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. Panetta Arrives in Portugal, First Stop on Europe Tour. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta landed here today on the first leg of what he said is likely his last international trip as secretary.While here, the secretary is scheduled to meet separately with Foreign Minister Paulo Portas and Defense Minister José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, with whom he is scheduled to hold a joint news conference.
2. JBLM program stresses caring for ‘brothers and sisters’. The numbers are still moving in the wrong direction, but Army chaplain Capt. Matthew Hebebrand isn’t losing heart as he heads into another round of suicide-prevention briefings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
3. Karzai says immunity for US troops is up to Afghan elders. President Hamid Karzai said Monday that a convention of national elders known as a “loya jirga” should decide on a key component of the negotiations — immunity from Afghan prosecution for U.S. troops who remain after the formal end of NATO’s combat mission in December 2014.
4. North Korea issues ominous statement. North Korea’s foreign ministry vowed Monday to “continue to strengthen its deterrence against all forms of war,” a worrying statement by a country with active nuclear weapons and rocket programs.
5. Panetta promises help for France in Mali. The U.S. is considering providing more support, including airlift capabilities, to France’s military operations in Mali, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters Monday.
6. US military could be drawn into Mali fight. The U.S. military could be drawn into the intensifying fight in the African country of Mali, the latest overseas hotbed of rising terrorist activity.
7. Powell: Hagel Is “Supremely Qualified” To Be Defense Secretary. ABC World News “President Obama’s embattled nominee for Defense Secretary got a strong endorsement…from former Secretary of State Colin Powell” on Sunday. The “retired four-star general called Chuck Hagel ‘supremely qualified’ to be the next Secretary of Defense. Powell and Hagel are both Vietnam vets.” Bloomberg News “Former US Senator Chuck Hagel, a twice-wounded Vietnam War veteran, is ‘superbly qualified’ to run the Pentagon, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said…in a television interview” on Sunday. Powell, a “Republican like Hagel, appeared on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ program, rejecting criticism from other party members over a comment the former Nebraska lawmaker made about the ‘Jewish lobby’ and a 2007 vote opposing designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist group.” Los Angeles Times “Retired Gen. Colin Powell offered a vigorous defense of Chuck Hagel’s nomination as the next Defense secretary.” The defense came as Sen. Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “added questions about Hagel’s temperament to lawmakers’ other concerns about the nominee, particularly his position on Israel.” The Times adds, “In an extensive interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Powell lauded Hagel for what he called ‘a very, very distinguished public service record,’ saying Hagel volunteered to serve in the Vietnam War, showed courage in quitting his post at the Veterans Administration to protest poor treatment of veterans, and led the USO, which provides morale and recreation services to troops, while running a private cellphone carrier company.”
8. Obama Signs Law Restoring Clark Veterans Cemetery. Manila (PHI) Bulletin President Obama “has signed into law a bipartisan legislation to restore the Clark Veterans Cemetery located in Clark Freeport Zone, which is the final resting place in the Philippines for more than 8,600 US service members. The cemetery is also the burial place for Filipino Scouts who served in the US Army, and who died in conflicts other than World War II or on military bases in the Philippines.” The Bulletin adds, “Since 1994, volunteers in the Philippines have attempted to maintain the cemetery without assistance from the US government.”
9. Possible HIV Exposure At Buffalo VA Hospital. AP The US Veterans Affairs Department “has told western New York members of Congress that more than 700 patients at the Buffalo VA Medical Center may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C because of accidental reuse of insulin pens.” Authorities, however, “told The Buffalo News…there is a ‘very small risk’ for the diabetic patients who may have been exposed to the reused insulin pens between Oct. 19, 2010 and November 2012.” The AP notes that US Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) has discussed the matter with Dr. Robert A. Petzel, VA’s undersecretary for health. Collins said Petzel’s “thought was that it’s a very, very low chance of passing infection.” Collins added, “But it’s not out of the realm of possibility, and that’s why they’re testing everyone.”
10. A Poquoson Soldier Says The Burn Pits At Bases In Iraq And Afghanistan Did What The Enemy Couldn’t. Hampton Roads (VA) Daily Press “Hundreds of personnel,” including Chief Warrant Officer Jeff Lamprecht, “say they have been sickened by toxic fumes and debris” from burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama recently “signed into law a wide-ranging veterans bill that includes the creation of a registry for burn pit victims. It will create a list similar to the Agent Orange and Gulf War registries to help patients, doctors and the US Department of Veterans Affairs determine to what extent air pollution caused by open air burn pits has led to health problems.”
Have You Heard?
Transition to Paperless Claims: The transition to paperless processing of Veterans’ disability claims is underway. The Veterans Benefits Management System, an electronic claims processing system, is being implemented in all 56 regional offices. Read Full Story »
Hiring Fairs for Veterans
Looking for a job? Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative, by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to help Veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.
New Compensation Rates
The Department of Veterans Affairs has published new Veterans Compensation Benefit Rate Tables. The new rates took effect on December 1, 2012.
Cutting Red Tape
A new initiative between VA, Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service automates verification of continued eligibility for pension benefits.
Read the full story »
A Few Resources for Student Veterans
As student Veterans pursue higher education it’s hard to know where to get started. At VAntage Point, the official blog of VA, resources and tips provide help on following an academic career.
High Tech Training and Scholarships
SAP, a leading software developer, announced a program to provide scholarships and certification programs for transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans.
Read the full story »