Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 7/24/14

Good news story of the day

Medal of Honor recipient SFC Leroy Petry retires today  (Army Times)  One soldier’s career: Ranger with eight deployments, lost his hand to a grenade while saving his buddies, pinned with the Medal of Honor, met presidents and celebrities, smiling in dress uniform as grand master at parades and speaker at university commencements.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Army: Of 1,100 captains pink-slipped, 48 were in Afghanistan  (Stars and Stripes)  Of the more than 1,100 Army captains notified last month their military careers would soon end, 87 were deployed worldwide and 48 were serving in Afghanistan at the time, Army officials said Wednesday.

Steve Scalise to host Slidell jobs fair for veterans/military  (The Times-Picayune)  Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, will host a jobs fair for veterans and active military at Salmen High School in Slidell Saturday July 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Upcoming Maritime Recruitment Fair at CMTI  (Marinelink.com)  Founded in 1998, Norfolk Tug is part of the American Waterways Operators and operates a fleet of 10 vessels.

Tuscarawas County Job Fair set for Aug. 28  (Times-Reporter)  The Tuscarawas County Job Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Monroe Centre, 1260 Monroe St., New Philadelphia.

Veterans News

Senate committee approves VA nominee  (The Hill)  The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved President Obama’s pick to lead the troubled Veterans Affairs Department, sending his nomination to the full chamber.

Female veterans find a place to heal together  (CBS News)  These women came to an Alabama horse farm to find healing in a feeling of sisterhood.

Dole, Vets Groups Renew Push for Disability Treaty  (ABC News)  Former Sen. Bob Dole and proponents of a treaty promoting equal rights for the disabled around the world stepped up pressure for full Senate ratification.

Navy Vet Shows Children the Value of Work and Education Through Farming  (ABC News)  Surrounded by crime, inequality and a lack of opportunity is a quarter-acre farm in East Oakland, California. U.S. Navy veteran and Oakland native Kelly Carlisle is trying to change all that by inspiring a young group of local children through farming.

Benefits News

Highland Heights Community Center hosts Military Benefits Fair; many vets unaware of available benefits  (Cleveland.com)  Many military veterans are unaware of the benefits to which they are entitled for having served their country and a state representative has made it her business to make sure those veterans become informed on the subject.

Sen. Sanders seeks new VA funding compromise  (Military Times)    A push by Veterans Affairs Department officials for billions in new funding to hire more doctors may upend congressional efforts for a wide-reaching VA reform package that appeared all but finished just a few weeks ago.

Vet forgotten, locked inside Orange City VA clinic  (ClickOrlando)  A Marine veteran from Deltona says he’s very disappointed in the Veterans Administration after he was locked inside the community clinic in Orange City on Monday.

Survey asks Central New York veterans about their VA care and benefits  (Syracuse.com)  Central New York veterans will have a chance to share feedback about the quality of their Veterans Affairs healthcare and benefits in a new online survey from U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei.

Serving Smart: Nitty-Gritty of VA Education Benefits  (DOD Live)  We came, we blogged, we educated. Julius Caesar would have been so proud!

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 7/10/14

Good news story of the day

House VA chairman to introduce bill to combat veteran suicides  (Washington Post)  Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) on Thursday plans to introduce legislation to help combat veteran suicides after a hearing on access to mental health treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Military Transition and Jobs News

10 Reasons Companies Should Be Hiring Military Veterans  (Business Insider)  Companies take note: hiring a veteran of the U.S. Military comes with a host of benefits.

Veterans job expo scheduled for July 24 in Columbus  (Examiner)  A Veteran Opportunity Expo, a hiring event for veterans and other men and women with military background, will be held at the Aladdin Shrine Event & Conference Center, 3850 Stelzer Road in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, July 24, 2014 and will run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Schools Assist Veterans With Their College and Job Searches  (US News)  Many veterans may have given some thought to returning to school so they can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, but don’t know how to begin the process.

My view: Veterans have to readjust to civilian life after war and service  (Deseret News)  On the backdrop of a sky filled with colorful fireworks and streets crowded with animated parades celebrating the Fourth of July, what emerges in the minds of many is the deliberation and decision of our founders to pen and defend the Declaration of Independence.

