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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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/18/14

Good news stories of the day

24 to receive Medal of Honor today at the White House  (Army Times)  At the White House today, 24 people, three of them living, are receiving the Medal of Honor for their valor in wars of past decades.

Stark County veteran embarks on Warrior Hike along Appalachian Trail  (Ohio.com)  Cecil E. Thayer III plans to spend the next six months walking away his war.

Military Transition News

Processing to resume for some early retirement, voluntary separation applications  (Air Force Times)  Air Force officials announced a decision Saturday to resume processing applications for voluntary separations and early retirement for airmen with 15 or more years of service, with the exception of some categories that require waivers such as for service commitments, time in grade or years of commissioned service.

Active-force sees sharp manpower drop  (Army Times)  Regular Army end strength in January took a sharp drop and hit 523,000 by the end of the month, after hovering around 530,000 early in the fiscal year.

Hiring Our Heroes hosts a job fair for military veterans and spouses on March 20 in Grand Prairie  (Dallas News)  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair on March 20 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for military veterans and their spouses.

Southwest Ohio job fair offers help for military veterans who have felony convictions  (The Republic)  Officials in the Dayton area plan a job fair catering to military veterans — including those who have felony convictions.

McCaskill Pushes Jobs Bill for Vets  (CBS)  Pushing a plan to help veterans get back to work, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill stood outside the Soldiers Memorial downtown.

Job fair to target people with military service, experience  (WVEC)  The Army Career and Alumni Program will join forces with the Army Community Service and the Virginia Employment Commission to host a job fair March 27 at the Fort Eustis Club, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Veterans Job Fair set for April 3  (Bossier Press)  The Veterans’ Job and Resource Fair is set for Thursday, April 3 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Bossier Civic Center.

Chairmen Carper and Harkin Commend Defense Department for Improving Transition Assistance Program  (Insurance News Net) Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, commended the Department of Defense (DOD) for taking key steps to improve a program designed to prepare servicemembers and veterans with information and provide resources on how to best use their GI Bill benefits.

Veterans News

Federal Government Signs Off On Study Using Marijuana To Treat Veterans’ PTSD  (The Huffington Post)  The federal government has signed off on a long-delayed study looking at marijuana as a treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, a development that drug researchers are hailing as a major shift in U.S. policy.

Lottery sales benefit Illinois veterans  (The Southern Illinoisan)  The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs on Monday announced a total of $241,582 in grants from Veterans’ Cash scratch-off lottery ticket sales to help fourteen non-profits and local governmental entities deliver specialized programs and services to llinois veterans.

Gov. Pence signs military family relief fund bill to help veterans  (Indianapolis Recorder)  Governor Mike Pence recently signed a bill that will help Hoosier heroes and their families by expanding access to the Military Family Relief Fund.

Collateral damage: The mental health issues facing children of veterans  (CBS)  How many of these homecomings have you seen on television since we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan more than a decade ago?

Flag meant to honor fallen son is barred from memorial  (Philly.com)  Amy and Patrick Moore didn’t expect any trouble, not after the loss they suffered.

Benefits News

More veterans taking advantage of Post-9/11 GI Bill  (The Kansas City Star) 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.

Legion post plans VA benefits talk  (Newark Advocate)  The Thornville American Legion Post 342 will sponsor an informational presentation about Veterans Affairs benefits that is open to all veterans and their family members.

Widow faces setback in benefits battle  (The Tennessean)  When Betty Osborne heard about World War II marine veteran Millard Sells fighting for nearly two decades to get his veteran’s disability benefits, she could only shake her head.

I won my battle, but other veterans still fight the VA for PTSD benefits  (Examiner)  While conducting research for my latest article, I ran across a headline that really hit me close to home: “Veteran fights VA to keep PTSD diagnosis”.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/17/14

Good news story of the day

Clarksville veteran wins silver at Paralympics  (The Leaf Chronicle)  Clarksville veteran Heath Calhoun added his first Paralympics medal to an already impressive list of accomplishments Friday in Sochi, Russia.

Military Transition News

Job-hunting tips for military veterans back in the workforce  (The Guardian)  A job interview, for a military veteran, tends to be a formal affair.  He won’t  slouch or lean in a chair.

Job Fair for military veterans on March 19  (Examiner)  Leaving the military can be difficult.

Job fair March 25 to help veterans  (The Chippewa Herald)  A job fair for veterans, their spouses and service members will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at the Eau Claire Army National Guard Armory, 1730 North Lane, Eau Claire.

