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1. Shinseki Says VA on Track to End Backlog. Hyperlink to Article Military.com: Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says the agency made progress this year in reducing the claims backlog that has regularly caused heat from some veterans groups and lawmakers.
2. In Reaching Budget Deal, Congress Turns its Back on Those Who Have Served. Hyperlink to Article The Huffington Post: With the New Year almost upon us, I’m making a resolution that if fulfilled, could resonate among veteran communities across the nation. My hope for 2014 is to be the cause and not just the effect; and for me, that begins with not being afraid to call on fellow veterans to utilize our military lessons and training to address some of the most egregious issues facing the veteran community.
3. Collins, King seek study of Agent Orange link to ill veterans. Hyperlink to Article Kennebec Journal: Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have proposed legislation that would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate whether some veterans’ health problems are linked to a Canadian military base that was treated with the toxic herbicide Agent Orange.
4. Church, VA partner to help rural veterans. Hyperlink to Article Arkansas Times: For some veterans, reintegrating into civilian life is a rocky process. Many suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), estimated to afflict 400,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
5. Charlie Norwood’s wife remains supportive of Augusta VA. Hyperlink to Article Augusta Chronicle: The wife of the late Charlie Norwood, an Augusta dentist who served in the House of Representatives 12 years before he died in 2007, said that the death of three cancer patients at the VA medical center named in her husband’s honor is a tragedy, but that she still has faith in the hospital’s system of care.
6. Service issues continuing to recede at VA hospital. Hyperlink to Article The Journal Gazette: Some cuts in government spending are truly devastating. A 1 percent cut in cost-of-living increases for the military pensions of veterans younger than 62 is not one of them.
7. Taking the Administration out of veterans’ affairs (and everyone else’s). Hyperlink to Article Desert Dispatch: For years private American citizens have formed organizations and solicited contributions to provide services to our returning military veterans, physically and psychically wounded from the wars they have volunteered for. Millions, me included, have been moved to help as much and as broadly as possible.
8. At Special Court, Veterans Get Needed Support. Hyperlink to Article Military.com: In October 2012, the Kansas City resident, who had served a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, lost his job and faced federal assault charges for attacking his Postal Service supervisor.
9. Crete Carrier launches driver training program for vets. Hyperlink to Article Omaha World-Herald: Crete Carrier Corp. this week announced a Department of Veterans Affairs-approved training program that the Lincoln-based trucking firm said reinforces its support of U.S. military veterans.
10. Can a City Really ‘End’ Homelessness? Hyperlink to Article TheAtlanticCities.com: Last week, the city of Phoenix made a startling announcement. The Arizona capital had previously identified 222 chronically homeless veterans living in the city, more than half of them veterans of the Vietnam War.
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Veterans & Volunteers Celebrate: Celebrations are making the season bright at VA Medical Centers. Read more » http://www1.va.gov/health/