Veterans News

Georgia lawmakers make veterans a priority  (Savannah Now)  While there is controversy surrounding the state of care from the federal government’s Veterans Administration, there is no mistaking the importance of the services and support that the State of Georgia provides to veterans.

Scandal-Plagued VA Is Overpaying Workers By Millions Of Dollars, Internal Audits Find  (Huffington Post)  The scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs is systematically overpaying clerks, administrators and other support staff, according to internal audits, draining tens of millions of dollars that could be used instead to ease the VA’s acute shortage of doctors and nurses.

VA official ‘sickened’ by whistleblower retaliation  (Military Times)  The Veterans Affairs Department’s second-ranking health official offered a blunt, harsh assessment of his department to Congress on Tuesday night: “We failed in the trust America placed in us.”

Benefits News

View on Veterans Affairs from Littleton  (Huffington Post)  Why is there such a large backlog of unprocessed claims in the Veterans Affairs? What is the government doing about it?

Thousands of disability claims in limbo at the VA  (Marketplace)  The Veterans Affairs Administration is being pounded over scandalous delays for veterans seeking health care.

Free Workshop on VA Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit  (Dispatch Argus)  According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, about a quarter of the nation’s population – approximately 70 million people – are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans.

New center supports Arlington veterans  (Wicked Local)  Its 48 white stars hand-stitched in cotton a lifetime ago, William L. Reardon Jr.’s flag marked his burial, at the beachside Normandy American Cemetery, shortly after his death among thousands killed in the D-Day invasion of 1944.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 7/9/14

Good news story of the day

Good News for Veterans’ Survivors  (The Moderate Voice)  Here is some good news from that much-maligned Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — good news for those who have just lost a veteran spouse at a time when good news is so sorely needed.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Fort Jackson commander doubts cuts will be as deep as Army warns  (The State)  Fort Jackson’s commander, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, said Tuesday that any future cuts at the nation’s largest training base likely will be less than the 3,100 workers the U.S. Department of Defense warned of earlier this year.

80 employers seek veterans at job fair  (Tulsa World)  The Oklahoma National Guard and several state agencies are hosting a job fair on Thursday at the Broken Arrow Armed Forces Reserve Center.

MGM Resorts job fair to serve military veterans  (Fox 5)  Military veterans have a new enlistment opportunity ahead as MGM Resorts prepares to host a job fair this month.

Tennessee Valley veterans seek out employment at Hiring Our Heroes job fair   (WHNT News)   Despite the training and job skills our military veterans acquire during their service, they generally have a harder time finding work compared to other civilians.

Veterans’ job fair July 16 in Fort Lauderdale  (Orlando Sentinel)  The second annual Paychecks for Patriots Veterans Hiring Fair will be held on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 16, at the 356th Quartermaster Co. National Guard Armory, 400 SW 24th St., Fort Lauderdale.

Veterans News

Veterans fast vanishing from halls of Congress  (Politico)  Only 20 percent of today’s lawmakers have served in the military, the lowest rate since World War II and a dramatic fall from over 70 percent in the 1970s.

VA employees testify about retaliation against whistleblowers  (Washington Post)  Four Department of Veterans Affairs employees on Tuesday night testified before a House panel that supervisors retaliated against them for exposing problems at VA medical centers, saying whistleblower-protection issues deserve as much attention as the agency’s recent scheduling scandal.

How to help 6 groups that help Arizona veterans  (AZ Central)  There are few people in Arizona more active in and informed about veterans issues than Art Sloane, who writes a column for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.

VA officials defend bonus awarded to Fayetteville VA Medical Center director  (Fay Observer)  VA officials on Tuesday defended the bonus awarded to Fayetteville VA Medical Center director Elizabeth B. Goolsby earlier this year, saying it was based on more than 30 factors, including veterans’ access to care.

Testimony pushes VA into greater disrepute  (The Washington Post)  Testimony from a Tuesday evening congressional hearing cast the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs in even greater disrepute, and undermined the agency’s claim of providing good health care.

Benefits News

VA Streamlines Benefits For Fallen Soldiers  Depending on when the veteran died, families receive money to help with the burial process.

