Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – October 08, 2012

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

 

We encourage you to browse our list so that you can take what you want and keep what you need

 

1. Chavez’s Havana-to-Tehran alliance at stake as Venezuelans vote. Venezuelans voting whether to re- elect Hugo Chavez on Oct. 7 will also decide the fate of a regime that forms the linchpin of an alliance from Iran to Cuba against U.S. policies.

2. Turkey warns war is near as forces continue to pound Syria. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Friday that Turkey and Syria are “not far” from war as the two countries exchanged mortar fire across their border for a third consecutive day.

3. Vets’ annuities draw scrutiny. InvestmentNews This practice taps veterans who are claiming pension and Aid and Attendance benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Former members of the military must meet certain income and net-worth requirements in order to qualify for a pension …

4. Fitzpatrick’s office cites poor performance by Veterans Affairs. phillyBurbs.com While we are pleased to hear of Mr. Rees’ experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs (letter, Oct. 4), his experience seems to be the exception rather than the norm. … Anthony Enck, Warminster, is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Both are …

5. Contsruction for Homeless Vets Care Facility Closer to Starting Line. Patch.com The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it’s inching closer to breaking ground on a long-awaited $20 million project to facilitate treatment and support services for Los Angeles’ chronically homeless veterans. Building 209 at the West Los Angeles …

6. Congress Has Until December To Pass COLA. Military Times The VA now says that it can process the cost-of-living adjustment for disability and survivors benefits to take effect Jan. 1 if Congress acts by the first week of December to approve pending legislation for it. The VA earlier said Congress needed to act by Nov. 13, “the first day lawmakers will be back after taking a break for the Nov. 6 elections.” The VA confirmed in a statement that “the deadline had changed, saying a conversion of pay records makes it possible to wait longer for the Congress to act.” The House has approved the legislation, but the Senate has not. Military Times says the CBO “estimates the COLA will be at least 1.3 percent” for the 3.9 affected veterans or their survivors.

7. New VA Program Targets Diabetes In Vets. Minneapolis Public Radio “Health officials at the Veterans Administration unveiled a pilot program Friday aimed at reducing the rate of diabetes among military veterans.” The 16-week program is being implemented at VA medical centers nationwide and is aimed at pre-diabetic people who are overweight. A Vietnam veteran, Jon Soder, a diabetic, “says the program helped him lose 85 pounds” and walk on his own. In Minneapolis, Sen. Al Franken said the $300 program helps 58 percent of participants avoid diabetes, saving $6,200 a year. About 25 percent of veterans have Type 2 diabetes.

8. Proposed Expansion To Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Criticized. Gaithersburg (MD) Gazette Bethesda residents were critical of plans to expand Walter Reed National Military Center at a public hearing this week, citing existing traffic from 2,500 more employees and annual visits to the facility that have “doubled…to 1 million.” One resident, Andrés Bonanno, said residents “are already living a nightmare.” The Navy said in September that its draft environmental impact statement of the expansion showed that it would “add no more than 17 seconds onto a commute through major intersections near the base.” Construction would begin next year and would continue until 2018. The Gazette details the expansion and notes that a final decision is expected in April by the Secretary of the Navy or a designee.

9. Despite Knowing Agent Orange, Parkinson’s Link Some Veterans Still Have Questions. WUFT-FM Vietnam veteran Jon Anderson on its website. Anderson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004 and has seen “the disease slowly outrun his body.” Anderson inquired about his condition with the VA but was told “his diagnosis was not considered a service-connected disability” at that time. In 2009, however, the VA “announced that veterans with Parkinson’s disease who were exposed to Agent Orange during military service may be eligible for disability compensation and health care.” One doctor interviewed by WUFT-FM said the announcement “brings a relief to veterans with the disease.”

