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1. South Korea’s new president addresses North’s nuke test during inaugural address. South Korea’s new president on Monday denounced North Korea’s latest nuclear test and urged the country to abandon its nuclear program.
2. Listen up ladies! Next time there’s a draft, Uncle Sam might want you too. Tennnnnn-hut, ladies! The next time Uncle Sam comes calling, he’s probably going to want you, too.
3. Whatever budget battle’s outcome, lawmakers themselves unaffected. Sequestration’s across-the-board assault on hundreds of thousands of government workers is set to hit Friday, but some will be spared, including the very congressional lawmakers who could put a stop to it all.
4. As sequester nears, White House reveals state-by-state breakdown of effects. With no progress evident in Washington’s latest budget battle, the White House opened a new front Sunday by releasing state-by-state estimates on the effects of about $85 billion in spending reductions.
5. Littoral Combat Ship ready for first overseas deployment. The Navy’s USS Freedom will set sail for Singapore on March 1, the inaugural overseas trip for the beleaguered Littoral Combat Ship program.
6. PTSD Treatment Showing Promise. U-T San Diego A new experimental treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involving 30 patients is taking place at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. The treatment involves “stellate ganglion block [SGB] injections” to the neck to “numb nerves…that can cause physical arousal.” Patients then feel calmer and reported decreased PTSD symptoms. The “final results of the trial, which is ongoing, have not been determined.”
7. Help For Vets A Phone Call Away. Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel Veterans Affairs’ “Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans and their families and friends with trained, caring responders – many of whom are veterans themselves.” The Sentinel adds, “Mental health professionals will provide emotional support, help callers work through an immediate crisis, and connect them with additional VA resources and services – even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. If you know of a veteran or family member in need, you can connect them with confidential help at 800-273-8255 or go to www.veteranscrisisline.net.”
8. No-Shows Cost Health Care System Billions. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette A “‘Don’t Be A No-Show’ campaign” put into effect by the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center “explained the detrimental effect on everyone – not just surgeons and clinical staff, but also fellow veterans – when a patient skips an appointment without canceling.” The Post-Gazette continued, “Such inefficiency, by one account, costs the US health-care system more than $150 billion a year.” The Post-Gazette added, “Focusing efforts on populations more likely to miss appointments makes sense, something the Highmark Foundation in Pittsburgh is doing as it teams with Accenture, a global management and outsourcing consultancy, to build ‘patient navigation’ pilot programs” that train “community members to connect with patients in high-risk communities, guiding them through the health care labyrinth, educating them, preparing them for procedures, even arranging transportation.”
9. Psychiatrist Hopes Book Will Help Win $30M To Test Potential Alzheimer’s Drug. MedCity News Donald Moss, a “retired psychology professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, said he discovered as a graduate student 40 years ago that methanesulfonyl fluoride, known as MSF, could revolutionize the treatment” of Alzheimer’s disease. Moss “recently published ‘Alzheimer’s: My Journey to a Next Generation Treatment,’ which he described as a true story that he hopes will attract and inspire philanthropists to invest $30 million to bring the drug a step closer to Alzheimer’s patients.” Moss “is also optimistic that federal government agencies such as the National Institute on Aging or the Veterans Administration could help MSF on its journey through the orphan drug program.”
10. PTSD Sufferers Are Not All Ticking Time Bombs. USA Today “Eddie Ray Routh, an Iraq War veteran who has been charged in the killings of former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and another man at a Texas gun range, is widely reported to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,” or PTSD. Sites points out that a “2009 study by the Department of Veterans Affairs posits the concept of ‘moral injury,’ that guilt about killing or not being killed in war might truly be the instigator” for PTSD. Sites goes on to argue that “we must not default to a narrative of fear in which a veteran with PTSD equals a ticking time bomb.”
More Veteran News
- PTSD Can Occur In People Other Than Veterans, Service Members. Weatherford (TX) Democrat
- Veterans Recruited For MBA Programs At University Of Minnesota’s Carlson School Of Management. Minneapolis Star Tribune “As with a growing number of colleges and universities, the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management is launching what it sees as a unique initiative to recruit and support veterans for its master of business administration (MBA) program, selling itself as military friendly with the marketing slogan ‘Change your stripes.'” With the “high unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans,” many have sought Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The Star Tribune adds, “More than 800,000 veterans and their family members are using GI Bill benefits, and that number is expected to rise as the US military draws down its forces and sends active-duty troops back into the civilian world.”
- GI Bill Offers Military Children Relief From College Costs. Chronicle Of Higher Education “One of the most popular provisions associated with the Post-9/11 GI Bill” is the “option to transfer…benefits to a child or spouse.” The “Department of Veterans Affairs has spent just shy of $26-billion on the Post-9/11 GI Bill; over the program’s life span, it is projected to cost $90-billion. Given such investment, some educators have questioned whether the children of high-ranking officers in particular should benefit from the related Yellow Ribbon Program, which gives some GI Bill recipients even more aid-pledged by participating colleges and matched” by the Federal government.