Merced job fair attracts veterans, others looking for employment  (The Sacramento Bee)  Many came dressed in their best interview clothes Thursday for a veterans job fair in Merced.

Misunderstood veterans searching for jobs struggle to connect with recruiters  (The Guardian)  “I need to be a little bit more proactive, a little bit more – I don’t want to say the word – annoying,” Nick Marriott sighs, then chuckles. “Patient, too. I hate the waiting process.”

Vet Groups Question $1 Billion VA Jobs Program  (Military.com)  The administration is again hoping to establish a major veterans’  employment program that would see thousands of former service members employed  in public sector jobs across the country.

City hosts Veterans job fair downtown  (WOKV)  The city of Jacksonville is hosting a job fair this morning at the convention center downtown  for veterans and their families.

Senator introduces jobs, small business bills to help vets  (Navy Times)  New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has introduced two bills to help veterans look for jobs and start small businesses.

Veterans News

Veterans rallied Saturday for a solution to Ft. Bayard  (Silver City Sun-News)   Close to 100 people attended a rally Saturday afternoon at the Grant County Business and Conference Center to support the Southwest New Mexico Transition Center acquiring Fort Bayard.

Care and Benefits for Veterans Strengthened by $153 Billion VA Budget  (MilitarySpot)  Continuing the transformation of the Department of Veterans Affairs into a 21st century organization, the President has proposed a $152.7 billion budget, a 10.2 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2013, that will support VA’s goals to expand access to health care and other benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end homelessness among Veterans.

Holly Petraeus: ‘Some people don’t balk at taking advantage of veterans’  (The Guardian)  When you join the US military, you are taught about a lot of things: discipline, respect, loyalty. Yet there’s one thing that they don’t teach you in the military: how to protect your own finances.

Benefit set for Fallen Warriors Memorial  (Santa Maria Times)  The committee spearheading the Lompoc Valley Fallen Warriors Memorial to forever remember local residents who died while serving in the military has planned its first major benefit for Saturday night.

Paralyzed Madison combat vet goes ‘RoboCop’ with bionic suit that lets him stand and walk  (Wisconsin State Journal)  Just under three years ago, a powerful bomb blast ripped the earth apart along a remote road in Afghanistan, leaving Army Sgt. Dan Rose paralyzed from the chest down.

Houston’s WWII sailor in famous kissing photo dies at 86  (Chron)  Glenn Edward McDuffie, the young sailor from Houston who can be seen in one of the most iconic photos from the end of World War II, has died, according to family members.

Disabled ex-Air Force sergeant says federal security officers tased him at downtown Portland office  (Oregon Live)  A former U.S. Air Force sergeant is suing the federal government and four federal officers for allegedly tasing him several times and striking him in the head and back as he tried to go through security at a downtown Portland office for an appointment.

Benefits News

A Senate bill would speed up veterans’ disability claims  (The Olympian)  It took soldiers returning to the United States from Europe more than a week to cross the Atlantic by boat at the end of World War II. Today troops can traverse the globe from Afghanistan in as little as 24 hours.

Bill offers more benefits for Louisiana’s ‘wounded warriors’  (The Town Talk)   Louisiana’s military personnel returning from war with serious injuries and spouses who have lost loved ones deserve more benefits than the state now offers, say Reps. Frank Howard and James Armes.

Veterans news: Gather papers now  (Courier-Journal)  All veterans who were discharged (separated) from military service must have a copy of their discharge certificate in order to receive veteran’s benefits, whether filing a claim for service-connected illnesses, injuries, and wounds, or in the event of death.

Agent Orange talk prompts memories, emotion  (The Hays Daily News)  In a soft, halting voice, Katherine Glaser told of how she watched her father die when she was young.

Mobile Vet Center will visit Bennington on Tuesday  (Bennington Banner)  The Mobile Vet Center (like the one pictured here) is headed to American Legion in Bennington VT for a Veterans Welcome Home event for all veterans on Tuesday, March 18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

AFTER ASHES FOUND, DAUGHTER ASKS: WHO DID I BURY?  (AP)  Dellaina Grundy isn’t sure whether any of the cremated remains buried in her father’s grave in a veterans cemetery are his, and she doesn’t expect to ever know.

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

Good news story of the day

Marines volunteer to help renovate home of WWII veteran  (WMUR)

He didn’t know that the injury would eventually catch up to him in October when his knee gave way walking down the stairs of his home in Bedford. Ruchin tore four tendons and is currently going through rehabilitation.

