Military/Veteran Transitionnews for 2/18/14

Military transition and veterans affairs news of the day for 2/18/14

Good news story of the day

Innovative program is tailored to prevent homelessness among vets  (Los Angeles Times)  Kris Warren, a Marine veteran with combat duty in Iraq, remembers the  disorientation and other problems that kept him from reentering civilian life.

Military Transition

DOD Works with NBA to Improve Troops’ Transition Assistance  (American Forces Press Service)  As the Defense Department looks for ways to ease the difficult process of transitioning from service member to civilian, it’s also seeking out companies in the private sector who can help lead the way in training and hiring veterans, said Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Iowa lawmakers approve bills that would ease veterans’ transition after military service  (The Republic)  Iowa lawmakers have approved legislation that would help veterans transition into life after military service.

Army launches new incentives to quit active, join reserves  (Army Times)  If you’re looking to leave active duty (or among the thousands getting the boot), the National Guard and Army Reserve want you.

Sen. Blunt Wades Into End-Strength Debate Between Army, National Guard  (Inside Defense)  Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) has been trying to rally fellow lawmakers to join him in urging Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to prevent the Army from executing a plan that would cut the size of the National Guard and restructure the service’s aviation assets, according to a draft letter obtained by Inside the Army that Blunt’s office has been circulating on Capitol Hill.

Veterans

Veteran’s lawyer talks role of PTSD in Reseda shooting  (KABC TV)  A lawyer for an Iraq War veteran accused of murdering his neighbor in Reseda spoke out on Monday. He claims his client, Ricardo Tapia, suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and sought help from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Homefront Veterans: Skiing With Wounded Warriors  (The Daily Beast)  On the California slopes of Mammoth Mountain a group of locals have created something remarkable: a weekend of skiing and snow sports for wounded veterans and their families. John Kael Weston was there.

Medical Marijuana Sought by More Veterans  (Liberty Voice)  Medical marijuana is being sought by more veterans returning from war zones. For decades, prescription medications were seen as the only viable solution for those who had been traumatized by war.

Pa. university group offers hand to veterans  (The Washington Times)  Brian Bengier of Millville spent 10 months  in Afghanistan in 2008, serving in the National Guard as an infantry soldier until an  IED exploded 15 feet from the truck he was in, riddling his body with injuries.

Veterans honored at the Roundhouse  (KOB.com)  Veterans will be honored at the New Mexico Capitol on Monday for Military and Veterans’ Day at the Legislature.

Veterans Helping Veterans aims to create connections  (The Portland Press Herald)  A new program, set to begin in June, is recruiting volunteers for a support network serving military veterans.

Eglin’s recovery care coordinator is changing lives one wounded vet at a time  (NWFDailyNews.com)  Air Force Staff Sgt. Chris Lacey entered the tiny office and greeted the man who helped change his life.

Whiteman leaders deliver long-overdue medals to WWII POW  (Air Force Times)  Retired Chief Master Sgt. Charlie Sibert thought he’d been summoned to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., late last month to tell his story again.

Veterans Affairs

House committee chairman wants VA middle managers held accountable  (Federal News Radio)  The author of new legislation that would make it easier for the Veterans Affairs  Department to fire its senior  executives says the agency is too shy about cutting loose middle managers who  are performing poorly.

VA Defends Bonus To Former Local Director  (KWTX.com)  In a letter to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs this month, a top VA official is standing behind the millions in bonuses Veterans Affairs handed out to a handful of VA executives nationwide, despite a growing backlog in disability claims.

NEW: Web of frustration for veterans affected by tainted water  (Herald-Tribune)  After providing a measure of relief to some retired U.S. Marines, the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to frustrate others seeking compensation for exposure to contaminated water while stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

U.S. senator concerned about staffing for Billings VA clinic  (Trib.com)  Some Montana veterans and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester are concerned that the expanded Department of Veterans Affairs Billings Clinic will not be adequately staffed in time for its scheduled opening in less than six weeks.

Benefits

Iowa lawmakers OK bills that would help veterans  (Albuquerque Journal)   An Iowa House panel approved legislation Monday that would help veterans transition into life after military service.

Rental assistance available to eligible veterans  (The Richmond Register)  Kentucky River Foothills Development Council recently received a Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to financially assist veterans who have problems paying rent or obtaining housing.

Veterans groups want all COLA cuts repealed, for future warriors too  (The Washington Times)  Fresh off winning a repeal of retirement-pay cuts for current and former military members,  veterans groups say they now want to go back and cancel the cuts for future  service members too, saying that the budget can be balanced without targeting  veterans.

Group helps veterans get benefits in Chester  (Daily Times)  Counselors from the Veterans Support Group at York House were on hand Wednesday to assist military veterans in navigating the labyrinthine bureaucracy of receiving their entitled benefits.

Security Insiders: High Time for Congress to Cave on Closing Military Bases  (National Journal)  It’s high time for Congress to agree to the Pentagon’s request to close military bases, a whopping 91 percent of National Journal’s National Security Insiders said.

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Have a great day!

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