Navy Vet Sues to Be Buried With Her Late Wife  (Gawker)  U.S. Navy veteran Madelynn Taylor filed a civil rights suit against the Idaho Division of Veterans Services yesterday, after her request to be buried in the state’s vet cemetery with her late wife was denied.

Sanders: VA fix won’t be paid for with food stamp cuts  (The Hill)  Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he and his House counterpart had a “productive” meeting before the weeklong recess in an effort to produce a conference report to address the VA healthcare scandal. But added that he wouldn’t accept certain pay-fors.

VA to restructure medical inspector’s office  (Military Times)  The Veterans Affairs Department will reorganize its Office of the Medical Inspector following a scathing report that found officials downplayed whistleblower complaints and failed to take seriously charges of deficient patient care at VA hospitals and clinics.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 7/7/14

Good news story of the day

‘Still a fighting force:’ 50 years later, Vietnam War’s first Medal of Honor recipient remembers  (NWF Daily News)  In 1964, Roger Donlon, a 30-year-old Special Forces soldier, was sent into the thick of the jungle in Vietnam.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Tesla Motors on a mission to hire American veterans  (San Jose Mercury News)  Tesla Motors, which is on a mission to bring electric cars to the masses, now has another goal — to become a leading employer of America’s military veterans.

Nonprofit Helps Veterans Find Jobs, Runs Recycling Program  (Manhattan NewsNY1)  Mario Figueroa spent the first part of this century serving his country.

Pax River helps veterans transition from military career  (Gazette.net)  William “Jerry” Large enlisted in the Navy, worked as a helicopter crewman and went to night school to earn his degree.

From fatigues to scrubs: Memorial Hermann looking to hire veterans  (Your Houston News)  Memorial Hermann is among Houston-area businesses actively recruiting new employees from the thousands of veterans separating or retiring from active duty.

Veterans News

Louis Zamperini, Olympian and ‘Unbroken’ War Survivor, Dies at 97  (NY Times)  Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who as an airman during World War II crashed into the Pacific, was listed as dead and then spent 47 days adrift in a life raft before being captured by the Japanese and enduring a harsh imprisonment, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

National oral history project StoryCorps stops in Miami to collect veterans’ stories  (Miami Herald)  Before that Thursday, James Garcia had rarely talked about his three tours of duty, remembering his fellow Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan but sharing little detail of his time there.

Senate bill forces repayment of VA bonuses  (The Hill)  Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) introduced a bill that would take back bonuses paid to VA employees who falsified waitlist times.

VA scandal: How to fix a broken system  (AZ Central)  Mr. Robert McDonald:  We admire your courage. In accepting this nomination, you are about to confront one of the most daunting challenges in all of federal governance: reforming the VA hospital system.

Crunch time for VA deal  (The Hill)  Pressure is building on House and Senate lawmakers to reach a deal this month on legislation to reform the troubled Veterans Affairs Department.

Transforming the VA will be daunting task  (AZ Central)  It seems nearly every day there’s more bad news about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and how it has treated those who served in the military.

Benefits News

New VA stats show ballooning wait times  (Stars and Stripes)   Statistics released Thursday by the Department of Veterans Affairs show dramatically increased numbers of veterans who waited more than 30 days for health care appointments in June compared with the prior month.

Here’s How the Pentagon Could Save $108 Billion Over the Next Decade  (Defense One)  Thanks to sequestration, the Defense Department will have to reduce its spending by $500 billion over the next 10 years.

Most Veterans Are Satisfied With GI Bill Education Benefits  (Gallup)  As the original GI Bill turns 70, Gallup finds nearly eight in 10 American veterans saying they are “very satisfied” (32%) or “satisfied” (46%) with the education benefits the bills provide. Relatively few — 16% — are dissatisfied to any degree.

BUREAUCRATIC DISCHARGE:  Wyoming veterans face difficult system to gain VA benefits  (Star Tribune)  The fear reminded Don Browning of that long-ago warning shot at sea, when his destroyer ventured into Chinese waters.

Disabled veterans lose funds from unpublicized benefits  (Montgomery Advertiser)  In 1996, local Vietnam veteran Rubin Willis was deemed 100 percent disabled by the U.S. Army — the branch he served for more than 25 years.