10. PTSD Sufferers May Lose Access To Medical Cannabis. KOB-TV Psychiatrist Dr. William Ulwelling has petitioned the state of New Mexico “to remove PTSD from the list of qualifying conditions” for medical marijuana, in part because “people with PTSD are at special risk to be harmed by marijuana,” with “as many as two-thirds…subsequently developing substance abuse.” Ulwelling also said “there’s no good scientific link saying that marijuana treats PTSD,” which KOB-TV says “is the number one condition patients are approved under.” New Mexico officials, however, say that “removing PTSD as a qualifier, would essentially disqualify nearly half of the state’s medical cannabis patients, many who are also veterans.” Emily Kaltenbach, director of the state’s Drug Policy Alliance, said that 3,300 people would be affected. A state board will review the matter on Nov. 7.

Have You Heard?

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, America’s national memorial to the Holocaust will honor all the brave soldiers who fought in World War II as part of its 20th anniversary commemoration.

Plans for this milestone occasion, which include a National Tribute in Washington, DC, as well as a National Tour honoring Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans in four cities across the country. We hope as many veterans as possible will join at these historic gatherings.

World War II was the salient event in the 20th Century – and its legacy continues to shape the 21st. The values we cherish were threatened by cruel and oppressive ideologies. But the generation that signed up and put on a uniform, which believed in the essential goodness of America, and which unselfishly answered the call to duty, was a generation willing to sacrifice everything to preserve our way of life. The freedoms we enjoy today were assured by the veterans of World War II. The Museum recognizes this, and thus wishes to reach out to all American veterans of World War II and to accord to them our highest honor and deepest gratitude.

At the National Tribute in Washington, DC on April 28 – 29, 2013 the Museum will bring together the people who lived this history – Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans, rescuers, and their families – in the largest numbers they can – along with U.S. and European officials and Museum supporters and partners, for what will most likely be the last gathering of eyewitnesses on this scale.

Working in close cooperation with the World War II Memorial, the Museum is expecting thousands to join Elie Wiesel, founding chairman, at this two-day gathering, which begins with a Tribute Dinner on Sunday, April 28th at the Washington, DC Convention Center – free for survivors and veterans, who may bring one companion for $50. Regular cost is $250/person. At the Tribute Dinner, the Museum will present the Museum’s Elie Wiesel Award, their highest honor, to the American service men and women who fought in World War II, with Susan Eisenhower accepting on their behalf. Through this tribute, it is their hope to remind the American public, especially our youth, of just what was at stake during World War II and the enormous sacrifices that were made to preserve the free world.

The National Tribute continues on Monday, April 29th at the Museum, which will be closed to the public to mark this historic occasion. The day will begin with a ceremony at the Eisenhower Plaza featuring the flags of the U.S. Army Divisions that liberated the Nazi concentration camps. An Open House follows with a day of special programs, tours, and family activities throughout the Museum. In addition, “affinity tables” will provide opportunities for those from the same divisions or communities to socialize. The day, which includes lunch, is free with advance registration.

Since the Museum knows that many veterans may not be able to travel to Washington, DC for the National Tribute gathering in April, they will be hosting free, day-long public events in four cities: Boca Raton (December 9), Los Angeles (February 17), New York (March 3), and Chicago (June 9). Throughout the day, veterans and their families will have the opportunity to meet with curators and conservators about personal collections. They may attend panel discussions with well-known experts, presentations of rarely seen film clips from the Museum’s collection, and participatory family activities. And, of course, there will be opportunities to socialize. The day will conclude with a special tribute to local survivors and World War II veterans.

The Museum would be honored for all to join them at one of the local National Tour events or consider traveling to Washington, DC in April for the National Tribute. And, they hope everyone will bring their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren!

The attached flyer includes additional information. As plans develop, updates will be posted on www.ushmm.org/neveragain.

Please share this information with World War II veterans, Holocaust survivors, and their family members through your newsletter, listserv, or website. The Museum hopes as many World War II veterans, and their families as possible will join / attend this historic commemoration.

Please spread the word and continue to remind all as time comes near. Thank you.

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