- La. Women Veterans Tell Stories To Show Support. KTAL-TV “Women veterans from across the state…came together at the 2013 Louisiana Women in Military Forum,” which was held this past weekend in Bossier City. KTAL added, “More than 200 women, all retired veterans from almost all branches of the military came to Saturday’s event. Different conferences were held that included nutrition, benefits, and mental health.”
- Court Shows Compassion For Mass. Veterans. MetroWest Daily News John O’Leary, who has been sober for 180 days, is “one of the 20 or so veterans” that Judge Mary Hogan Sullivan “regularly sees at the mandatory session for the Norfolk County Veterans Treatment Court. The court-supervised 12-to- 24-month program, the first of its kind in New England, serves veterans tied up in the criminal justice system because of their struggles with addiction and mental health issues.” According to the Daily News, veterans courts “bring the Veterans Administration into the equation, ensuring each veteran receives the benefits he or she earned – ranging from mental health and substance abuse treatment, to housing, education and employment benefits.”
- The Various Faces Of Homelessness On Guam. Marianas Variety 62-year-old Vietnam vet Mike Castillo is “one of five homeless people squatting in a dilapidated abandoned house along West O’Brien Drive in Hagåtña.” While “he is eligible to apply for housing with the Veterans Affairs Office, Castillo has opted to pull a Siddhartha. ‘The VA Office has a program for homeless veterans but I have been wanting to experience this life for a while,’ said Castillo, who makes breakfast for his ‘roommates’ who have now become his family.” Castillo said, “They are real and honest people, but because of their disabilities, they can’t cope with life. I don’t know for how long I will be doing this, but this experience has enriched my life.”
- VA Co-Sponsoring Paralympic Sport Camp. WBRC-TV “Disabled warriors…are mastering their skills at a variety of sports, or learning brand new ones. All are participating in the Annual Lakeshore Foundation’s Paralympic Sport Camp.” The “camp is made possible by a division of the US Olympic Committee and Veterans Affairs.”
- One Man Faces Winter Extremities For Disabled Veterans. KREX-TV “Every year disabled veterans are invited to participate in the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado,” but they must pay to get there. So disabled veteran James Sommerville, a Grand Junction resident, “camped out at the Grand Mesa for four days and three nights in sub-zero temperatures to raise money for the cause.” Sommerville has “been attending the games for nearly 20 years, and is now an instructor.”
- Housing Nonprofits March In Step With Returning Soldiers. Housing Wire “As US military operations subside overseas, more young men and women are returning home and looking for housing.” Because the process could prove difficult, some housing nonprofits are offering to provide assistance. That is why several years ago, “Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors, created a transitional housing program. The program, which is located in Washington, DC; San Antonio, Texas; and just north of San Diego, rents a block of apartments from a regular civilian apartment complex in order to provide a free place to live for wounded service members and their families.”
- Legion Sponsors First Claims Fair. American Legion The Legion “conducted its first Veterans Benefits Claims Fair on Feb. 21 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, where veterans got help in filing disability claims” with Veterans Affairs. The “claims fair was in conjunction with a career fair for veterans that was co-sponsored by the Legion and RecruitMilitary.”
- Military Is Required To Justify Using Animals In Medic Training After Pressure From Activists. Washington Post This week, “by order of Congress, the Pentagon must present lawmakers with a written plan to phase out ‘live tissue training,’ military speak for slaying animals to teach combat medics how to treat severed limbs and gunshot wounds. The demand, tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, marks the first time Congress has ordered the Pentagon to provide a detailed plan to start relying less on animals and more on simulators.” The order “does not compel the military to abandon animal training altogether.”
- Hospice Remains Alive And Well In San Diego. U-T San Diego LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care Chief Executive officer Jill Mendlen said the community is concerned that the San Diego Hospice is closing. Mendlen continued, “I can tell you with absolute certainty that a vibrant, active, caring hospice community remains to serve individuals and their families at what is arguably one of the most profound times of life.” Mendlen adds, “A number of local hospices…participate in the national We Honor Veterans program designed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Department of Veterans Affairs to address the unique end-of-life needs of veterans. This program has great meaning not only for patients and their families but for staff as many of them are former members of the military or have family members who are on active duty.”
- Volunteers Needed For 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Tampa (FL) Tribune “This summer, Tampa will host a cool event – the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games,” which is the “largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. More than 500 veterans from across the United States, Puerto Rico and Great Britain are expected to compete in the games, July 13-18 in Tampa.” Altman says approximately 3,000 volunteers are needed for the games, which are “presented by the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the US Department of Veterans Affairs” and “co-sponsored by the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital and the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America.”