Veterans turn to American Legion for medical help in wake of VA scandal  (Fox News)  A counselor at the local Veterans Affairs office looked at Rebecca King, a victim of domestic violence and abuse who was seeking help for depression, and told her she would not be able to see a psychologist.

VETERAN DIES WAITING FOR AMBULANCE IN VA HOSPITAL  (AP)  A veteran who collapsed in an Albuquerque Veteran Affairs hospital cafeteria — 500 yards from the emergency room — died after waiting around 20 minutes for an ambulance, officials confirmed Thursday.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 7/2/14

Good news story of the day

Pride blooms from veterans building grounds  (San Benito County Today)  Vietnam veteran Tony Santos and his business Greener Grounds Landscaping recently gained the contract for upkeep outside the Veterans Memorial Building.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Kasich signs House Bill 488 to help Veterans get jobs and with higher education  (Examiner.com)  Gov. John Kasich visited University of Cincinnati today where he signed a bill aimed at improving military veterans’ and service members’ access to higher education and jobs. It’s also intended to help prevent military identity fraud and theft.

Springfield to host job fair for veterans, spouses  (The Register-Guard)  Local veterans, employers want you.

Maloney announces bill to reform veterans’ employment program  (Mid-Hudson News)  Tuesday announced legislation he will introduce to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational and Rehabilitation Employment program. That program assists, trains and finds suitable jobs for veterans with compensable service-connected disabilities.

Midwest Shelter Receives A $15,000 DuPage Community Foundation Grant To Help Local Veterans Find Jobs  (Chicago Tribune)  The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans has received a $15,000 grant from The DuPage Community Foundation to help underwrite its new Veterans Employment Program, designed to help local veterans overcome barriers and develop the skills they need for real-world employment opportunities.

Veterans get early start with Muncie job fair  (Fox 59)  Congressman Luke Messer is gearing up to host the 18th Annual 6th Congressional District Job Fair.

Veterans News

Obama’s VA nominee gains key endorsement  (The Hill)  The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) on Tuesday endorsed President Obama’s choice of former Proctor & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald to lead the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs.

Combat vets’ use of painkillers troubling, researchers say  (Military Times)   A new study of an Army infantry brigade following an Afghanistan deployment finds that soldiers used opiate painkillers at three times the rate of civilians — even though 40 percent of the troops who took the drugs had not had any severe pain in the previous month.

I-Team: Acton Vet Finally Gets VA Doctor’s Appointment – 2 Years After He Died  (CBS Boston)  “He was steadfast. He took care of us, all of these years.”

WWII Memorial prayer inscription approved over secularist, ACLU objections  (Stars and Stripes)   The World War II Memorial in Washington may soon have a new prayer inscription added, disappointing secularists and rights groups who had opposed the measure based on opposition to religion displayed in public spaces.

Benefits News

Walpole veterans report commendable local services  (Walpole Times)  Over beverages at the VFW post on Robbins Road, some Korea and Vietnam era veterans bemoaned the problems at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

New law raises homestead exemption for disabled veterans  (Rocky Fork Enterprise)  Many disabled Ohio veterans will get some property-tax relief, thanks to a bill Gov. John Kasich has signed into law.

Back From War, Veterans Enter Education Fight at Home  (US News and World Report)  It’s a quiet night at Yale’s Saybrook College residence hall, nestled within the Gothic confines of the university’s stately New Haven campus. Halfway up one of the winding stairwells, the telltale glow of a laptop screen blends with the low but thoughtful chatter of three blooming academics.

Benefits and resources fair aids frustrated veterans  (AZCentral)  Almost 30 years after Rosemarie Preece awoke to find her husband dead, the 64-year-old Phoenix resident on Tuesday tried for the third time since his death to seek aid from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

At least 10 C-123 veterans have died after VA denied their Agent Orange claims, groups say  (Oregon Live)  At least 10 veterans exposed to Agent Orange while serving aboard aircraft contaminated by the Vietnam-era defoliant have died after being denied care by the Department of Veterans Affairs, two veterans groups charged Sunday.