Military Transition/Jobs News

Employers, Wounded Warriors and Veterans Register Now for Hiring Conference  (U.S. Navy)  Whether you’re a veteran or wounded warrior looking for a job or an employer looking for qualified candidates, the 4th Annual Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Conference is the place to be May 28-29 in Raleigh, N.C.

Soldiers graduate to new career  (U.S. Army)  For nine Soldiers leaving the Army, their career futures are looking bright. The Soldiers are the first at Fort Carson to benefit from the Veterans in Piping program offered through the Local Union No. 58 Plumbers, Pipefitters and HVAC Service Technicians, training Soldiers on welding and pipefitting.

‘Transition GPS’ helps troops re-enter civilian world  (U.S. Air Force)  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.

Syracuse Offers Programs for Veterans, Spouses  (DOD Live)  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.

FIRST COUNTY: Home Base Iowa Rolls Out  (WHOTV)  Governor Branstad launched “Home Base Iowa” last November. It serves as a stepping stone to help service members’ transition back into civilian life.

From Hero To Hired  (Arkansas Matters)  Hiring our Heroes has a simple, but important purpose.

Army to cut combat brigades  (The Hill)  The Army may need to cut its number of brigade combat teams nearly in half to accommodate the Pentagon’s plans to slice the Army’s size to below 450,000 soldiers after 2017.

Veterans News

VA: We budgeted before DOD; troop reductions not accounted for  (Stars and Stripes)  Lawmakers fear that the Veterans Affairs department might not be asking for enough money to meet its needs, the National Journal reported Thursday.

Diabetes: Silent Epidemic Among Veterans  (Ozarks First)  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs calls diabetes a silent epidemic among those who have served in the military and is dedicating resources to better management of the disease.

Congress Wants to Shield Veterans From Another Government Shutdown  (National Journal)  During the last government shutdown, lawmakers feared veterans were days away from not receiving their disability checks.

Brundidge Rotarians learn about veterans benefits  (Troy Messenger)  Randy Ross, Pike County veteran’s service officer, was the program guest of Rotarian Lamar Steed at the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday.

Despite congressional muscle, Michigan ranks near bottom in US in funding for veterans (MLive)  After 17 years in the military, U.S. Navy and Gulf War veteran Gary Alcumbrack has done his best to navigate the civilian world even as he wrestles with nightmares that won’t go away.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs says changes have been made at Atlanta VA Medical Center  (WSBTV)  Channel 2 Action News was the first to uncover federal audits showing that mismanagement at the Atlanta VA Medical Center contributed to the deaths of three patients.

VA hospital knew human error caused Legionnaires’ outbreak  (CBS)  In January 2013, CBS News reported that a Veterans Affairs hospital in Pittsburgh knew for more than a year it had an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, but failed to warn patients.

Former Veterans Affairs Psychiatrist Sentenced for Medicare Fraud  (National Journal)  A licensed psychiatrist formerly employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was sentenced today to serve 18 months in prison for falsely claiming to provide at-home services to Medicare beneficiaries.

Veterans Corner: VA looks to reduce opiod prescriptions  (Lake County Sun)  The Department of Veterans Affairs has initiated a multi-faceted approach to reduce the use of opioids among America’s veterans using VA health care.

Medal of Honor recipient Ola Lee Mize dies at 82  (Army Times)  Medal of Honor recipient, Korean War hero and Special Forces legend retired Army Col. Ola Lee Mize has died at 82, according to the Medal of Honor Society. He died Wednesday after a lengthy illness.

Benefits News

VA seeking to educate vets on unclaimed benefits  (KTAR)  Calling all veterans in need of health care, education assistance, even home loans. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs said you could be eligible for more benefits than you think.

Veterans Benefit Fair  (Rochester Homepage)  Hundreds of veterans got an opportunity to learn what benefits they are eligible for today at the Veterans Benefit Fair at Monroe Community Hospital.

Law Extends Financial Support For Veterans  (Indiana Public Media)  Governor Mike Pence Thursday signed legislation that will extend the state benefits members of the armed services and their families receive.

Survey shows distrust of retirement reform in the ranks  (Military Times)  The Pentagon’s new proposal for reforming military retirement is drawing sharply negative reactions from today’s career-minded service members, according to a recent survey of Military Times active-duty readers.

Life care lawyers can help navigate veterans’ benefits  (Cleveland Jewish Media)  With the cost of long-term care rising every day, seniors want to know how to pay for care without breaking the bank.

Gay military widow not getting death benefits  (CNN)  She misses her most around the holidays, especially St. Patrick’s Day — the day they first met — and Valentine’s Day, their wedding anniversary.

