Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – March 21, 2013

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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.   Nevada town mourns Marines who died in explosion.  Hundreds of residents in a rural community steeped in military history turned out to mourn the loss of seven Marines as investigators arrived at an ammunition depot to try to determine how a mortar shell exploded at the Nevada base and sent shrapnel flying into troops during a training exercise.
 
2.   Congressman calls on top VA official to resign over benefits backlogLawmakers frustrated over worsening waits by veterans for overdue benefits claims have begun targeting Veterans Affairs workers and leaders, saying someone needs to be held accountable.
 
3.   Senate orders reinstatement of tuition assistance programsPentagon officials would have to reinstate military tuition assistance programs under a measure passed by the Senate Wednesday afternoon. The plan, approved by a voice vote, was inserted into the Senate’s plan to fund federal programs through the end of this fiscal year and must still be approved by the House before it can be signed into law.

4.   Report: Jobs picture for veterans improved in 2012.  The jobs picture for the nation’s veterans improved significantly last year, particularly for those who have served since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

5.   Alleged head of veterans charity scam talksKelly Mathis is accused by prosecutors of being the “mastermind” behind a $300 million gambling ring and purported veterans charity, but he said that he’s simply an attorney who did legal research for his clients and advised them.
 
6.   Booted and banned: Former US troops battle to come home. NBC News: Five ex-American service members are mashed into a two-bedroom apartment in the Mexican border town of Rosarito Beach … All five were deported from the United States after being convicted of unrelated crimes … They’re using their cramped hub to push for veterans’ medical benefits and lobby for a Congressional hearing to examine their expulsions.

7.   Iraq VeteransThoughts on Today’s Anniversary. The Huffington Post: VoteVets.org solicited [veteran’s] stories, and some of the most compelling are below. They have been edited for length.  Keep these in mind not just today, but in the years to come, and always when politicians in Washington start saber rattling. War is not a game, and the statistics are not just numbers. These are real people, with real lives, and real families. The best thing we can do, today, is to remember their stories

8.   A pileup of claims: Veterans wait months for benefits. MSNBC:  The photo showing these stacks of backlogged applications was part of a report on the VA Office in Winston-Salem, NC. It found that the excessive number of claims “appeared to have the potential to compromise the integrity of the building.” 

9.Snubbed VeteransFirms Wait 128 DaysBloomberg Businessweek: Veteran-owned businesses rejected from a U.S. agency contracting program are waiting more than four months for a response to their appeals.  Lawmakers and veterans’ advocates have criticized the Department of Veterans Affairs initiative in the past year, saying it hasn’t helped the small businesses win work as Congress had intended.

10.VA will no longer deny veterans verification for right of first refusal provisions.   Washington Business Journal: The Department of Veterans Affairs will no longer deny contractors verification as service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses for so-called “right of first refusal” provisions, a VA official confirmed in testimony submitted to two House subcommittees Tuesday.

 

Have You Heard?

In honor of Women’s History Month in March, VA released a new Face Behind the File episode called Women on the Wing. The 22-minute documentary chronicles the Women Airforce Service Pilots or “WASP” program, which was founded during World War II by pioneering woman aviator Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran. The WASP flew non-combat missions in the U.S. so that their male colleagues could fly combat missions overseas. More than 25,000 women applied to join this elite group; only 1,074 trainees earned their wings. Featured in the episode are three of these extraordinary – and largely unsung – Veteran heroes: Betty Blake, Lorraine Rodgers, and Dawn Seymour. The documentary is featured at the Women in Military Service for America Museum at Arlington National Cemetery throughout the month of March. Outlets for broadcast and DVD distribution include VA medical centers, the Pentagon Channel, and the Center for Women Veterans. Face Behind the File is an award-winning video series created to educate VA employees and the public and about the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made for our country.

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