Military/Veteran Transitionnews for 2/20/14

Military transition and veterans affairs news of the day for 2/20/14

Good news story of the day

Wounded Warrior Program Founded by Col. With TBI  (Military.com)  A plaque here hangs on the wall at the Wounded Warrior complex dedicated by Gen. James Amos, the Marine Commandant, to the self-described “mean S.O.B.” who overcame his own traumatic brain injury to start the program.

Military Transition

New efforts help soldiers with life after Army  (NBC)  After years at war, America’s military is slimming down, leaving thousands of service members looking for their next steps. Fort Bragg already sees an average of 8,500 soldiers leave the Army each year. A reduction in force is expected to increase that number.

Bank of America commits to hiring 10,000 more veterans  (San Antonio Business Journal)  As the U.S. military prepares to scale back in the face of budget cuts, Bank of America is committing to hire another 10,000 veterans and service members by 2019 as part of a strategy to help military personnel returning to civilian life.

From service to new skills: Spectrum Health expanding job program for veterans  (MLive)  For eight months, Hugh Lehigh struggled to find work after relocating from Seattle to West Michigan in 2012.

Bush hosts summit on helping veterans transition  (SFGate)  Efforts must be made to end the stigma attached to post-traumatic stress disorder, which can hinder military veterans’ transition into civilian life and employment, former President George W. Bush said Wednesday.

Blackstone Continues Efforts to Support Veterans  (Market Watch)  Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, today attended the George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative Summit.

Bush Institute aims to identify best resources for vets’ transition   (Military Times)  Researchers at the George W. Bush Institute in Texas want to know which military advocacy and assistance groups are truly helping veterans.

Veterans

Congressman Raul Ruiz bills target veterans issues  (MyDesert)  Better access for disabled veterans to jobs, health care and national parks are among bills introduced by Rep. Raul Ruiz.

Veterans using marijuana to ease PTSD symptoms  (KHOU)  A growing number of veterans suffering from PTSD are using medical marijuana to ease their symptoms even though they risk violating federal drug laws.

After Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brain-Injured Veterans Search for Solace  (Wall Street Journal)  Pete Bunce walked into a room at a U.S. military hospital in Germany in March 2004, and stared hard at the unconscious young Marine on the bed. His head, gouged by shrapnel from an insurgent bomb in Iraq, was grotesquely swollen. His face was distorted and his right eye was near blind.

Nonprofit begins search for a wounded-veteran recipient for a new home  (FayObserver)  A search to find a wounded veteran in search of a home near Fayetteville will begin today.

Land O’ Lakes jail opens special place for veterans  (The Tampa Tribune)  A new unit in the Pasco County jail has been opened to help a particular segment of the inmate population: military veterans.

Lifetime with Marines finally ends for man, 84  (Fredericksburg.com)  After dedicating 65 years of his life to the Marines, Richard Govoni will finally take a break.

Pentagon agency slow to ID, return remains of America’s fallen  (CBS)  There are 83,000 Americans missing tonight

Veterans Affairs

Klein planning veterans’ affairs initiative  (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)  A Lubbock city councilman in his last months in office is making one more effort to raise official awareness of veterans’ issues at City Hall.

Veterans Affairs names new director for central Ill., west-central Indiana health care  (The Republic)  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has named a new director for its Illiana Health Care System based in Danville.

Woman sentenced for defrauding Dept. of Veteran Affairs  (WVEC)  A Richmond woman was sentenced Wednesday to twenty months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

VA Announces Cape Canaveral National Cemetery  (Space Coast Daily)  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has officially announced the new 318-acre Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Scottsmoor, Florida.

Vietnam Veterans Currently Denied Benefits for Agent Orange Exposure  (MintPress News)  During the Vietnam War, the U.S. and the UK sprayed more than 20-million gallons of the herbicide Agent Orange over eastern Laos, Cambodia and communist-held Vietnam.

Veterans Affairs should focus on results, not more spending: Opinion  (NJ.com)  The average veteran waits close to nine months to learn whether he or she will receive the benefits earned and the care needed from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Benefits

House chairman: Obama administration ‘obstructed’ review of veteran benefit program  (The Daily Caller) The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs chairman Rep. Jeff Miller accused the Obama administration of obstructing the work of a veteran group trying to investigate unprocessed veteran benefit claims.

Veterans could have Social Security disability benefits expedited  (Stars and Stripes)  Veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent and Total will soon have their applications for Social Security disability benefits processed faster, the Social Security Administration announced Wednesday.

Military Lobby Gets Ultimate #ThisTown ‘Compliment’  (Intercepts)  In Washington, there are compliments. And then there are “compliments.” Sometimes — no, oftentimes — both kinds are inadvertent. A key military lobby got one this week that was both a “compliment” and inadvertent. In fact, in shrewd terms, it might be the ultimate #ThisTown pat on the back.

Senate candidate campaigns in Augusta on veteran benefits, health care  (Augusta Chronicle)  U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn said Wednesday during a campaign visit in Augusta that providing quality health care and restoring retirement benefits to area veterans are among her top priorities.

Months after court ruling, DOMA issues remain unresolved  (Washington Blade)  Ever since the Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act last year, the Obama administration has been rolling out on a continual basis new federal benefits for married same-sex couples — but access to some benefits remains uncertain months after the decision.

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