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1. Hagel announces acting deputy; Fox to become highest-ranking female in DOD history. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that President Obama has appointed Christine Fox to become the Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense. When she assumes the role Dec. 5, she will become the highest-ranking female to ever serve in the Defense Department.
2. Edward James ‘Babe’ Heffron dies; was one of the ‘Band of Brothers’. Babe Heffron never wanted the limelight. But he got it anyway. People would show up at his door in South Philadelphia just to meet a genuine war hero. “He was always gracious,” said his son-in-law, Edward Zavrel. “Especially with kids. He would tell them about America.”
3. US veteran detained in N. Korea oversaw guerrilla group. An 85-year-old U.S. veteran being held in North Korea spent his war years there in one of the Army’s first special forces unit, helping a clandestine group of Korean partisans who were fighting and spying well behind enemy lines.
4. NATO warns of Afghan exit without security agreement. NATO won’t be able to deploy its noncombat training and advisory mission in Afghanistan after next year unless President Hamid Karzai agrees to a bilateral security agreement with the U.S., the alliance’s secretary-general said Monday.
5. Egypt: Morsi’s links to jihadists probed. During his year as president, Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi cultivated ties with Islamic radicals, making them a key support for his rule by pardoning dozens of jailed militants, restraining the military from an all-out offensive against jihadis in Sinai and giving their hard-line sheiks a platform to spread their rhetoric.
6. Veterans Treatment Courts Offer Alternative to Prison. Hyperlink to Article ABC News: For military veterans who find themselves afoul of the law due to substance abuse or mental health issues, a system called veterans treatment courts is giving them an alternative to prison time.
7. Shinseki Calls ‘Vet Courts’ a Success. Hyperlink to Article Military.com: Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Monday praised judges, prosecutors, defenders, veterans, and an army of counselors and mentors across the country for their efforts on behalf of veterans who end up in the criminal justice system.
8. VA and Defense Chiefs Confront Reality of 700,000 Incarcerated Veterans. Hyperlink to Article NextGov: The 700,000 veterans consigned to the dustbins of society — prisons and jails — won some top level attention this week at the first national Vet Court Conference in Washington, which brings together 1,000 judges, mental health and substance abuse professionals and the leadership of the Veterans Affairs and Defense Departments.
9. Widow wages 23-year battle with VA for survivor benefits. Hyperlink to Article– Army Times: A 68-year-old widow who has spent 23 years seeking veterans’ survivor benefits will be a key witness Wednesday at a House hearing focusing on the Veterans Affairs Department’s problems in handling complicated claims.
10. Vietnam Vet Wins $12 Million Malpractice Settlement From VA Hospital. Hyperlink to Article CBS (Audio): A Chicago-area Vietnam veteran will get a $12 million medical malpractice settlement from the federal government. John Johnson was a Vietnam Veteran and heart patient.
Have You Heard?
Ten years ago, My HealtheVet began as an electronic health record (EHR) pilot program with 7,000 users nationwide. Today, more than 2.5 million registered users actively participate in their health care using My HealtheVet. OIT is proud to be part of this success and looks forward to another 10 years (and more) of collaboration with VHA in support of Veterans. As the My HealtheVet user base grows, OIT keeps the system up and running and continually develops improvements and new functions. Ideas for new tools come from patient feedback, doctor surveys, OIT employee suggestions, and VHA requests. OIT listens and incorporates that input into quarterly releases with new and improved capabilities. Learn more about how OIT and VHA work together to deliver quality care to our Veterans through My HealtheVet at http://go.usa.gov/WGDJ.