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1. For one war widow, moving on is a marathon. Now the war that claimed John’s life is increasingly an afterthought, and Lisa, 31, is one of thousands of widows from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq trying to get on with their lives. Everyone seems to be moving on, including the other soldiers and spouses from John’s unit who have left for other bases and other assignments. Lisa, meanwhile, remains.
2. PTSD can harm families of veterans. For 22 years, Shirley Booze attributed her husband’s violent nightmares and depression to “mental fatigue.” It was clearly more than just everyday stress that was affecting the Army veteran, but Booze had no other way to classify his emotional isolation.
3. A 100-wedding-dress salute to military couples in Minnesota. For the fifth year in a row, Jacquelyn Basney will salute 100 couples with military connections. Her store in Blaine, Minn., Angelique’s Bridal Gowns, will give away bridal gowns Sunday, along with free rental tuxedos and flowers, to 100 couples willing to share their love stories.
4. Couple commits to missing cousin, other Vietnam POW-MIAs. From time to time, someone asks Jack and Wilma Laeufer if their 41-year effort with the Lima Area POW-MIA has been a waste of time, because they’ve never determined what happened to their cousin, Owen G. “Pete” Skinner, a Navy pilot who went missing in Laos on Dec. 12, 1970. It’s a ridiculous question, really.
5. March LifeCare developer vows to fight for VA clinic. Press-Enterprise The developer of the 144-acre March LifeCare medical complex wants the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to build a healthcare center on his campus, not near the VA hospital in Loma Linda. The federal agency on June 28 posted its third request for …
6. Grant available for veterans enrolling at DSC. Daytona Beach News-Journal The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is designed for unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 years old. To apply a veteran cannot be eligible for any other VA educational benefit …
7. PTSD Study halfway Finished. UT San Diego “The largest research project in US military history aimed at studying the long-term effects of post-traumatic stress disorder has now passed the halfway point. The Millennium Cohort Study, run out of the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, is a 21-year study that is comprehensively following the lives and habits of 187,000 service members.” Results from the study “will eventually be used to help the VA treat service members.”
8. Fort Bragg Soldier’s Story Shows Why Preventing Military Suicides Is A “Frustrating Challenge.” Fayetteville (NC) Observer Three days after a suicide attempt in May, Fort Bragg Pvt. Eric Watson “ended up in the Cumberland County Detention Center,” where “jailers weren’t even told to put him on suicide watch.” This “raises questions about Fort Bragg’s handling of his problems,” says the Observer. The Observer adds, however, that the US military and Veterans Affairs “are doing more each year” to prevent suicides, in part by co-hosting a conference on the subject. Insiders Health Matthew Gudernatch says Veterans Affairs “estimates that a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes, or about 18 deaths per day.” Gudernatch, who says the Defense Department can do more to prevent veteran suicides, adds, “The Veterans Crisis Line, launched in 2007 with little financial backing, has fielded more than 400,000 calls and has saved over 14,000 lives, according to the VA mental health website. That’s a whole lot of help from a pretty simple policy change.”
9. Tele-Psych Services Now Available. Craig (CO) Daily Press “Veterans can now get tele-pysch services at the Craig VA Telehealth clinic.” Wilkinson adds, “If there are any questions contact Jayne Scribner at VAMC Grand Junction via phone or email. Her email address is [email protected]”
10. Special Court Gives Errant Veterans Another Chance. Roanoke (VA) Times Three veterans have graduated from a Veterans Treatment Court which has been operating for a year in Virginia. The “court diverts offenders to a variety of services available” at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Salem, Virginia. According to the Times, such courts are part of VA’s effort to improve mental health services for vets. The Times said VA is also hiring approximately 1,600 more mental health clinicians, including 13 at the Salem VA. AP Jackson County in Missouri “has launched a new court that will offer military veterans alternatives to jail for some non-violent offenses. The court is a combined effort of the circuit court, the prosecutor’s office” and the US Veterans Affairs Department. “In some cases, charges against the veterans will be dismissed if they successfully complete the program and others will be offered services such as drug counseling or job training as part of their probation after being found guilty.”
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More Veteran News
- Scam Targets Veterans. WITN-TV The US Department of Veterans Affairs is “warning veterans about a scheme they call an ‘inexcusable scam.'” The agency “says the scam artists call veterans and say the process of dispensing their prescription medicines have changed. The scam artists then ask for credit card information.” WITN quotes Dr. Gerald Cross, VA’s undersecretary for health, who said, “VA simply does not call veterans and ask them to disclose personal financial information over the phone.”