Disabled Tricare Enrollee Needs Help with Benefits  (Military.com)  I have a question; let me give you a little background first. My wife has been covered by her work, my work and Tricare Prime, since 1996.

World War II vet, 90, closer to getting Marines to fix AWOL error in war record  (Fox News)  A 90-year-old decorated World War II veteran still fighting to correct what he says is an erroneous war record may finally be getting closer to realizing his goal.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 6/30/14

Good news story of the day

D-Day veteran gets refund after his VA benefits slashed to $6 a month  (Fox News)  The Department of Veterans Affairs is making amends to an 89-year-old World War II vet whose monthly veteran benefit check was slashed from $300 to $6 to recoup an overpayment he never knew about.

Military Transition and Jobs News

MAP: Veteran Vs Non-Veteran Employment in CT  (Trumbull Patch)  In our fourth and final installment before we wrap up the series and designate the most patriotic towns in Connecticut in time for Independence Day, Patch has crunched the numbers behind veteran employment to see which towns and zip codes are supporting their troops when they come home.

Tactical Veteran: Frustrated job-seeker may need to adjust strategy  (Army Times)  A reader recently sent me this anguished email:  “I am a retired Marine Corps veteran and have built my résumé up considerably since I retired and also recently received two college degrees. I have a profile on LinkedIn. I have been applying for jobs for two years now and have officially quit!

Veterans News

Obama to name new VA chief  (USA Today)  President Obama intends to nominate West Point graduate Robert “Bob” McDonald — most recently chairman of Procter & Gamble, a Fortune 500 company — as secretary of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs, wracked by a scandal of systemic delays in health care.

Three military veterans benefit from local center that offers horse therapy  (WQOW) A local center is making strides in its mission to help veterans heal.

Director finds jobs for Ohio’s veterans  (The Columbus Dispatch)  Ohio ranks sixth in the nation for veteran residents, and seventh nationally for reserve and National Guard members.

50 VA hospital workers claim retaliation for blowing whistle on the horrors they saw  (The Washington Times)  When Valerie Riviello, a nurse at a Veterans Affairs facility in New York, saw the clinic restrain a sexual assault survivor to a bed for seven consecutive hours, she released the woman.

73-Year-Old Vietnam Vet Fired from Cracker Barrel for Giving Away Cornbread   (People)  Joe Koblenzer is 73 years old. He’s a Vietnam veteran, and until recently, he worked as a host at a Cracker Barrel in Florida.

Bill aims to aid Camp Lejeune contamination victims  (Pilot Online)  Two North Carolina congressional leaders have introduced legislation they say will help people exposed to contaminated water near a closed Asheville factory and a Marines Corp base.

Vietnam veteran fabricated heroic acts during trial  (The Augusta Chronicle)  In pleading the case of Charles Chavous in April, defense attorney Scott Con­nell detailed his heroic acts during the Vietnam War in an attempt to convince Judge Mi­chael N. Annis that Cha­vous was deserving of leniency.

‘Corrosive culture,’ weak leadership cripple VA, report says  (CNN)  The Veterans Affairs health care system needs to be overhauled because of unresponsive leadership and a “corrosive culture” that affects the delivery of medical care, said a report delivered Friday to President Barack Obama.

Benefits News

What every American should know about veterans and their health care  (Daily Kos)  Last week I wrote about Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson voting against additional funding for the Veterans Health Administration.

GI Bill funds flow to for-profit colleges that fail state aid standards  (CIROnline)  Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

Whistleblower alleges VA improperly purged benefit applications  (Fox News)  Federal investigators are probing a whistleblower’s claims that applications for veterans seeking health care benefits may have been improperly purged from the VA’s Health Eligibility Center in suburban Atlanta.

Surge in patients outpaces fayetteville’s VA health care’s building boom  (FayObserver)  The Fayetteville VA Medical Center has been playing catchup for years.

The VA’s Secret Claims  (National Journal)  The long-standing slog within the Veterans Affairs Department to cut down its mountain of disability claims has been well documented.

