Transitionnews for 1/15/14

Transitionnews for Wednesday, January 15th 2014:

Good news story of the day

Returned letters, Purple Heart open book on deceased WWII vet’s life  (Air Force Times)  Nancy Cederman knew this much about her uncle’s life: Kendall Morrow was born in 1915 in Canada, the first of five children and the only son of Edwin and Mable Morrow.

Transition

Hire a Hero begins staffing effort to create path to construction, trade jobs for veterans  (Equipment World)  Hire a Hero, a program designed to transition former U.S. soldiers to the civilian workforce, has not been enough to get veterans into jobs such as those in construction, says the Armed Forces Support Foundation. which runs the program.

Transition GPS helps Airmen navigate civilian life  (28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs)  Many Airmen who are preparing to separate or retire from the Air Force struggle as they transition back into civilian life. As a way of making sure they are ready for any challenges they may face, the Air Force offers a workshop designed to set them up for success.

Paying Veterans To Give Back  (The National Journal)  Tristan Williamson didn’t cut his hair for three years after being discharged from the Navy.

RIF board to convene June 16; will consider captains, majors  (Air Force Times)  The Air Force will convene a reduction- in- force board June 16 to consider separating some captains and majors in overmanned career fields, according to an internal memo obtained by Air Force Times.

Changes to come for Army warrior transition units  (Fort Hood Herald)  The Army is restructuring the specialized units designed to assist ill and wounded soldiers through the process of assimilating back into the Army or transitioning out of service.

Transition program navigates military to civilian move  (50th Space Wing Public Affairs)  Transitioning back to the civilian world may be daunting to many Airmen, especially those who have grown accustomed to military life.

Veterans

New battles for student veterans require fresh strategies from colleges  (The Hechinger Report)  In 2008, the 9­11 G.I. Bill was signed into law, giving college­bound veterans the most comprehensive education benefit ever. As a result, veterans are choosing a collegiate path in record numbers.

Wright State selected as a top military-friendly school  (Fairborn Daily Herald)  Military Advanced Education (MAE) has awarded Wright State University the designation of a Top Military-Friendly University in its 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities.

Veterans Job Retention Survey  (Examiner.com)  Yesterday, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University launched a nationwide Veterans Job Retention Survey.

Can Legal Services Lead To Better Health Outcomes For Veterans?  (The Hartford Courant)  In 2009, Edward La Pointe’s life hit bottom as he endured divorce, eviction, and homelessness. His earnings as a cab driver didn’t pay the bills and mental illness overwhelmed him. La Pointe, a Marine Corps veteran, was informed that he was no longer eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

46 years on, Vietnamese helmet returned (AP)  In 1968, young American soldier John Wast was scouring a battlefield in central Vietnam for weapons and intelligence when an enemy helmet with an image of a dove scratched onto it caught his eye.

Lawmakers push for veterans’ incentives  (Courier-Journal)  State lawmakers Tuesday pushed the Legislature to pass a bill that would give state contract preference to service-disabled veterans who own businesses.
Center for female veterans opens in Old City  (Philly.com)  Citing the growing number of women in the military, officials on Tuesday opened Philadelphia’s first center to provide services specifically for women veterans.

Agent Orange townhall meeting held to help veterans (WCYB.com)  The Tennessee State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, along with co-sponsors Kingsport VVA Chapter 979, Johnson City Chapter 824 with support from Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council hosted the Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting.

Veterans Affairs

VA Extends Homeless Veterans Program  (The Wall Street Journal)  The Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday it is extending a grant program designed to help reduce homelessness among veterans, making $600 million available over the next two years for community-based programs and nonprofits providing services to very low-income veteran families.

Veterans Affairs committee orders review on Christmas carols ban  (Atlanta Business Chronicle)  The House Committee on Veterans Affairs has ordered a review of all VA policy prohibiting guests from wishing patients a “Merry Christmas” after four VA hospitals – including Augusta’s Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center – prevented letters, gifts and carols that contained religious phrases from being sung or delivered, reports The Augusta Chronicle.

Smartphone users access veteran’s Social Security numbers  (Examiner.com)  Early last month it was brought to the attention of many U.S. military veterans that their Social Security numbers are embedded in a bar code on their VIC, or Veteran’s Identification Cards, and can be clearly seen by scanning the card with a smartphone.

American Legion: Obama administration pushes false numbers on veteran benefit  claims  (The Daily Caller)  The American Legion disputed the veracity of numbers promoted by the Obama administration touting its success in judging benefit claim applications from  veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma  and other complex disabilities.

VA still dragging feet in answering congressional inquiries  (FCW)  The Department of Veterans Affairs’ pattern of selective responsiveness – and sometimes total unresponsiveness – to oversight inquiries from the House Veterans Affairs Committee has continued into 2014.

Delayed care has one Augusta VA patient fearing for his life  (Augusta Chronicle)  Michael Newton had an appointment at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center last week to have as many as 12 small tumors removed from his bladder.

Veterans initiative is ‘centerpiece’ of agenda  (Des Moines Register)  Gov. Terry Branstad is calling an initiative aimed at attracting military veterans to Iowa and matching them with jobs the “centerpiece” of his 2014 legislative agenda.

Benefits

VA Loans Reached a Record High in 2013  (US Finance Post)  In 2013, the number of home loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans  Affairs reached a record high as the loans gained popularity after the housing  bubble burst.

Disabled veterans get back pension raises  (CNN)  Disabled veterans will get a pass from military pension cuts in a bipartisan budget deal expected to pass Congress later this week.

Advocates: COLA fixes miss the mark  (Miliary Times)  The massive omnibus spending bill unveiled by congressional appropriators Monday night includes restoration of the full annual cost of living adjustment for medically retired service members and eligible survivors.

Most Military Pensions Would Still be Cut Under Omnibus Bill  (Newsmax.com)  Veterans and their friends on Capitol Hill say that the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill leaves in place most of the $6 billion in military pension cuts.

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Have a great day!

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