Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – January 29, 2013


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.   Threat of automatic cuts costly to federal agencies.  The drastic $85 billion in automatic spending cuts Congress approved in hopes of heading off another deficit showdown may or may not occur, but federal agencies say the threat has been disrupting government for months as officials take costly and inefficient steps to prepare.
2.   Turning tide? Lawmakers look to Pentagon for budget cuts.  As another debt-deal deadline looms this winter in Congress, an unusual alliance of lawmakers has joined forces to put the Pentagon budget under greater scrutiny and to end the almost carte blanche status it enjoyed in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
3.   Pentagon to boost cybersecurity force.  The Pentagon has approved a major expansion of its cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold to bolster the nation’s ability to defend critical computer systems and conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries, according to U.S. officials.
4.   VA issues new grants to expand female vets care.  The announcement, which came as the Defense Department offered plans to expand roles for women in combat, could have far-reaching effects on health care services and training.
5.   Retired Top Generals Back Hagel.  CNN
6.   Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Seeks Help For Students In Wake Of For-Profit Institution’s Sudden Closure. Boston Globe “The Massachusetts congressional delegation on Friday asked the Department of Education” and Veterans Affairs “to help…1,400 Bay State students abandoned by the sudden closure of American Career Institute, a for-profit technical school that had campuses in Framingham, Cambridge, Woburn, Springfield and Braintree, as well as in Maryland.” The Globe reported that the firm closed its schools abruptly earlier this month, citing its “inability to secure additional credit from the school’s lenders,” and that students were left with no recourse or contact information for school officials. The Globe added, “In separate letters to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki, the delegation sought to ensure that the students would be able to continue their education elsewhere and that they would continue to have access” to Federal loans and grants.

7.   Mpls. VA Receives Grants For Women’s Health.  Minnesota Public Radio  “The Minneapolis VA has received $217,000 in women’s health grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs.” The grant is “part of a national VA effort to increase access to health care for women veterans.” Minnesota Public Radio adds, “VA officials say they will use the money to establish a new women’s health telepharmacy for women veterans in rural Minnesota.”

8.   VA Officials Try To Cut Red Tape For Vets In Need.  Torrington (CT) Register Citizen The “toughest battle” for Connecticut Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz is “caring for needy veterans and trying to prevent suicides in the veterans population” that she says is not always well served by the US VA. It is “not that people there don’t know what to do,” said Schwartz. She asked “‘how do you get a system (to work smoothly) that cares for … 22 million people and tries to provide’ help for various disabilities?” Schwartz “said she has made the state veterans affairs unit more veteran-focused, trying to deal with the ‘cumbersome nature of claims today,’ helping vets with paperwork through service offices in Milford, among other places.”
9.   Doctors Warned On Combat Link To Military Suicide Risk. American Medical News “Suicides by active US service members exceeded the number of combat deaths in 2012, and the rate of suicide among military members has been on the rise.” American Medical News continues, “Physicians should educate themselves and have information about mild brain injuries, postcombat depression and PTSD, said” Dr. Jeremy A. Lazarus, president of the American Medical Association (AMA), which is “participating in the national Joining Forces effort to support active members of the military, veterans and their families.” American Medical News adds, “Lawmakers in Washington have urged the Pentagon and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to offer more mental health services.”
10. Small Firms Set To Win $5 Billion US Award As HP, IBM Bypassed. Washington Post  “Dell and Hewlett-Packard will need to align themselves with small businesses to tap” a five billion dollar Federal “contract to supply items such as laptops, servers, routers and storage systems.” Veterans Affairs “plans to pick as many as three companies by the end of March to share the five-year agreement, which has drawn interest from the top computer makers and IBM. Only firms with a maximum of 150 employees will be chosen as prime contractors, forcing large companies to woo smaller partners for work.” One of the smaller companies could be veteran-owned, according to an email from VA spokeswoman Jo Schuda. Her agency’s contracting plan was praised by Cris Young, president of a nonprofit group called the American Small Business Chamber of Commerce.


Have You Heard?

VA launches new website for employers seeking to hire veterans: Our aim is to help employers, managers and supervisors, human resource professionals, and employee assistance program (EAP) providers relate to and support their employees who are Veterans and members of the Reserve and National Guard.


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