VA investigates Atlanta enrollment office  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)  Federal investigators are examining allegations that thousands of veterans who applied for health care benefits had their applications purged improperly by the national Veterans Affairs enrollment eligibility office based in Atlanta, according to VA employees interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 6/25/14

Good news story of the day

Decades after the Cold War, a VOA-Coast Guard Partnership is Honored  (VOA)  In 2014, long after the end of the Cold War, the USS Courier may not be familiar to most Americans, citizens of the former Soviet Union or the Eastern bloc. But, between 1952 and 1964, this Coast Guard vessel floated off the coast of Rhodes, Greece, and beamed thousands of hours’ worth of Voice of America broadcasts behind the Iron Curtain.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Veterans job fair, resource event to be a first for Gloucester County  (NJ.com)  Gloucester County will host its first ever job fair and resource event specifically for veterans on Thursday, June 26.

Free veterans job fair is Thursday  (WKYC)  A free veterans job fair will be held Thursday at the Cleveland Public Auditorium & Conference Center.

Veterans Job Fair  (WTAM)  The Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission and local companies has come together to host a free hiring fair for veterans, active military members, reservists and military spouses. It will be held on Thursday, June 26th at Public Auditorium.

Job fair focused on military vets, featured Tejon Outlets retailers  (Bakersfield Now)  Companies from around Kern County filled the Bakersfield Marriott on Tuesday with the goal of bringing jobs to veterans returning to civilian life.

Veterans News

Woman admits bilking WW II vet out of $2.6 million  (Arizona Daily Star)  A woman accused of defrauding an elderly World War II veteran of more than $2.6 million confirmed everything police and prosecutors said about her crimes was true.

Congress Has One Hurdle Left to Pass a VA Bill, But It’s a High One  (National Journal)  The House and Senate have agreed it’s time for reform of the Veterans Affairs Department. Now they have to agree how to pay for it—and they have to do it quickly.

House chairman pushes to broaden funding for VA reform bill  (The Hill)  House Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) on Tuesday said lawmakers may broaden their seach to pay for an overhaul of the troubled department.

Benefits News

Department of Veterans Affairs commemorates GI Bill 70th Anniversary  (Army.mil)  The Department of Veterans Affairs commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the GI Bill, originally the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, at George Washington University here, yesterday.

Alabama veteran granted VA benefits after more than 50 years  (WRBCtv)  Our NBC News partners at WSFA are reporting that  a Korean War Veteran’s 56-year struggle for Veterans Affairs benefits is finally over.

ADRIFT IN THE BACKLOG: Veterans face long waits for care, services  (Wicked Local)  When it comes to getting veterans services, long waits are often the norm.

Swalwell Announces Over $1 Million in Retroactive Benefits Veterans in District 15  (Livermore Patch)  Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) announced last week that his office has helped CA-15 veterans receive a total of more than $1 million in retroactive benefits such as disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits Administration since January 2013.

VA’s next challenge — Expanding benefits for same-sex couples  (The Blaze)  While the Department of Veterans Affairs is just starting to climb out of the crisis related to veterans’ wait time for healthcare, the Obama administration is pushing the VA take on a new task — ensuring it delivers benefits to all same-sex couples.

When PTSD benefits are abused  (The Denver Post)  In 2009, Iraq war veteran Jesse Bratcher was looking at a long prison sentence when an Oregon jury instead found him guilty but insane due to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 6/23/14

Good news story of the day

Marine on Medal of Honor: ‘Surreal and kind of weird’  (USA Today)  A Marine who threw himself on a grenade during a Taliban attack in Afghanistan to save a comrade’s life received the Medal of Honor Thursday from President Obama.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Army drawdown continues:  1,100 Captains to be cut  (Stars and Stripes)  The Army drawdown continues this week, when about 1,100 Army captains will receive word that their military careers are about to end. Another 500 majors will get the same news in early July.

Operation Warfighter offers veterans career opportunities  (The Augusta Chronicle)  After four military tours in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, Sgt. Dirck Moize traded gunfire for a government office cubicle.

Fighting for a Job: Returning Vets Have Mixed Results Finding Employment  (The Ledger)  On first impression, Jordan Imig seems older than his 24 years.

Programs offer guidance to newly returned vets  (The Brownsville Herald)  As far as Bartolome “Bart” Naciancenov is concerned, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Veterans News

North Adams looks to state for more reimbursement as veterans budget grows  (The Berkshire Eagle News)  During last winter’s harsh cold, a local veteran who had fallen on hard times resorted to filling his heating oil tank, gallon by gallon, with the diesel fuel he bought at a gas station.

