Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 8/18/14

Good news story of the day

Army Officer Recycles Military Surplus and Creates Fashionable Bags  (ABC News)  Serving in the military while also being the CEO of a fashion company can be an intimidating but also a rewarding experience. It’s also a perfect match for U.S. Army 1st Lt. Emily Núñez, 24, who saw a need and filled it, helping her fellow veterans along the way.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Voluntary separations accelerate for officers  (Marine Corps Times)  Recent revisions to the Voluntary Separation Pay program for officers will push those declining orders and then requesting VSP out of the service more quickly.

Veterans employment assistance a growing need  (Daily News)  David Jones worked jobs as a busboy and in fast food when he was a teenager.

Almost 8,000 Navy chiefs face ax; sailors could advance  (USA Today)  Almost 8,000 senior enlisted personnel must go before a continuation board later this year to determine whether they can continue to serve or must retire.

Southington helps promote employment opportunities for veterans  (Record Journal)  Veterans are offered an opportunity to sign up for job opportunities in the area through the state American Legion.

Veterans News

Iraq vets on Hill call for stronger response to ISIS  (The Hill)  Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), both Iraq War veterans, on Sunday called for a robust U.S. response to a terrorist advance in Iraq by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Veterans look to farming to grow and heal  (USA Today)   Mike Simester had always dreamed of a being a career soldier.

Vets seeking care died in VA limbo  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)  In 2010, the Veterans Administration rolled out a new online application that promised the nation’s veterans a quick, easy way to access one of the chief benefits of military service: enrollment in the VA’s vast network of hospitals and health care facilities.

Congress seeks more information on VA deaths  (The Tampa Tribune)  Still dissatisfied with the Department of Veterans Affairs response to questions about how many veterans suffered death and injury from delays in medical treatment and diagnoses at VA medical facilities around the country, the House Veterans Affairs Committee has widened the scope of its inquiry.

Benefits News

Duty Calls: Volunteers to aid at-risk veterans  (Times Union)  More than several hundred at-risk veterans and their families will receive help Saturday during the Eastern New York State Homeless Veterans Coalition Stand-Down.

For-profit colleges gouging veterans, U.S. Senate report finds  (Tampa Tribune)   On the heels of a student veterans group’s warning, a U.S. Senate report reveals the extent to which for-profit universities benefit from the federal G.I. Bill program.

Local colleges reach out to veterans  (Daytona Beach News Journal)  There is a lounge at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where military veterans, young and old, sit back on couches and prop up their feet.

Veterans’ Next Battle: Legal Rights  (Diverse)  In a year when the Department of Veterans Affairs has repeatedly come under fire for problems ranging from deadly delays in medical appointments to its hefty backlog of benefit claims, the need for legal assistance for veterans has often taken a lower priority.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for 7/10/14

Good news story of the day

House VA chairman to introduce bill to combat veteran suicides  (Washington Post)  Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) on Thursday plans to introduce legislation to help combat veteran suicides after a hearing on access to mental health treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Military Transition and Jobs News

10 Reasons Companies Should Be Hiring Military Veterans  (Business Insider)  Companies take note: hiring a veteran of the U.S. Military comes with a host of benefits.

Veterans job expo scheduled for July 24 in Columbus  (Examiner)  A Veteran Opportunity Expo, a hiring event for veterans and other men and women with military background, will be held at the Aladdin Shrine Event & Conference Center, 3850 Stelzer Road in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, July 24, 2014 and will run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Schools Assist Veterans With Their College and Job Searches  (US News)  Many veterans may have given some thought to returning to school so they can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, but don’t know how to begin the process.

My view: Veterans have to readjust to civilian life after war and service  (Deseret News)  On the backdrop of a sky filled with colorful fireworks and streets crowded with animated parades celebrating the Fourth of July, what emerges in the minds of many is the deliberation and decision of our founders to pen and defend the Declaration of Independence.

Veterans News

Georgia lawmakers make veterans a priority  (Savannah Now)  While there is controversy surrounding the state of care from the federal government’s Veterans Administration, there is no mistaking the importance of the services and support that the State of Georgia provides to veterans.

Scandal-Plagued VA Is Overpaying Workers By Millions Of Dollars, Internal Audits Find  (Huffington Post)  The scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs is systematically overpaying clerks, administrators and other support staff, according to internal audits, draining tens of millions of dollars that could be used instead to ease the VA’s acute shortage of doctors and nurses.