- Study: Some Schools Don’t Meet Aid Benchmark. Army Times “Nearly 60,000 veterans have used their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at schools where some programs fail to set graduates up for a better life, according to data from the Education Department and Military Times EDGE magazine.” The Times adds, “Last year, the Education Department announced that starting in 2015, in order for programs to be eligible for federal financial aid programs – called Title IV financial aid – at least one-third of students had to be successfully repaying their student debt, and those repayments had to be under either 12 percent of their total income or 30 percent of their discretionary income.” The Times points out that Veterans Affairs Department spokesman Steve Westerfeld “said disqualifying a school for Title IV funds would not change its GI Bill eligibility.”
- They Served. They Deserve. Lowell (MA) Sun “The female veteran population is expected to reach 15 percent by 2035, as women continue to be the fastest-growing veteran population, spurring the VA to turn its focus to caring for those women. In March, the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital opened the doors of its Women’s Clinic, a place for female veterans to get the comprehensive care they need in a wide range of areas from counseling and mental-health services to substance abuse, gynecological and general-health services.” US Army Nurse Corps Lt. Col. Denise Koutrouba, a nurse practitioner and the Bedford VA’s Women Veterans Program manager, said VA is changing its “whole culture” in order to better serve female veterans.
- UnitedHealth Launches Own Blue Button Program For Personal Health Records. Fierce Health Payer “UnitedHealth is implementing a Blue Button program, an initiative begun by the Department of Veterans Affairs, that allows members to access and print their personal health records (PHR) online. ‘Blue Button is a new, convenient way people can access their health records securely and easily with just a single click,’ Karl Ulfers, vice president of UnitedHealth’s Consumer Solutions, said in a statement.” Ulfers added, “This technology encourages people to update their personal health records, as well as print them, so they can take their records with them and discuss their health and treatments with their doctors.”
- Research Focuses On Sunburns. ABC World News Researchers “have learned what goes on in your cells when you get a sunburn: They say it’s the UVB rays that damage your cells and that painful red sunburn is the…swelling caused by your body trying to get rid of them. But when there’s so much damage that the body can’t keep up, skin cancer is the result.” Scientists “hope they can now use that knowledge to block cancer.”
- VA Doctor Was Lead Investigator On Sunburn Study. HealthDay Dr. Richard Gallo with the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System was its lead investigator. The study, “published in the July 8 online edition of Nature Medicine,” could “have implications for a number of medical conditions and treatments, including psoriasis. ‘For example, diseases like psoriasis are treated by UV [ultraviolet] light, but a big side effect is that this treatment increases the risk of skin cancer,'” said Gallo, in a release put out by Gallo’s other employer, the University California, San Diego (UCSD).
- Craig Telehealth Clinic To Be Renamed. Craig (CO) Daily Press “The public is invited to a ceremony at 10 a.m. on July 20, 2012 to rename the Craig Telehealth Clinic at 785 Russell. Colonel Adams will be there to honor his father, Major William Adams, for whom the clinic will be named.” The elder Adams “was a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his heroic actions in Vietnam.”
- Adaptive Rowing Seminar On Tap At VA In Northampton. Daily Hampshire (MA) Gazette A”seminar about adaptive sports will be held Tuesday” at the Veterans Affairs hospital in the Leeds portion of Northampton, Massachusetts. The seminar, which is open to the public, will “feature a presentation by David Lee, director of Northeast Passage, a program based in Durham, N.H. that provides therapeutic recreation services. Sandra Diamond, supervisor of rehabilitation therapy at the VA’s Leeds campus, will talk about the benefits of exercise and how it can help veterans manage pain.”
- Bad Weather Stops Attempt By Group Of Disabled Vets To Climb Mt. McKinley. CNN Newsroom “Bad weather and poor conditions” have forced a group of disabled veterans to stop their attempt to climb Mt. McKinley in Alaska. CNN spoke to Kirk Bauer, one of the disabled vets who attempted the climb. Bauer, who is the executive director of Disabled Sports, USA, said that attempting to climb Mt. McKinley was “truly the most exciting and exhilarating and challenging venture I’ve ever been on.”
- Helping Out: Home Depot Focuses On Homes For Vets. Washington Post Home Depot Foundation President Kelly Caffarelli. Caffarelli tells the Post that last year, her foundation announced “that we were going to put our grant dollars, volunteer hours and product donations behind addressing the housing needs of military veterans. We made a pledge to invest $30 million over three years to ensure that every veteran has a safe place to call home.” Caffarelli says the work that her foundation does “includes rehabs and modifications for homeowners.”