Transitionnews 12/12/13

Transitionnews for Thursday, December 12th 2013:

Good news of the day

Bruce Willis Charity Bike Auction Raises Nearly $25,000 for Military Service Members and Their Families  (PR Newswire)  A year-long online motorcycle auction has raised nearly $25,000—monies that will go toward furthering the Boot Campaign’s dedication to cultivating awareness, promoting patriotism, and providing assistance to military, past and present, and their families.

Transition

Perception May Not Match Reality For Military Members Transitioning To Civilian Jobs, Reveals University Of Phoenix Survey  (The Street)  Military members leaving the service may end up underutilizing their skills when transitioning to civilian careers, according to a new national survey from University of Phoenix.

15-year retirements, enlisted retention boards coming next year  (Air Force Times)  The Air Force unveiled today a sweeping list of voluntary and involuntary force management programs it hopes will reduce the ranks throughout 2014.

Air Force announces personnel reduction initiatives  (Spangdahlem.af.mil)  To the Airmen of the United States Air Force:  We are the best Air Force in the world because we attract, recruit, develop and retain Airmen with the strongest character and commitment to our core values.

Army Vet’s Film to Show Hope, Determination and Transition of Wounded Soldiers  (ABC News)  Ryan Curtis was selected among five talented veterans to produce a film for ABC’s “Home for the Holidays.

Veterans

Ramsey County launches veterans court  (SFGate.com)  A new court in Ramsey County is focused on helping veterans charged with non-violent crimes get their lives back on track.

Group buries America’s unclaimed veterans, one soldier at a time  (Fox News) They served their country, but they died alone.

In Fairfax, a fight to add Veterans Day as holiday to school calendar fails to garner support  (The Washington Post)  Governor Robert Bentley signed an executive order creating the Alabama Executive Veterans Network (AlaVetNet) to address ways to better provide services for Alabama service members, veterans and their families.

Wreaths to be laid at veterans’ graves  (News4Jax.com)  The gravesites of heroes buried in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine national cemeteries will not be empty this Christmas.

Veterans’ tour military sites in Las Cruces  (KTSM.com)  The Vet Voice Foundation (VVF) and local Las Cruces area veterans will be touring sites of critical historic importance throughout the proposed Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument on Friday, December 13.

Veterans Affairs

U.S. Veterans Affairs Lobotomized WWII Vets Suffering From PTSD  (Business Insider)  The Wall Street Journal published an investigation Wednesday into lobotomies performed on World War II veterans, some of whom are now thought to have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

VA Official Outlines Progress in Reducing Claims Backlog  (Defense.gov)  A senior Veterans Affairs Department official today outlined progress made by the Veterans Benefits Administration in reducing the backlog of veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims by 36 percent since March, attributing the success to the combined impact of transformation initiatives and increased employee productivity.

Senator Questions Stats on Accuracy of VA Claims  (Military.com)  Since pressure was applied by veteran service organizations last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs has claimed that it is not only shrinking the backlog numbers but has raised the accuracy rate of the compensation claims it has completed, to where it’s now at 97 percent.

Study links traumatic brain injury and PTSD  (Stars and Stripes)  Traumatic brain injuries during deployments appear to increase the risk of troops experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder after returning home, according to Department of Veterans Affairs-sponsored research published Wednesday.

Governor Bentley creates commission to address delivery of services for veterans  (DothanFirst.com)  Governor Robert Bentley signed an executive order creating the Alabama Executive Veterans Network (AlaVetNet) to address ways to better provide services for Alabama service members, veterans and their families.

Blake’s Veterans pension bills win Senate approval  (GoLackawanna.com)  Legislation introduced by state Sen. John Blake to help veterans who are employed by the City of Scranton more quickly participate in its pension program have won the Senate’s approval.

House Votes to Dig up Veteran Involved in Homicide  (Associated Press)  The House has passed legislation that instructs the Veterans Affairs Department to unearth the remains of an Army veteran buried with military honors after police said he killed an Indianapolis woman and injured three others before taking his own life.

Why Congress Should Fully Fund the VA in Advance  (DefenseOne.com)  Congress is at risk of failing America’s veterans. With single-digit days left in the year’s congressional calendar, several important pieces of legislation to the veteran community remain on the floor of each chamber awaiting a final vote.

Benefits

Budget deal offers stability to Pentagon spending  (SunHerald.com)  Working-age military retirees would see fewer dollars in their federal pensions and the Pentagon would get some long-sought stability in spending under Congress’ budget deal.

Claims errors, long appeals still haunt disabled veterans  (Washington Examiner)  Mistakes and years-long appeals continue to haunt veterans seeking disability benefits even as the Department of Veterans Affairs achieves some success in reducing the backlog of initial claims, key senators warned a top agency official Wednesday.

Heller: Nevada veterans have longest wait for VA benefits  (Las Vegas Review-Journal)   Nevada veterans wait longer than any in the nation to have disability benefits claims completed, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller said at a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday.

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Have a great day!

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