VA official ‘sickened’ by whistleblower retaliation  (Military Times)  The Veterans Affairs Department’s second-ranking health official offered a blunt, harsh assessment of his department to Congress on Tuesday night: “We failed in the trust America placed in us.”

Benefits News

View on Veterans Affairs from Littleton  (Huffington Post)  Why is there such a large backlog of unprocessed claims in the Veterans Affairs? What is the government doing about it?

Thousands of disability claims in limbo at the VA  (Marketplace)  The Veterans Affairs Administration is being pounded over scandalous delays for veterans seeking health care.

Free Workshop on VA Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit  (Dispatch Argus)  According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, about a quarter of the nation’s population – approximately 70 million people – are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans.

New center supports Arlington veterans  (Wicked Local)  Its 48 white stars hand-stitched in cotton a lifetime ago, William L. Reardon Jr.’s flag marked his burial, at the beachside Normandy American Cemetery, shortly after his death among thousands killed in the D-Day invasion of 1944.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 5/1/14

Good news story of the day

Career program in Bridgewater lets veterans realize their value in civilian life  (My Central Jersey)  For four years Lt. Col. Mike Kaminski piloted Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for President George W. Bush, and he also flew dangerous missions around the globe.

Military Transition and Jobs News

40% fewer enlisted members likely to be forced out, latest projections show  (Air Force Times)  The number of enlisted airmen that could be forced out by retention boards appears to be dwindling considerably, according to the Air Force’s latest estimates.

Veterans and families get a boost from Michelle Obama, Jill Biden  (CBS)  First lady Michelle Obama announced pledges from foundations and corporations totaling more than $160 million Wednesday to help veterans and their families get the services they need as the country adjusts to a postwar footing.

Combined Insurance Hosts NCOA Military Veteran Job Fair at Glenview Headquarters Continues Commitment to Hire Thousands of Vets  (Chicago Tribune)  Combined Insurance, a leading provider of individual supplemental accident, disability, health and life insurance products, and an ACE Group company, continues its commitment to help military veterans find meaningful employment by hosting a Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) career expo at its corporate headquarters in Glenview, Ill.

Employers Told To Meet Vets Halfway On Jobs  (Military.com)  Good intentions are not enough when it comes to hiring the new generation of veterans in a highly competitive job market, business leaders were told Wednesday.

Carper highlights launch of online Veterans Employment Center  (Cape Gazette)  Sen. Tom Carper, a veteran as well as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, highlighted the launch of a website that will provide veterans with critical information to help them find jobs.

Veterans News

WWII POWs held in Swiss camp get overdue medal  (Air Force Times)  One by one, the eight World War II veterans took their places on stage in a ceremony 70 years in the making.

VA probes reports of secret waiting list at Phoenix facility  (Military Times)  A Veterans Affairs Department official said Wednesday the department is investigating allegations of a secret waiting list for medical appointments at the Phoenix VA Health Care System but, so far, has found no evidence that such a list exists.

VA: No Evidence Hospital Kept Secret Backlog List  (Military.com)  The Department of Veterans Affairs lead healthcare official told a Senate panel on Tuesday that agency officials have not found evidence that the VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, maintained a secret list of veterans who could not get in for doctor’s appointments.

Yale Law School suit alleges Veterans Administration biased against sex assault victims with PTSD  (New Haven Register)  The Service Women’s Action Network and Vietnam Veterans of America Wednesday sued the Veterans Administration, claiming its rules discriminate against vets seeking disability benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder tied to military sexual trauma.

Benefits News

Vet determined to share ‘good news’ about VA hospital  (AZ Central)  I got a letter this week from a Vietnam veteran who has read and watched the many recent news reports alleging negligence and cover-ups at the Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Phoenix and he is very upset about it.

Proposed Tricare fee hikes dead for now  (Military Times)  A House subcommittee has rejected a Pentagon plan to consolidate Tricare Prime, Standard and Extra into a single system that would have resulted in higher heath care fees for nearly all Tricare beneficiaries.

Nurse advice line open for Tricare beneficiaries  (Military Times)  Tricare’s nurse advice line is open for business.

Some veterans struggle to obtain health care  (Pilot Online)  In the midst of a life scarred with mistakes, Dwight Alexander did one thing right in the eyes of society.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/8/14

Good news story of the day

Good Cause: Naperville Responds For Our Veterans benefit  (Post Tribune)  Pat Bowler, of Naperville, realized a few years ago that veterans are the most reluctant group to ask for help.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Early retirement revoked for some airmen, leads to White House petition  (Air Force Times)  The Air Force revoked some airmen’s approvals for early retirement over the weekend, causing outrage online and sparking a petition to the White House.