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Military/Veteran Transitionnews for 3/12/14

Military transition and veterans affairs news of the day for 3/12/14

Good news story of the day

US Paralympic Team Includes 8 Army Veterans  (Military.com)   An active-duty soldier and seven Army veterans are competing this week in the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Military Transition

80 employers to recruit veterans in ‘Hiring our Heroes’ Grand Rapids job fair  (MLive)  A job fair targeted at U.S. military veterans is returning to Grand Rapids.

Minnesota Veterans Art Experience To Offer Vets Creative Outlet, Ease Transition  (KCENTV)  The Red Wing Arts Association has teamed up with Paul Riedner to create the Minnesota Veterans Art Experience (MVAE), a series of free art events for vets across the state.

Re-up, retention bonuses for select few, budget documents show  (Air Force Times)  Competition for bigger, but fewer, re-enlistment bonuses will be much tighter this year and next.

N.C. congressmen question DoD’s plans for 440th Airlift Wing at Fort Bragg  (FayObserver)  Four congressmen from North Carolina have sent a letter to the Department of Defense raising concerns over the possible shuttering of a Fort Bragg unit.

Veterans

SDSU’s College of Business Ranked Among Top 20 Schools for Military Veterans  (The Business Journal)  The College of Business Administration at San Diego State University (SDSU) announced today that the college was ranked as the 18th best business school in the nation for M.B.A. programs available to military veterans by Military Times magazine.

One of Vietnam’s fiercest battles recalled in film  (Union-Tribune)  They were days of survival, just south of the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam during the winter of 1968.

THE UNCOUNTED  (CNN)  More than a dozen medals lined a shelf in Liz Snell’s home.

Veterans Affairs

More veterans suffer from ALS, but VA moves to help  (Sacramento Bee)  Thomas Corbett may never know what – if anything – from his five years as a heavy-equipment mechanic in the Marine Corps brought on the disease that likely will steal from him the use of nearly every one of his muscles and, sometime in the next several years, his very breath.

Joint hearing to focus on future Veterans Affairs budget  (Washington Post)  The House and Senate veterans’ affairs committees are scheduled to hold a joint hearing on Wednesday to discuss funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly one week after President Obama proposed boosting the organization’s budget by 3 percent.

Vets battle VA on post-Vietnam Agent Orange claims  (Military Times)  Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Bailey never fought in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia, where many U.S. troops were exposed to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange.

OSHA investigates propane explosion and fire at Veterans Affairs construction site in Aurora  (The Denver Channel)  An explosion sparked a fire at the Veterans Affairs construction site at E. 17th Ave. and Fitzsimons Pkwy in Aurora overnight. That’s just a few blocks northwest of E. Colfax Ave. and Interstate 225.

Casey, Heller Unveil VA Backlog Report, Legislation  (PoliticalNews.me)  Chairs of the VA Backlog Working Group, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Dean Heller (R-NV), along with Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), released the 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act, comprehensive legislation designed to reduce the backlog of veterans’ disability claims.

Leidos Awarded Contracts by Department of Veterans Affairs  (The Wall Street Journal)  Leidos, a national security, health and engineering solutions company, today announced three contract wins from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help the agency maximize operational efficiencies, reduce healthcare costs, and improve veteran care.

Congress Must Step Up for Veterans   (The Huffington Post)  Watch TV these days, look around online, or go to a live sporting event, and it’s nearly impossible to miss the growing appreciation of the sacrifices made by America’s veterans.

Benefits

Helping veterans with education, benefits (WTNH)  What’s essentially a one-stop shop for veterans is being set up today to help them sign up for some programs and to help them move forward in life after the military.

VA seeking to educate vets on unclaimed benefits  (KTAR)  Calling all veterans in need of health care, education assistance, even home loans.

Using Cultural Guides to Bridge the Veterans’ Employment Gap  (The Huffington Post)  Veterans’ employment is a national topic; look no further than the constant media and White House attention it receives.

‘No rationale’ for Tricare’s refusal to cover genetic tests  (Military Times)  A change in medical classifications last year has left clinical laboratories across the U.S. carrying a $10 million tab for Tricare.

Commissary fruit, vegetable prices may soar in some Pacific stores  (Military Times)  Commissary officials are floating a proposal that could cause the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables to skyrocket in stores in Guam, Japan and South Korea.

Inhofe Wants More Info on Confusing DoD Budget ‘Now’  (Defense News)  The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee wants the Pentagon to clear up lingering confusion about its 2015 spending blueprint. And he wants it to do so “now.”

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