Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – July 23, 2012


Veterans! Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the day compiled from the latest sources


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1.   White House lauds veterans director.  AZ  He described Strickland as “masterful” during his presidency for making sure the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion understood the state director’s role in helping veterans, Willis said.

2.   Toledo to help ailing veterans.  Toledo Blade  Currently, in 36 states, 73 VA medical centers operate 436 medical foster homes that house 535 veterans. Seventeen such homes are available for veterans in Ohio, including the one in Toledo that was recently approved by the VA Ann Arbor medical foster home program; as of last week it had an opening for one veteran. … The house must meet state and local regulations for adult foster care license. A foster care home that houses only veterans does not have to have a state adult foster care license. However, if a …

3.   Spots dwindling for veteran education assistance program.  The Newark Advocate  Fewer than 9000 spots remain open in a government program that pays for unemployed veterans to get retraining in high-demand jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Part of the federal VOW to Hire Heroes Act passed in 2011, the …
4.   Vietnam veteran has no house, but home finds him. Jennifer Walkenhorst hadn’t seen her father since her wedding day in 2004. She figured he wasn’t in the best of health: The last time anybody in the family had heard from him, Alan Dempewolf, 58, was homeless and an alcoholic.

5.   The Week At A Glance: July 23-27, 2012.  CQ  Summary of forthcoming Congressional activity, reports that on Wednesday, July 25, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Armed Services Committee will hold a “joint hearing on service member transitions with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta” at 10:00 a.m. at 2118 Rayburn.
6.   House Votes To Ban Tricare For Life Fees. Army Times  The House “voted Thursday to prohibit the Defense Department from spending any money to implement an enrollment fee on Tricare for Life, the Tricare health plan for retirees age 65 and older.” The ban, passed by “voice vote as an amendment to the 2013 defense appropriations bill, is not actually necessary to prevent a fee hike.” Although the Defense Department has “proposed a $200 annual fee for the healthcare benefit for Medicare-eligible military retirees and their families, Congress has not authorized the payment.” Still, both the House and Senate “versions of the 2013 defense authorization bill omit the Pentagon’s plans for Tricare fee increases, making it unlikely – but not necessarily impossible – for the new enrollment fee to be charged.”
7.   Secretary Of Labor Visits Minn Veterans, Announces Grants. KAAL-TV  US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis was in “Minneapolis Friday morning to meet with veterans and announce grants that will help them get jobs. She toured a facility at the VA Hospital that houses veterans, and there they talked about how the $34 million of grants will help in finding jobs and re-integrating into civilian life.” Minnesota programs will receive “$420,000, and more than a quarter of that will go to help rural veterans programs, where they often face more challenges such as transportation.”
8.   Gov Sorry For Comparing NFL Players To Vets.  AP  Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton “apologized Thursday for comparing NFL players in trouble with the law to veterans returning from war. The first-term Democrat said in a statement that he made a poor analogy when he used the comparison in an interview Tuesday with Minnesota Public Radio.” The governor says “some of the ‘psychological dynamics’ may be similar but he didn’t mean to compare the NFL players’ problems to the hardships experienced by war heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan.” Dayton said he “reserves his highest respect for soldiers in uniform.”
9.   Baker Bill Designed To Help Children Of Fallen Soldiers. Hawley (PA) News Eagle Pennsylvania Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) has introduced a “two-bill package” to ensure that the children of a Pennsylvania National Guardsman who moved out of state shortly before being killed in Afghanistan last year, and “children in similar circumstances,” will qualify for a college tuition waiver. The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, which Baker chairs, approved SB 1488 and SB 1489 unanimously on June 5; and the bills are “now awaiting consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee.” At present, a service member “must be a Pennsylvania resident at the time of his death for his children to be given free college tuition.” Baker’s legislation says that a fallen service member “must have been a Pennsylvania resident at any time during his or her service.”

10.   Highway Signs For Veterans Approved. Springfield (MO) News-Leader  A Missouri bill designating Interstates 44 and 70 as Purple Heart Trails was “signed into law last week by Gov. Jay Nixon, much to the excitement of Carl Dietrich, the organizer who’s been working on getting the designation for about a year and a half.” But Dietrich says donations from the community are “still needed to get the signage along the highways.” He said the signs, which cost “around $1,100 apiece, are to honor veterans wounded in combat.”

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