Thousands of airmen spared under revised force-shaping plan  (Air Force Times)  At least 8,751 airmen’s jobs are no longer on the chopping block this year, according to the latest charts obtained by Air Force Times.

Group says Congress should set example by hiring more vets  (Military Times)  What’s the worst federal agency for hiring veterans? Try Congress.

U.S. veterans face uncertain job future as civilians  (CBS)  A new generation of U.S. veterans is trying to re-enter civilian life, and the civilian workforce, with mixed results.

Years of war leave veterans facing unfamiliar challenge: the civilian workforce  (News Observer)  Sgt Maj. Chris Fletcher was a teenager the last time he had a civilian job.

Troops to Teachers program offers post-Army careers  (KTSM)  In the coming months, an influx of Soldiers will begin the year-long process of transitioning out of the military, and one program can help Soldiers utilize Army abilities by engaging students as teachers.

Mentor program for veterans transitioning back to civilian life unique to Peoria County  (Journal Star)  Coming home after years in the military can a tough adjustment, but a new program associated with the Peoria County Circuit Court could help veterans with legal problems.

On-job, training programs are win-win  (Cortez Journal)  Both on-the-job and apprenticeship training programs are available for veterans using their Veterans Administration education benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Veterans News

Reminder: The cost of war is borne by a small fraction of the population  (The Washington Post)  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan exacted a brutal toll on those who served, with a recent Washington Post-Kaiser survey of veterans finding an emotional cost that was far more widespread than previously recognized.

Veterans push to smoke pot to ease PTSD, other ailments  (News Tribune)  After flying helicopters in Vietnam for 30 months, Perry Parks couldn’t stop the panicked dreams.

One high-profile case of a veteran dying in the course of VA treatment  (Oregon Live)  Today’s Oregonian carries the terrific and troubling story from the Center of Investigative Reporting about the hundreds of wrongful death settlements paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs to survivors of people who died in the course of treatment.

VA releases findings on deaths, injuries from delayed tests  (Tampa Bay Online)  Three veterans died and nine others were injured as the result of delays in treatment for gastrointestinal cancers in the VA’s Sunshine Healthcare Network serving Florida, southern Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to a much-anticipated VA report released Monday.

Benefits News

Stopping Pension Poachers  (KIMATV)  There is a growing scheme in our country, aimed at the people who served it, veterans.

Bringing Benefits to Disabled Veterans  (Fox Illinois)  Veterans returning from service often find themselves confused about what benefits they can actually claim and which they can’t.

East Valley Veterans Education Center gets a new home  (AZ Central)  “Our military men and women leave their families, their jobs and their civilian lives, placing themselves in harm’s way to protect our way of life.

Veterans should be awarded college credit for military training, experience and coursework, officials say  (Cleveland.com)  When Frank LaRose enrolled at Ohio State University in 2004 after serving 10 years in the Army he thought his military training, experience and coursework would be worth about 40 college credits.

Emeritus at Grayson View to Host Free Workshop on VA Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit  (The Daily Item)  meritus at Grayson View is hosting an educational workshop about VA benefits at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at 29 Grayson View Court, Selinsgrove.

Mobile veterans services office visiting Sunland  (Beatrice Daily Sun)  So many veterans feel confused about benefits and services they have earned.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/4/14

Good news story of the day

USO opens new center for wounded warriors, families at Walter Reed  (Fox News)  The United Service Organizations opened the doors Tuesday to a new state-of-the-art center for wounded servicemembers and their families at the Walter Reed complex — a center designed as a place where troops can heal physically but also relax and, for moments at a time, escape.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Westminster to host bimonthly Veterans Job Club  (InsuranceNewsNet)  -More than 20 veterans from the mid-Maryland region attended the inaugural Veterans Job Club in Carroll County Friday and LeRoy Thomas has no doubt that attendance will grow in future events.

Free workshop will help Veterans use websites to find jobs, careers  (Tucson News Now)  Kino Veterans’ Workforce Center is hosting a free workshop on April 8, for veterans to help find them a job.

Hundreds turn out for Bossier veterans job fair  (KSLA)  The Bossier Chamber of Commerce hosted a job fair Thursday, specifically designed to help veterans and their spouses. Goodwill NWLA, Hero 2 Hired, and the City of Bossier City also pitched in as sponsors.

8,000 enlisted jobs taken off the chopping block  (Air Force Times)  More than 8,000 enlisted airmen’s jobs are no longer on the chopping block this year, according to the latest charts obtained by Air Force Times.