Audit from 2012 found VA clinics had been warned ‘not to game the system’  (Fox News)  A 2012 audit accused Department of Veterans Affairs clinical offices in Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas of routinely canceling appointments in blocks to manipulate wait times despite a nationwide directive from top VA officials “not to game the system.”

Military considers shopping perk for most veterans  (CNBC)  The U.S. military is looking into allowing all of the nation’s veterans who served honorably to shop online at exchanges that sell discounted, name-brand goods—a perk that is currently available only to a small minority.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Launches Hometown Heroes Service Learning Project  (Street Insider)  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) today announced the launch of the Hometown Heroes Service Learning Project.

Benefits News

Obama: Post-9/11 GI Bill keeps promise to newest vets  (Military Times)  You pick the school, and we’ll help pick up the bill.

Service members can now register on burn-pit list  (Military Times)  The Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry is now live.

VA health care crisis hits home for veterans in Fayetteville  (FayObserver)  Mike Schultz holds his glasses away from his face and squints.

Government’s PTSD treatment for veterans lacking, report finds  (LA Times)  Despite spending billions of dollars a year to treat military service members and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, the government has little evidence that its efforts are working, according to a new report commissioned by Congress.

AP IMPACT: VA FALLS SHORT ON FEMALE MEDICAL ISSUES  (AP)  Already pilloried for long wait times for medical appointments, the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs has fallen short of another commitment: to attend to the needs of the rising ranks of female veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them of child-bearing age.

Op/Eds

Hero worship of the military is getting in the way of good policy  (The Washington Post)  I have worn an Army uniform for the past eight years and deployed twice to Afghanistan. This doesn’t make me a hero.

OpEd: Stop saying vets sacrificed ‘for nothing’ in Iraq  (Marine Corps Times)  I hate talking about it, but I will because people are doing a terrible job interpreting Iraq’s collapse.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 6/11/14

Good news story of the day

Los Borinqueneers Awarded Congressional Gold Medal  (The Courant)  President Barack Obama signed a bill Tuesday honoring the 65th Infantry Regiment, a unit of soldiers largely from Puerto Rico known as Los Borinqueneers with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Abiomed, Salem State University and North Shore Community College Host First-Ever Life Sciences Career Seminar for Veterans  (Globe Newswire)  The MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program (MVP) announced today it will host the Boston area’s first-ever Student Veteran Re-careering Seminar for alumni and student military veterans interested in pursuing careers in the life sciences.

Employment workshop and job fair for veterans on June 18  (NJ.com)  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The American Legion and ESGR is announcing a Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) job fair and recently designed Employment Workshop, which is part of a nationwide effort to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.

Job fair for veterans slated for Tuesday in Dover  (Delaware Online)  Veterans looking for work should make plans to attend a job fair in Dover Tuesday.

Cumberland Co. job fair to benefit veterans  (The Washington Times)  The Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs is partnering with several lawmakers and organizations to have a job fair for veterans in Cumberland County on Tuesday.

Operation Hire: Maryland’s Veteran Challenge  (Military Times)  Veterans in Maryland should pay attention: your state has launched a big initiative to support veteran hiring for the next 100 days.

Veterans News

House passes VA overhaul bill … twice  (The Hill)  The House on Tuesday twice passed legislation to allow veterans to seek medical care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs if wait times are too long.

House Votes to Ban Bonuses for All VA Employees Through 2016  (Government Executive)  The House on Tuesday unanimously approved a measure that would ban bonuses for all Veterans Affairs Department employees for the next three years.

Marine sergeant major loses job after altercation depicted in viral video  (The Washington Post)  The debate over whether the United States should have exchanged five Taliban officials for the only U.S. soldier held in captivity by the insurgent group has devolved into this: A senior enlisted Marine just lost his job after an altercation between him and a Marine veteran was depicted in a viral video.

VA report provides lessons to other agencies on what not to do; stress on metrics risky  (The Washington Post)  The Department of Veterans Affairs’ report on outrageous waits for veterans seeking health care provides lessons that reach well beyond this one agency. As always, it’s the coverup that’s really getting people into trouble.

