Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/22/14

Good news story of the day

Afghanistan veteran launching cross-country memorial trek from DuPont this week  (The News Tribune) An Afghanistan veteran embarking on eight-month hike across the country to honor fallen troops is holding a pair of kick-off events in Pierce County this week.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Monster and Host National Veteran Employment Summit  (The Wall Street Journal)  Monster and announced they will host their second National Veteran Employment Summit featuring leading voices in the private sector, government and non-profit organizations and showcasing innovative solutions to improve the way in which companies recruit, train and retain veterans in the civilian workforce.

Job fair aims to boost veterans’ employment  (Business Daily)  About 75 area employers will be on hand for a veterans job fair May 8 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

CAREER FAIR FOR VETERANS SET AT MARSHALL  (AP)  A career fair for veterans and military service members is scheduled at Marshall University.

Veterans News

Md. gov candidate suggests Iraq War vet opponent not up for ‘real job’  (Fox News)   A Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland is defending comments he made Monday in which he suggested his opponent, an Iraq war veteran, was not up to the task of a “real job.”

Veterans Village building new veterans beds  (Examiner)  The number of veterans who settle in at Veeterans Village and find a life on their own will go up in July in 2015. Last week, the city council approved VVSD’s plan to build a new two story building with 20 transitional beds.

Ave Maria developers offer 20 acres needed for Collier veterans nursing home  (Naples News)  The developers of Ave Maria are offering to donate 20 acres in the community for a state-run nursing home for veterans, enabling Collier County to be in the running for the project against several other Florida counties.

Interview: 5 questions for the naked veteran  (Military Times)  Vietnam War veteran Max Sanchez struggles with controlling issues stemming from post-traumatic stress.

Benefits News

ROVER Reaches Out to Veterans in Rural Nevada  (Public News Service)  Veterans living in rural Nevada will likely have the opportunity to meet with a Veterans Services officer without having to leave town.

Veteran benefits questions answered at free event  (WRAL)  The Disabled American Veterans and the Harley Davidson Foundation will host an event on May 3 to answer questions about veteran benefits and services.

A day in the life of a Veterans Services Program coordinator  (UWire)  UH Veterans Services Program Coordinator Lawren Bradberry walks through the door a bit past noon and a little out of breath.

Express Scripts to continue as Tricare prescription provider  (Military Times)  Express Scripts, the Pentagon’s pharmacy benefit management company, has been awarded a contract worth up to $5.4 billion over eight years to continue providing pharmacy services for Tricare beneficiaries.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/21/14

Good news story of the day

A Veteran’s Story: Vet soon to be 106 years old  (Mansfield News Journal)  When William Dormaier joined the Army in 1943, he was 35 years old and just married.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Twelve Kansas City area employers honored for hiring military veterans  (Kansas City Business)  Twelve Kansas City area employers that hired military veterans through Missouri’s Show-Me Heroes program have been honored by the state’s Department of Economic Development.

Job fair focused on veterans, spouses  (Insurance News Net)  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a job fair for veterans and military spouses Tuesday at American Legion Celina Post 210, 2510 E. state Route 703.

‘Ugh. I miss it.’  (The Washington Post)  ransitioning from military to civilian life, and from camaraderie to isolation.

Staff sergeant rank due to get culled  (Marine Corps Times)  Marine Corps Times has obtained details of the upcoming Staff Sergeant Retention Board, which will be held for the first time this summer to cull hundreds of staff sergeants who were passed over twice for promotion and have served between 15 and 18 years.

Veterans News

Gulf War illness: Thousands who served still report mysterious symptoms

Military Veterans Bring Value to the Classroom  (  I have followed with interest the national conversation about the important role of colleges in easing the transition of military veterans into the classroom.

Group to host fundraiser for wounded veterans  (Reporter Newspapers)  The Phoenix Patriot Foundation will bring its mission to aid wounded veterans to Sandy Springs.

John Walsh: Preventing Veteran Suicide Is ‘The Cost Of War’  (Huffington Post)  Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) posed a question to his colleagues on Capitol Hill this Sunday: If lawmakers are willing to spend billions of dollars on war, why are they less willing to invest in the welfare of veterans when they come home?

SC veterans plan ‘last hurrah’ to D-Day beaches  (The State)  A month after World War II ended, Jeanne Palyok, an American raised in France by her grandparents, sailed back to Paris to work as a translator at the U.S. Embassy.