Pentagon should cut civilian, not military, personnel  (The Hill)  It isn’t often that Pentagon leaders find themselves without the support of their primary constituency, but that’s just what Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is facing today with his proposed severe reduction in the number of uniformed personnel.

AMR Staffing Agency Collaborates With “Work For Warrior Program”  (The Street)  Reaching out to help returning War Veterans and all people in uniform, David Zahler, AMR President and CEO met with Major General Keith D. Jones and First Lieutenant Christopher W. Freeman of the Work for Warrior Program, to discuss employment opportunities for men and women in uniform transitioning out of the military.

US Companies Reach Out to Hire Veterans  (Voice of America)  Despite an improving economy, U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are still having difficulty finding jobs – and their unemployment rate of just under 10 percent is considerably higher than the national average.

Veterans News

How Can Government Battle a ‘Suicide Epidemic’ Among Veterans?  (National Journal)  The Fort Hood shooting is an extreme and shocking example of what has become a chronic concern for the military: soldiers with mental-health problems taking their own lives.

Gov. Scott Walker’s actions are a disservice to veterans  (Journal-Sentinel)  Gov. Scott Walker says he has the utmost gratitude and respect for the women and men who wear the uniform in service of our country.

Benefits News

Lawmakers scold DoD for medical records failure  (Air Force Times)  House lawmakers who hold the Pentagon’s purse strings berated the Defense Department on Thursday for failing to develop a joint electronic medical records system with the Veterans Affairs Department — an effort that has cost more than $1 billion since 2008 while producing scant results.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/3/14

Good news story of the day

MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program Announces New Jersey’s First Veteran and Transitioning Military Re-careering Seminar  (PR Newswire)  On April 29th, the MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program (www.mvpvets.com) will host its inaugural re-careering event for transitioning military and veterans in New Jersey.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Businesses target veterans and civilians at job fairs   (Clearwater Gazette) Two job fairs planned for next week target veterans and the general public.

Front Porch: Veterans Job Fair  (Weekly Herald)  Naval Station Everett Fleet and Family Support Center will host a biannual Veterans Job Fair today from 10 a.m.-2p.m. at their Smokey Point Totem Recreation Center, 13922 45th Ave, Marysville.

Blunt sponsors bill to encourage hiring vets  (KSPR)  Missouri Senator Roy Blunt has introduced the “Hire More Heroes Act” (S.2190), bipartisan legislation aimed at encouraging companies to hire more American veterans. Blunt serves as a member of the bipartisan Congressional Veterans Job Caucus.

Free Career Programs for Veterans and Spouses  (Military.com)  The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University is currently enrolling eligible veterans and their spouses in an online program to enhance their career skills and job marketability.

Wanted: Heroes  (The Washington Post)  A two-tour Army veteran of the Afghanistan war pulled on a pair of old combat boots and headed off to his $8-an-hour job washing cars at a Ford dealership in Wichita Falls, Tex. “My military background don’t mean nothing,” he said. “I am just another guy with a GED.”

Veterans News

We aren’t doing enough to help veterans transition to civilian life  (The Washington Post)  George Washington once declared that “the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

Iraq vet charged with soliciting money for Wounded Warriors, keeping it  (St, Louis Post Dispatch)  A wounded Iraq War veteran from St. Charles County is accused of soliciting unauthorized donations of at least $6,200 for the Wounded Warrior Project but keeping the money himself.

VA Pays $200 Million for Nearly 1,000 veterans’ Wrongful Deaths  (The Daily Beast)  Since 9/11 almost 1,000 veterans have died due to negligence in the Veterans healthcare system.

FDA Warnings to Body-Parts Vendors Overlooked by VA  (Bloomberg)  A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs safety office isn’t tracking a health agency’s warnings on the potential for contaminated body tissue, a federal auditor’s review found.

Benefits News

VA wants widow of WWII survivor to pay back benefits  (MyFoxAustin)  The widow of a Pearl Harbor survivor is not only fighting for her life but fighting with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Reno Veterans Affairs ‘Worst in Nation’ Rank Proves Need for Reform, Accountability   (The Blaze)  A recent Reno Gazette-Journal report cast a harsh light on the shameful reality of the local office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has been ranked the “worst in the nation” for processing veterans’ benefit claims.

Betrayed military spouses often keep quiet for fear of losing benefits  (Los Angeles Times)  Within the tight circle of Army spouses, Kris Johnson and Rebecca Sinclair became close friends as their ambitious husbands advanced rapidly in the officer corps.

