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1. Last surviving crew member recalls first B-29 flight over North Pole. On a quiet street in a Connecticut town lives Ernest C. Stewart, 88, the last survivor of a super-secret flight in a B-29 Superfortress that flew over the North Pole on Oct. 16, 1946.
2. House passes bill for waiver of taxes on slain troops’ forgiven loan debt. The Andrew P. Carpenter Tax Act was developed after 27-year-old Andrew Carpenter died after being shot while on active duty. The Internal Revenue Service billed the family about $2,000 in taxes on Carpenter’s unpaid student loan forgiveness.
3. Invisible war wounds can leave very deep scars. Six months after returning from her second Iraq tour, Tara Dixon says, “I tried to kill myself” on an overdose of pills. The physician who had saved so many couldn’t save herself.
4. US Army holding mandatory suicide prevention training. As the entire military grapples with a rising tide of suicides despite years of fighting what some call an epidemic, the Army will take a day to focus on the problem and how to prevent it.
5. Documents suggest veterans care may be harmed by VA’s small-business focus. An effort by Department of Veterans Affairs officials to boost small-business contracting numbers may have dramatically slowed down equipment orders and prosthetic repairs for wounded veterans, according to documents obtained by congressional investigators.
6. VA’s No. 2 defends use of covert camera at Haley veterans hospital. Tampabay.com
2 executive of the Department of Veterans Affairs Thursday defended the use of a camera disguised as a smoke detector in a veteran’s room at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa. W. Scott Gould, the VA’s deputy director, testified at a hearing …
7. Veteran housing at Canandaigua VA to break ground in October. MPNnow.com A 48-bed affordable housing complex will break ground next month at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced today. The Department of Veterans Affairs has reached a formal lease agreement with Cadence Square …
8. Indianapolis program getting $639K federal grant to house homeless. The Republic
The Department of Veterans Affairs is providing a $639,000 grant to an Indianapolis program to house homeless military veterans. The federal agency said Wednesday that the grant to HealthNet Inc. will provide a daily average of 15 beds …
9. JoHouse OKs Memorial For Unidentified Remains. Military Times “The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to create a new memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to hold unidentifiable fragments or cremated remains of service members who died in combat zones or in the line of duty. Establishment of the Place of Remembrance was included in HR 5948, a bill that also overhauls the assignment and removal of fiduciaries appointed to handle financial matters for veterans who cannot do so themselves.” The “bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.” CQ HR 5948 “would overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department’s fiduciary process and create a new memorial at Arlington National Cemetery for the unidentified remains of combat veterans.” Under the “bill, VA officials would be required to have a face-to-face meeting with prospective fiduciaries, who would be required to provide evidence that they are using secure, encrypted Internet and computer connections when working on beneficiary’s finances.” CQ says the bill would also “prohibit bonuses for VA employees who break federal civil law or internal department policy.”
10. Bill For Vets Bogs Down In Senate. AP “Senate Republicans blocked legislation Wednesday that would have established a $1 billion jobs program putting veterans back to work tending to the country’s federal lands and bolstering local police and fire departments. Republicans said the spending authorized in the bill violated limits that Congress agreed to last year.” The “advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America denounced the vote,” with its chief executive, Paul Rieckhoff, saying in a statement that the bill was “smart bipartisan policy.”
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During the past year, VA provided Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program grants to community organizations across the country, helping more than 28,000 Veterans and their family members in the first 10 months of program operations.