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1. A year after the explosion that blinded him, former Navy swimmer wins gold at Paralympics. A former captain of the U.S. Naval Academy’s swim team, Bradley Snyder never imagined he would be competing in the Paralympic Games. Nevertheless, it marks his return to a sport that once helped define who he was, before bad luck changed everything.
2. Budget cuts mean no live ‘Taps’ at N.Y. military funerals. Because of budget cuts, New York State as of Oct. 1 will no longer hire musicians to play “Taps” on trumpets or bugles at the more than 300 military funerals per month staffed by the Military Forces Honor Guard.
3. Quadruple amputee soldier fulfills promise: greets his combat unit. Standing on his new prosthetic legs, wearing artificial arms and dressed in combat fatigues, Staff Sgt. Travis Mills showed up in the pre-dawn darkness to greet soldiers as they stepped off the plane in Fort Bragg, N.C. He was fulfilling a promise he had made to himself just weeks after an April explosion in Afghanistan left him a quadruple amputee.
4. Support group at Scott AFB helps military widows. Two Illinois widows found themselves struggling to navigate an often complex and confusing system of federal benefits while grieving the loss of their spouses.
5. Spending on veterans goes up even as number of vets decrease. Dayton Daily News Ohio had 867,240 veterans through last year, the sixth largest veterans’ population in the nation while the VA pumped $5.7 billion into the state’s economy. The state ranks eighth in the nation for VA expenditures per veteran at $6,610 last year …
6. VA Addresses Increase In Suicide Among Veterans. KPBS The U.S. Department Of Veteran Affairs in San Diego reports that 126 local veterans attempted suicide so far this year; 22 succeeded. That number is significantly higher than at this time last year. The mental health department at the Veterans Affairs …
7. Veterans Affairs Looking for a Few Good Native Men (and Women) for Mortgages. Indian Country Today Media Network.com A brain trust of tribal and federal government officials recently sat down in Albuquerque, New Mexico to ponder how to get more American Indian veterans into an underused Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) program designed specifically to provide …
8. Seeking Shelter, Finding Hope. Citrus County (FL) Chronicle Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are increasingly among the callers seeking help from The Sanctuary Mission shelter in Homosassa. The men “are struggling with drug use and PTSD.” The Chronicle explains the shelter’s program and says that Sanctuary manager Brian O’Connell hopes to someday build a “40-bed facility,” because “the need keeps increasing.”
9. Colleges Asked To Cover Any VA Holdup On Payments. McClatchy “Ohio officials asked college and university presidents yesterday to keep their military-veteran students enrolled while the federal Department of Veterans Affairs resolves a possible delay with GI Bill benefit payments.” Some records were lost in a transfer between VA offices “in Buffalo, N.Y., and St. Louis,” but the VA said it had backup files and only an estimated 300 students in West Virginia and Ohio could be affected if their “GI Bill eligibility forms were received between July 24 and Aug. 9.” McClatchy said Ohio schools reported higher numbers, including 250 at Ohio State and “the ‘vast majority'” of Bowling Green State University’s 284 student veterans. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro, and Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Thomas N. Moe asked schools to delay dropping affected students.
10. For Disabled Veterans Awaiting Benefits Decisions, Location Matters. Bakersfield Californian Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of how “geographic inequity” plays a role in how fast the VA is able to issue decisions on disability claims. The report says, “Simply put: Veterans in sparsely populated states often encounter quick resolution of their compensation claims for problems ranging from back injuries to post-traumatic stress disorder while those in metropolitan areas languish.” Veterans who come home to metro areas such as Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York will have a longer wait than those in “Lincoln, Neb., and Fargo, N.D.,” who “get their benefits faster.” The report also says Northern California veterans who don’t have disability decisions after year could get results in South Dakota “in less than half the time.”
Have You Heard?
Veterans Go For Gold at the Paralympics
Disabled Veterans are among the athletes competing at the Paralympics in London. Army Vet Eric Hollen, pictured left, represented the U.S. in the target shooting competition.