Senate Panel Signals Possible Future Relief from Full Sequester Cuts  (Seapower)  After provided a break from deep sequester cuts in fiscal 2014 and 2015, lawmakers seemed poised to continue easing up in future years as well.

House appropriators cut military construction spending  (The Hill)  The House Appropriations Committee is cutting spending on military construction in its first 2015 appropriations bill, while boosting funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/31/14

Good news story of the day

WELCOME HOME! Hundreds greet injured Marine and his family at their new Elysburg residence  (News Item)  David Noblit looked at the large ceremonial key that he just received from the Homes for Our Troops organization.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Job fair Tuesday to help veterans find civilian work  (KTVB)  Hero 2 Hired is a chance for those serving in the military to ease back into civilian work.

NJ’s high veteran unemployment rate in sights of lawmakers, advocates  (NJ.com)  Members of the United States Armed Forces learn a lot of valuable skills while they serve the country.

KSU transitions veterans from the battlefield to the boardroom with business bootcamp  (Marrieta Daily Journal)  A business boot camp designed to transition military veterans from the battlefield to the boardroom was conducted for the first time by Kennesaw State University last week.

Coming Home: SC Vets Return  (The State)  Sgt Maj. Chris Fletcher was a teenager the last time he had a civilian job.

Veterans News

Veterans Transition Center  (The Californian)  If success can be measured by the number of individuals it serves, the Veterans Transition Center has been a smashing success.

Why Athletes and Veterans Make Incredible Franchisees  (Entrepreneur.com)  It’s a common – and accurate — notion that athletes and former military personnel make good entrepreneurs.

Iraq and Afghanistan: The physical and mental toll, by the numbers  (The Washington Post)  The 2.6 million Americans who volunteered to fight on IED-laden battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan have returned home with a panoply of problems borne out of their service.

Local veterans to be affected by senate’s rejection of benefits bill  (Daily Emerald)  The Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014, an act which would have provided additional education and job-training benefits for veterans as well as improved health care, was rejected by senate in March.

Veterans commemorate the 30th anniversary of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Monument in Springfield  (MassLive)  Veterans and their families gathered at Springfield City Hall Sunday to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Monument.

IG: Vet overdosed while in VA rehab center  (Military Times)  A veteran of the war in Afghanistan died of a heroin and cocaine overdose last year while receiving treatment at a Miami Veterans Affairs residential treatment facility, according to a VA inspector general report released Friday.

Sen. Nelson: None of the controversial VA deaths occurred at Haley  (Tampa Bay Online)  Neither the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa nor the C.W. “Bill” Young” VA Medical Center at Bay Pines were the locations where deaths occurred as the result of treatment delays, according to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and hospital officials.

Two Men, Two Fates  (Stars and Stripes)  In the early weeks of 1973, the infamous Hanoi Hilton was filling up with Americans. For once, the influx of prisoners was something to celebrate.

Irregularities cited in student vet study  (Military Times)  A study released by Student Veterans of America promised to bring much-needed clarity to veterans’ college graduation rates, but irregularities in how the research was done may cast doubt on its findings.

Jeremiah A. Denton Jr., 89, Dies; With Blinks, Vietnam P.O.W. Told of Torture  (The New York Times)  The prisoner of war had been tortured for 10 months and beaten repeatedly by his North Vietnamese captors in recent days, and there were threats of more if he did not respond properly when the propaganda broadcast began.

After the Wars:  A Legacy of Pain and Pride  (The Washington Post)  More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Benefits News

DoD to look at consolidating commissaries, exchanges  (Military Times)  Defense officials have ordered a review of options that include consolidating commissaries and exchanges, as well as having commissaries adopt an “Exchange-like business model,” according to information obtained by Military Times.

Disability claims backlog will disappear in 2015, Shinseki says  (Fierce Government)  The Veterans Affairs Department is still on pace to clear its disability claims backlog by the end of 2015, so long as the agency is given adequate money for information technology programs and claims processors’ overtime pay, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told a House panel.

Outreach program aims to connect with all 75,000 veterans in state  (Argus Leader)  A push in South Dakota to meet with all 75,000 veterans is part of a trend among states to compensate for gaps in federal efforts, national experts said.

Edmonds Military Wire: New laws provide additional protection to veterans and military families  (My Edmonds News)  Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson successfully championed two bills on behalf of military and veteran families that received Governor Inslee’s signature on March 27, 2014.

