Transitionnews 12/30/13

Transitionnews for Monday, December 30th 2013:

Good news story of the day

Southbridge home a beacon of hope, solace for war veterans  (Telegram.com)  After Grace House, a five-bedroom family homeless shelter at 11 Sayles St., closed in 2011, citing financial difficulties, it didn’t take long for Terry J. and Pamela Parker to step in and find a use.

His mission: Build mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans  (Los Angeles Times)  In World War II, Bill Criswell served his country with the Seabees, the U.S. Navy’s construction battalion, which has built military bases, hospitals, bridges and roads around the world.

Transition

Thompson: Military Transition Telemedicine Amendment Signed into Law  (GantDaily.com)  President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.

Retired Marines transition to civilian work with TWEAC program  (The State)  After 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Rodney Neal retired Oct. 31 at 38.

Making a smooth transition to a post-military career  (Granada Star)  Leaving the military is like leaving home for the first time. Upon discharge, service members are faced with the question of: “What’s next?”

Deanna Wharwood and Associates Presents “How to Transition from Military Life to a Small Business That You Love”  (PR-Inside.com)  From February 3 to February 12, 2014, Deanna Wharwood and Associates will host a FREE Webinar Series ( http://www.militarytransitionsystem.com/) for active duty, veterans, military retirees and their spouses who want to start their own small businesses.

5 BCTs set to inactivate this year; MEBs also going away  (Army Times)  The Army has identified new units for inactivation as part of a sweeping reorganization that will cut 10 brigade combat teams and affect as many as 740 units across the force.

Veterans

South Dakota Sailor Walking 50 Miles For Wounded Warrior Project  (KeloLand.com)  A man is using his time off from his Naval Base in California to make a difference here in South Dakota.

Veterans band together in effort to acquire armory  (Republican Herald)  Local veterans are working to form a nonprofit organization in an effort to buy the state armory in the borough’s downtown and turn it into a community center.

Collins, King seek study of Agent Orange link to ill veterans  (Portland Press Herald)  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.

Veterans warned of scams targeting their benefits  (Great Falls Tribune)  One scam targeting veterans has mostly been quashed in Montana, but another is picking up steam.

At a gun range, combat veterans share their best shots for charity  (Los Angeles Times)  Haley Koko shouldered an AK-47 and aimed uncertainly at the human silhouette on a paper target 25 yards away.

Veterans tap healing power of music in Hampton  (PilotOnline.com)  “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.”

VA under fire after prohibiting school children from distributing religious Christmas cards  (All Alabama)  The Department of Veterans Affairs has found itself in hot water after it prohibited a group of school children from distributing holiday cards because they contained the phrase “Merry Christmas.”

Veterans group shifts focus to the southern Brevard and beyond  (Asbury Park Press)  After helping more than 600 veterans this year, many of them homeless in the northern half of the county, George Taylor wants his force of volunteers to concentrate on areas in south Brevard and beyond.

Therapy – from one wounded warrior to another  (Statesman Journal)  There are four wounded, ill and injured warriors living in the Voris household. One of them is human; the other three are cats.

Benefits

Obama Signs Bipartisan Budget Slashing Military Benefits for Veterans  (Breitbart)  Rounding out a tough and frustrating year, President Barack Obama signed a bipartisan budget deal Thursday easing spending cuts and a defense bill cracking down on sexual assault in the military, as the president and Congress began pivoting to the midterm election year ahead.

Ohio veterans face Tuesday deadline for bonuses  (Cincinnati.com)  Military veterans who served during the Persian Gulf War era have until Tuesday to claim Ohio bonuses of up to $1,500.

Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA leaves big changes for same-sex military couples  (Stars and Stripes)  The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 26 to strike down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act ushered in a huge victory for gay rights that was particularly significant and life-changing for same-sex military couples, long denied many of the most basic benefits extended to military families.

FROM THE STATE HOUSE: Nearly half of Maine veterans don’t qualify for health care through VA  (Morning Sentinel)  Not having access to health care is problem our returning veterans shouldn’t encounter, but we’ve heard stories that cause us great concern.

Congress could reconsider military pension cut in January  (The Washington Post)  A cut to military retirement pay in the budget signed Thursday by President Obama has already triggered such a backlash that Congress may vote in January to toss it out.

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Have a great day!

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