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1. North Korea says American apologized for ‘hostile acts’ . North Korea state media claimed Saturday that an elderly U.S. tourist detained for more than a month has apologized for alleged crimes during the Korean War and for “hostile acts” against the state during a recent trip.
2. US offers to destroy key parts of Syrian chemical weapons stockpile. Syria’s government will try to move the most lethal components of its chemical weapons program to a port city by the end of the year, and the U.S. has offered to pick up and destroy the hazardous material at an offshore facility, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Syrian officials said Saturday.
3. Next generation of military officers faces uncertain times. The seniors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point are poised to become the first in a generation to enter a force preparing not to fight insurgents in Iraq or Afghanistan but to confront shrinking budgets and a postwar identity crisis.
4. Army dropping number of paratrooper units. The two paratrooper units — formally known as the 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division and the 508th Infantry Regiment — are closing out long histories as a result of the U.S. Army’s reconfiguration and budget cutting.
5. Secretive Air Force program recruits academy cadets to inform on colleagues and disavows them. Facing pressure to combat drug use and sexual assault at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force has created a secret system of cadet informants to hunt for misconduct among students.
6. Army begins correcting medical records for some former Madigan patients. The Army has begun correcting medical records for former Madigan Army Medical Center patients who left the military with conflicting diagnoses for behavioral health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
7. Deep brain stimulation surgery helps some Parkinson’s patients. Hyperlink to Article Las Vegas Review-Journal: A Veterans Affairs study of 255 Parkinson’s patients that took place between May 2002 and October 2005 found that the overall risk of experiencing a serious adverse event was 3.8 times higher in deep brain stimulation patients than in patients who just took medicine.
8. Affordable Care Act Q&A: Most veterans don’t need exchange. Hyperlink to Article Tampa Tribune: There’s a reason the national health insurance debate doesn’t include much about the men and women who served in the military. The new exchange doesn’t apply to them… The Tampa Tribune’s Health Care Q&A has clarified the differences for many vets during the past few months, and we share some of those answers here.
9. Sex-assault victims face battle for disability benefits. Hyperlink to Article Stars and Stripes (San Antonio Express-News): Lawmakers and advocates say that, because troops and veterans often hide sexual assaults, the VA standard for these victims isn’t fair… Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), along with the ACLU and Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic, found VA disability claims for PTSD due to sexual trauma were granted at a much lower rate from 2008-2012 than for post-traumatic stress due to other causes…
10. One Woman’s Nightmare, Another’s Scrap of Hope? Hyperlink to Article The Huffington Post: Temple alleged she was raped by her sergeant, but when she reported the rape, she was quickly shuffled away into a mental hospital… Every VA hospital Temple subsequently contacted to receive her veteran benefits turned her away, until she finally got a VA doctor’s attention in the mid-’90s. From there, however, things only went downhill.
Have You Heard?
Did you know that 6.1 million Veterans live and work in America’s rural communities, and half of those Veterans are enrolled for VA health care? These Veterans can face some unique barriers to accessing health care, including a lack of public transportation, long travel distances to care sites, and a limited number of primary and specialty care providers. Join the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Rural Health (ORH) and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) in “Celebrating the Power of Rural,” today for National Rural Health Day. The goal of this annual event is to showcase rural America and increase awareness of rural health-related issues. Learn more about how ORH projects are improving access and quality of care for rural Veterans through the use of technology and telehealth, community collaborations, and rural workforce development. Visit http://www.ruralhealth.va.gov today!