VA restores aid to homeless veterans  (USA Today)  The VA has reversed course in the face of complaints from community groups and a USA TODAY query and restored aid to potentially several thousand homeless veterans who otherwise could have been left on the streets.

Eyeing disability backlog, GOP rep. pushes VA accountability  (CBS)  Citing a backlog of disability claims that leaves many disabled veterans waiting months to receive their benefits, Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., slammed the Department of Veterans Affairs for mismanagement Saturday, saying the VA has “become the epitome of bureaucracy run amok.”

 

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/26/14

Good news story of the day

Purple Heart Recipient is Honored by Veterans  (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University News)  A small crowd gathered in the DLC to honor a student veteran of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who is a Purple Heart recipient.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Wednesday is last chance to apply for early retirement  (Air Force Times)  The window for most airmen to apply for early retirement closes on Wednesday.

Transition GPS curriculum expands, implemented throughout DOD  (Marines.mil)  The Department of Defense is making sure its service members are more ready than ever to transition from military to civilian life with a revamped version of its current transition program, the Transition Readiness Seminar.

Job fair targets transitioning military  (Jacksonville Daily News)  On Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Goettge Memorial Field House, military affiliated personnel as well as students from Coastal Carolina Community College will have an opportunity to market themselves to potential employers as they present their unique skills and qualities to more than 70 employers,

Veteran-Owned Wall Street Firm Employs Disabled Vets  (ABC News)  When Lawrence Doll returned to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1969 he never forgot the help he received during his transition into civilian life.

Job Fair Helps Veterans Find Work  (NBC Connecticut)  Even after five deployments overseas, Sgt. Woodrow Valle is still a member of the U.S. Army, but he was making contacts at the Heroes 4 Hire job fair for the day he gets out, shaking hands and handing out resumes.

Job fair connects veterans with employers  (WEAU)  They’ve served our country and now, they’re looking for jobs.

Owen School is popular transitional stop for veterans  (Vanderbilt News)  Military veterans and current soldiers alike are a familiar sight in the halls of Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

Veterans News

New Jersey Has Highest Percentage of Unemployed Veterans in America  (Breitbart)  New Jersey’s veterans are having a harder time finding a job than veterans in any other state, according to an extensive survey of veteran employment rates nationwide by the United States Department of Labor.

Veterans’ Unemployment Edges Down but Remains High  (Military.com) The unemployment rate for veterans who served since 2001 dipped slightly in 2013 to 9 percent, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Relatives of Pearl Harbor victims want military to identify remains  (Los Angeles Times)  Bethany Glenn never met her grandfather, John C. England, a 20-year-old Navy ensign from Alhambra who perished in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Casey says VA insults families, taxpayers by not releasing probe results  (TribLive)  U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. contends it’s “an insult” that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not released the results of two internal probes into a deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at Pittsburgh VA hospitals.

Legislative report on vets housing makes startlingly bold suggestions  (The Star Tribune)  A little-seen legislative report on veterans housing makes some startlingly bold suggestions.

Benefits News

Veteran’s job bill passes Senate  (Legislative Gazette)  After nearly a decade-long fight, Sen. Greg Ball announced the passage of legislation through the Senate that would facilitate the awarding of state contracts to disabled veterans.

Military retirement: Change ahead?  (Union-Tribune)  A retired Marine Corps officer said he thinks young enlisted fighters deserve something even if they don’t stay for 20 years.

Half of GI Bill Veterans Completed Educational Program  (AllGov)  Military veterans are making good use of the GI Bill of 2008 and its support for those seeking college education, a new report says.

VA: Adaptive housing grant eligibility automatic for ALS  (Today in OT)  Veterans and active-duty military personnel with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, now are presumed medically eligible for grants of up to almost $68,000 to adapt their homes, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced March 19.

Some vets won’t have to report income for VA care  (Military Times)  Starting this month, veterans who qualify for care from the Veterans Health Administration under income thresholds will no longer need to report their income information to Veterans Affairs annually.

Bill would remove cap on traumatic injury payments  (Air Force Times)  Two lawmakers have introduced a bill that would eliminate the $100,000 cap on payments to wounded warriors for multiple, severe injuries under the Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program.

House lawmakers cool to DoD pay, benefits proposals  (Military Times)  The Pentagon’s pay and benefits proposals for fiscal 2015 would be crippling for troops and their families, and potentially a disincentive for many to continue serving, according to House lawmakers who oversee personnel programs in the annual defense budget.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/21/14

Good news story of the day

Marine lost leg, but not passion for serving  (The Tennessean)  Two and a half years ago Lance Cpl. Jeremy Vanhoose lost his leg in an explosion in Afghanistan, but the Marine did not lose his purpose: to serve.

