begin talking to their patients several weeks in advance to come up with plans to handle fireworks,” which can remind vets of combat. For example, Michael McBride, a psychiatrist at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, “increases medications during this time of year to help some of his patients get through Independence Day. He also discusses coping strategies such as wearing earplugs, using deep breathing techniques or staying inside during fireworks displays.”
8. Togus VA Doctor Says Vets Can Get Help For PTSD. Bangor (ME) Daily News “Consumer Forum” column urged consumers to be careful when using fireworks, because the “sudden louse noise” they create could disturb older people, animals, and combat veterans. The column went on to say that if vets find they have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, they “should seek treatment as soon as possible. ‘We do have effective treatment for PTSD these days,’ says Dr. Jerold Hambright at the Togus VA Medical Center.”
9. Safety Net Of Veteran Mental Health Care For PTSD Goes Beyond The Work At Fort Harrison. Great Falls (MT) Tribune “VA Montana’s mental health facility is now two-thirds open, and eight therapy groups – or cohorts – with eight people each have made their way through” Fort Harrison’s residential PTSD Traumatic Recovery Unit “since the fall of 2011.” As part of a national Veterans Affairs initiative to hire more mental health workers, VA Montana “has hired seven” such employees “and hopes to fill a total of 23 positions.” The agency is also working on hiring staff for the opening of an “acute inpatient wing at Fort Harrison.” Meanwhile, VA clinics and community organizations in Montana are also “spreading the net wider to provide treatment and research for future veterans” with post-traumatic stress disorder.
10. Defense Inspector Looks At Contract To Maintain Strykers. Tacoma (WA) News Tribune A “new Defense Department Inspector General report…calls for changes in contract oversight” of a logistics support program set up for US Army Stryker infantry vehicles. Among other things, the “Inspector General asked the Army’s Ground Combat Systems Office to consider more criteria in judging the costs of the contract, such as costs per mile.” The Stryker “was conceived by retired Gen. Eric Shinseki, who called on the Army to develop a rapidly deployable, medium-weight infantry vehicle that would run on tires instead of tracks.”
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More Veteran News
- Earliest Care Key To Cut Combat Deaths. USA Today “About one of every four US servicemembers killed in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan in the past decade — about 1,000 people — might have survived with more advanced combat medicine on the battlefield, according to an Army study. In 90% of those cases servicemembers bled to death, something medics and corpsmen with the right tools and training might prevent, Army Col. Brian Eastridge said in presenting study results last week” to the Defense Health Board, which was meeting at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. USA Today adds, “New ways for combat medics or Navy corpsmen to restore lost blood, induce clotting or stem massive bleeding are needed, Eastridge said,” adding that wounded servicemembers have a better chance of surviving if they can make it field hospitals.
- Can House Calls Cut Health Care Costs? Boston Globe “Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in a program created under the newly-affirmed Affordable Care Act, is looking” at a Boston-based house call program and 15 others across the country “to see whether they…can save money” when it comes to providing medical treatment to seniors. Studies “of the cost of home care are mixed,” with a 2000 study of 16 VA hospitals showing that such care increased costs. The Globe added, “More recently, however, Veterans Affairs has reported cost savings and reduced hospitalizations among people in the home care program.”
- Injured Iowa Sailor Gets Presidential Visit. AP “A wounded Iowa sailor received a surprise hospital visit from President Barack Obama and an invitation to the White House.” Obama visited Taylor Morris “on Thursday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington DC.” Taylor, who was recently hurt in “Afghanistan while working as a bomb disposal technician,” plans to “attend dinner at the White House and watch fireworks on Wednesday.”
- Three VA Hospitals In Michigan Have Medical Foster Home Program. WKBD-TV “Street Beat” spoke about the with April Bartlett, coordinator for the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System’s medical foster home program for veterans. Bartlett said the program provides an “alternative long-term care option for eligible veterans who need the care of a full-time caregiver but would prefer a community based family home setting versus a nursing home placement.” Bartlett said the program is being utilized by “over 102 medical centers around the country,” including the Ann Arbor VA, the Detroit VA, and the Battle Creek VA.
- Vet’s Desire, Determination Overcome His Injury. Tampa (FL) Tribune Tampa resident Davis Celestine, who won the gold medal in bowling at the annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which was recently held in Richmond, Virginia. The Tribune adds, “Since 2006, Celestine has won several medals in several sports” at the games. The Tribune adds, “Organizers say more than 600 athletes, plus families and friends, will travel to Tampa to compete” in next year’s games.
- Marine Praises Games. Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch “Gold medals were awarded in three team sports – power soccer, quad rugby and basketball – on Saturday’s final day of competition at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games” in Richmond. Sam Keeney, a Marine from California, “saluted the Games in general just before receiving his gold medal for power soccer. ‘I think it opened up a lot of people’s eyes,’ he said,” adding, “Instead of seeing their disabilities, I think a lot of guys are starting to see the possibilities.”
- In Depth Interviews — June 29. Federal News Radio Rom Mascetti, deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology Resource Management at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mascetti touted VA’s Budget Tracking Tool.
- Women Who Serve. Erie (PA) Times-News
- Vets Respond To Court Overturning Stolen Valor Allen Reed. AP
- Marine’s Posthumous Medal Of Honor Is Missing. AP
- Veteran Turns His Troubles Into Music. Reading (PA) Eagle