Benefits News

5 questions: Cutting benefits for military retirees  (Military Times)  Retired Army Lt. Col. Tom Slear has touched the third rail of military and veterans’ issues with an opinion piece arguing that a “very small decrease in pay” for military retirees would be reasonable, considering the need for the U.S. government to cut spending.

Report: Benefits claims related to sexual assault treated unevenly  (Military Times)  Veterans Affairs benefits workers are still wildly inconsistent in their handling of claims related to military sexual assault despite years of emphasis on the issues, a new Government Accountability Office report has found.

House votes to ensure speedier care at VA hospitals  (CBS)  United and eager to respond to a national uproar, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday to allow patients enduring long waits for care at Veterans Affairs facilities to get VA-paid treatment from local doctors.

Veterans Corner: Compensation benefits for dependents  (The Kingsburg Recorder)  When a veteran has a disability or disabilities that are rated by the VA at 30 percent or greater, disability compensation can be increased based on dependents. A claim for this increased benefit needs to be filed with the VA if there is any change in the status of the veteran’s spouse and/or children.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 6/10/14

Good news story of the day

Man who stole from veterans charity gets 10 years  (The Town Talk)  A former treasurer of the Disabled American Veterans was sentenced Friday to 10 years in custody for stealing more than $100,000 from the charity.

Military Transition and Jobs News

L.A. Mayor Garcetti announces job assistance program for veterans  (LA Times)  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday announced a multi-agency assistance program for veterans whose employment prospects have lagged in the recovery, pledging to secure 10,000 jobs by 2017 for those who served in the military.

Hundreds of Military Veterans Fill Room at GI Go Fund’s South Jersey Veterans Job Fair  (University Chronicle)    The GI Go Fund served as host to nearly 450 veterans and their families, along with 65 employers, colleges, and health care providers at their latest South Jersey Veterans Job Fair on Monday, June 9th, 2014, at the Aloft Mount Laurel Hotel.

Top Employers Drafted to Give Vets Jobs, With No Corporate Perks—Other Than Serving Our Country  (Yahoo News)  Christina Watkins completed two deployments in Iraq before she returned to California to pursue a Master’s degree. Upon graduating, with years of military and academic achievement behind her, Watkins couldn’t even land a barista position at Starbucks.

Veterans News

House votes to boost VA inspector general  (The Hill)  The House on Monday passed legislation that would pressure the Department of Veterans Affairs to follow up on problems outlined by its inspector general.

Cleveland Clinic’s Cosgrove says no to VA job  (Fierce Health Care)  Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove. M.D., withdrew his name from consideration for the Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary job.

Veterans still battling 1973 fire that wiped out millions of service records  (Fox News)  While the Veterans Administration struggles to repair the damage caused by shoddy — and in some cases fraudulent — handling of health care for American service members, benefits for millions who served their country in four wars were wiped out in a fire more than 40 years ago, leaving many battling to this day to collect their due.

Benefits News

I’m an Army veteran, and my benefits are too generous  (Washington Post)  A few weeks ago, I mentioned to a receptionist in a physical therapist’s office that I was covered by Tricare, the military’s health-care program for service members, retirees and their families.

Audit: More than 100,000 vets had long waits for medical care  (Military Times)  More than 100,000 veterans have been identified as experiencing long wait times for medical appointments with nearly a quarter of those waiting 90 to 120 days for care, according to an audit released Monday by the Veterans Affairs Department.

IG: 69 VA facilities probed for manipulating appointments  (Military Times)  The Veterans Affairs Department’s inspector general is investigating 69 medical facilities for manipulation of appointment wait times and has contacted the Justice Department in cases where staff has found evidence of potential criminal or civil wrongdoing.

Patients at Fayetteville VA Medical Center have longest wait times in the country, audit says  (FayObserver)  Patients at Fayetteville’s VA Medical Center have the longest wait times in the country, according to a nationwide audit released Monday.

Veteran Benefits Approved For The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Myrtle Beach Campus  (Aviation Pros)  PIA is proud to announce that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has approved the Myrtle Beach campus to receive VA benefits.

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