Military Transition News

Military MOJO Announces 2014 National Hiring Events for Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers  (PR Web)  MOJO (Military Officers Job Opportunities) is a premier hiring event pairing commissioned military officers, senior non-commissioned officers, and non-commissioned officers holding degrees with national employers seeking veterans for leadership opportunities.

Confusion continues over TERA, VSP application approvals  (Air Force Times)  Despite an announcement Saturday that the Air Force had decided to resume processing applications for voluntary separations and 15-year retirements after a “strategic pause,” airmen are still being told that processing is on hold, an airman told Air Force Times on Thursday.

New veterans’ initiative to aid transition to civilian life  (The Aiken Standard)  A business, education and nonprofit collaboration will lead to part-time employment opportunities for student veterans enrolled at the USC Aiken and Aiken Technical College campuses.

Higher jobless rates for Iraq, Afghanistan vets  (The Sacramento Bee)  Military veterans are having better luck finding jobs, outpacing their civilian counterparts in many states, but younger former troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan still lag behind.

The Ozarks: A ‘Good Place to be a Veteran and Get a Job’  (KSMU)  The Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Career Center in Springfield hosted the Hiring Our Heroes Veterans Job Fair Thursday, aimed at finding employment for military veterans and their spouses. KSMU’s Shane Franklin was in attendance, and has this report.

‘Transition GPS’ helps troops re-enter civilian world  (Hilltop Times)  Feedback on “Transition GPS,” which prepares service members to enter the civilian workforce, indicates it improves on the program it replaced, the director of the Defense Department’s Transition to Veterans Program office said here March 11.

Helping hand: Readiness course assists with job hunt  (Army Flier)  Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, once said that change is the only constant in life, and it was Louis Pasteur who is quoted as saying, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”

Recent veterans struggle to find jobs  (USA Today)  Despite downward trends in unemployment across the country, veterans who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars still have difficulty finding work, according to government jobs data issued Thursday.

Veterans unemployment rises in Texas, falls nationally  (Dallas News)  The unemployment rate of military veterans rose in Texas last year, showing it’s still tough for returning soldiers to find a job even as the economy improves.

Veteran employment decrease first since 2001  (Dayton Daily News)  New Labor Department figures show the unemployment rate for working-age veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces since September 2001 edged down slightly in 2013, to 9.0 percent.

Veterans News

Governor Cuomo Holds First New York Veterans and Military Families Summit  (LongIsland.com) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today held the first New York State Veterans and Military Families Summit.

SBA working to get loans into veterans’ hands  (Rochester Business Journal)  Our nation’s veterans have served our country proudly and bravely. They are true American heroes, and we must make sure we’re doing everything possible to support them once they re-enter civilian life.

House committee moves bill to let judges consider PTSD, brain injury in sentencing combat vets  (The Republic)  The House Special Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs moved a bill Thursday allowing judges to consider post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries as a mitigating factor during sentencings of combat veterans.

Veterans fight the organic fight at Delaware Valley College training program  (Philly.com)  With his burly physique and woolly beard, Brandon Barnhart looks every inch the laid-back country kid from tiny West College Corner, Ind.

Tuskegee Airman recalls his career and an aviation pioneer honored on a new stamp  (The Washington Post)  The U.S. Postal Service has released a stamp in honor of C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, a black aviation pioneer who taught hundreds of Tuskegee Airmen as chief flight instructor at the historic Tuskegee Institute.

Benefits News

What’s in Veterans Affairs’ $164 Billion Budget?  (The New York Times)  The secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, last week, outlined President Obama’s 2015 budget for the department before hearings of the House and Senate veterans affairs committees, calling for total spending of $163.9 billion, a 6.5 percent increase from last year.

VA-DoD common records system may still be possible  (Military Times)  After being jilted again and again by the Pentagon in pursuit of a common digital health records system, the Veterans Affairs Department is hoping a new makeover will finally get its own system noticed — and perhaps get defense officials to commit to a long-term relationship after all.

Veterans First lives by this motto: Never say ‘no’ to a vet  (Orange Country Register)  We could talk about today’s ribbon-cutting. About the grand opening of a new Veterans First service center.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/20/14

Good news story of the day

Wounded Army vet ‘almost speechless’ as he takes keys to mortgage-free home  (Orlando Sentinel) Rashe Hall was a soldier in Afghanistan in 2006 when his Army platoon came under attack while on patrol.

Military Transition News

90 lieutenant colonels, 131 colonels selected for early retirement  (Air Force Times)  Ninety lieutenant colonels and 131 colonels were selected for early retirement by the Selective Early Retirement Board that met Dec. 9, according to data provided to Air force Times on Wednesday by the Air Force Personnel Center.

Coalition Hosts HIRING FAIR for Service Members and Veterans  (CNBC)  The Coalition for Alaska’s Service Members, Veterans and Families is joining forces with the Alaska National Guard and Army OneSource to host a HIRING FAIR, a one-day event with interactive workshops, job fair booths and transitional advisor stations.

PowerPathway Program Gives Veterans a Leg Up on Job Search  (ABC Local)  An innovative partnership is helping military veterans find work. The Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board, Fresno City College and PG&E’s PowerPathway, are joining forces to literally give students a “leg up” when it comes to finding employment.

Veterans job fair at Rider on Thursday  (The Trentonian)  Rider University has partnered with veteran friendly organizations to give America’s bravest a second chance to start a new career.

Program leads to 500th Wisconsin National Guard member getting hired  (Journal Sentinel)  Jim Reynolds was ready to retire from the Wisconsin National Guard and get a civilian job, but with high unemployment among the ranks of guardsmen he wasn’t sure he could find one.

Veterans News

Why Hiring Veterans Is Good for Business—and for America  (The Wall Street Journal)  America’s wartime heroes and their families need our help.

Michigan starts new effort to hire military veterans (MinBC News)  Veterans say trading in their camouflage for a suit and tie is a difficult transition. The new initiative coined Hiring our Hero’s Vet States Program, is trying to draw attention to veterans with invaluable experience right here in Michigan.

Vets could get college credit for service  (Dayton Daily News)  A state proposal could allow veterans returning home with valuable military experience to have an easier time getting college credit or professional licenses in Ohio.

Children of wounded ‘hidden casualties’ of war  (U-T San Diego)  Children of seriously wounded combat veterans are “the hidden casualties of war,” according to a study released Wednesday.

APNEWSBREAK: NYC INMATE ‘BAKED TO DEATH’ IN CELL  (AP) Jerome Murdough was just looking for a warm place to sleep on a chilly night last month when he curled up in an enclosed stairwell on the roof of a Harlem public housing project where he was arrested for trespassing.

Movement grows to honor fearless Irish immigrant killed while Marine in Vietnam War  (NY Daily News) In the predawn hours of July 18, 1966, Lance Cpl. Patrick (Bob) Gallagher was a long way from County Mayo, Ireland, which he had left a few years earlier to live with an aunt in Lynbrook, L.I., and seek new opportunity in America.

Missing U.S. service member from Vietnam to be laid to rest  (Military Times)  The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced March 18 that the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods of Clarksville, Tenn., will be buried as part of group on March 21 at Arlington in a ceremony honoring the servicemen who were lost in an aircraft crash on Oct. 24, 1964.

Benefits News

Lifelong Pensions for Vets Could Be Whacked Under Pentagon Proposal  (Yahoo Finance)  Twenty years of service for a lifelong pension.

Free tax filing available for veterans  (The Courier)  The Military Veteran Resource Center will provide free income tax filing assistance for military veterans until April 15.

Manchester VAMC to host open house  (New Hampshire Union Leader)  The Manchester VAMC, 718 Smyth Road, is hosting an open house for new enrollments into VA Health Care on Monday, March 24, from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

More veterans taking advantage of Post-9/11 GI Bill  (Independent Mail) In the year since Clemson University launched its Student Veterans Success Center, its volunteer staff has worked to transform the small alcove in the School of Computing into a place where those transitioning from military to civilian life can connect with their peers.

Hayward veterans resource fair March 22  (Mercury News)  Veterans can get help with benefits claims and job information at a resource fair Saturday.

DiNapoli: Veterans services are underutilized  (Times Union)  This sounds like a classic governmentalese case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing: Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has found that lots of veterans in New York State rely on Medicaid for health care services rather than the federal Veterans Affairs organizations.

Senate bill would provide free treatment to veterans with traumatic brain injury  (The Oklahoman)  When Capt. Matt Smothermon came home from a deployment to Afghanistan with the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, he wasn’t the same person.

Dem bill fixes death benefits for fallen soldiers  (The Hill) Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would allow the Defense Department to continue making $100,000 “death gratuity” payments to the families of fallen soldiers, even during a government shutdown.

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