Veterans home had HIV scare  (UT San Diego)  The Chula Vista veterans home whose director was ousted this month had the lowest health rating available from the federal government and had seen a sharp uptick in negative findings from state health inspectors, records show.

Retirees create network to help active-duty families  (Air Force Times)  One airman couldn’t fit an oil change into his busy schedule.

 Benefits News

Social Security launches expedited disability process for veterans  (The Gadsden Times)  The Social Security Administration has launched a new disability process to expedite disability claims filed by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation rating of 100 permanent and total.

Vets’ benefits, community service sessions coming up in Middletown  (The Middletown Press)  Military veterans in and around Middlesex County are invited for a special service session at the Milardo-Wilcox American Legion Post 75, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive, later this week.

VA Hospital’s Rural Mobile Unit Helps Veterans Across the State  (WBOY 12)  For thousands of veterans, getting the healthcare they need means traveling hundreds of miles away, which results in many not seeing a doctor for years.

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Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/17/14

Good news story of the day

Veterans, unclaimed for 25 years, laid to rest with honors at Quantico  (The Washington Post)  No one who attended Wednesday’s funeral service at Quantico National Cemetery had ever met the two World War II-era veterans who were being laid to rest.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Career fair benefits Bay Area veterans  (The Inquirer Online)  Professionals and veterans from all over the Bay Area found jobs and were helped with essential skills at the Bay Area Career Fair.

Hamden job fair puts focus on veterans  (New Haven Register)  Veterans young and old parked their cars up and down Sherman Avenue outside the CFC Arena Indoor Sports Center to attend the Hiring for Heroes job fair Wednesday in hopes of finding a job.

Miss. to hold veterans job fair  (The Clarion-Register)    The Third Annual Veterans Job, Health and Benefits Fair will be held at the Mississippi Trademart from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

Job fair brings new opportunities for Hoosier veterans  (Foz59)  Hundreds of Indiana veterans took advantage of a unique opportunity Wednesday, as they participated in a special job fair called Operation Hire a Hoosier Veteran.

Veterans News

Braley pitches veteran jobs bills in Ames  (Ames Tribune)  Congressman Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, promoted two bills aimed at increasing job opportunities for unemployed veterans during a visit to Ames Wednesday.

Sweeney’s job bills can help unemployed N.J. veterans: Letter  (  Sweeney’s job bills can help unemployed N.J. veterans: Letter

Gov. McCrory announces jobs initiative plan for veterans  (WNCN)  Gov. Pat McCrory announced a major jobs initiative plan to help military veterans get jobs after serving their country.

Montrose veterans program tears down barriers and earns accolades  (The Denver Post)  Last week, the founder of Welcome Home Montrose was filling out a form in a doctor’s office when she was struck by the fact that, amid pages of questions about family status and medical issues, there was nothing about military service.

The Rise and Fall of Major Jim Gant  (War On The Rocks)  Whether you are interested in an unusual love story or in how the United States fights protracted wars, Ann Scott Tyson’s American Spartan is an important  book.

Congress unhappy with DoD, VA health records progress  (Military Times)  House lawmakers plan to hold back millions in dollars of technology funding from Defense and Veterans Affairs department planners until Congress is convinced they are making progress on developing a way to share electronic medical records.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/16/14

Good news story of the day

Europe pulling all stops to mark 70th anniversary of key WWII events  (Stars and Stripes)  Some townspeople here still remember that day in April 1944 when a burning American B-17 screamed low overhead, crashed and exploded in a nearby field.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Job fair for veterans, military spouses coming to Evansville next week  (Courier Press)  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host “Hiring Our Heroes – Evansville,” a hiring fair for veterans and military spouses on April 24.

Major job fair for veterans comes to Indiana State Fairgroundss  (The Indy Channel)  Hundreds of companies are headed to the Indiana State Fairgrounds with the hopes of hiring more than 2,000 people.

Resource fair planned for area veterans  (Trib Live)  Veterans returning to the workforce after their military service who wish to find good paying jobs in fields not requiring a college education should take note. Walz talks vets and jobs  (KIMT)  As if what they do for their country is not already hard enough, veterans returning from war often have a hard time getting acclimated back into the real world.

Programs help to nudge unemployment among veterans downward  (Trib Live)  The two months that Mark Corbin spent searching for a job were as stressful as his time in Iraq and Afghanistan. Feds talk: How do you feel about veterans’ preference for federal hiring?  (The Washington Post)  The Partnership for Public Service this month released a report calling for controversial civil-service reforms, including changes to the federal government’s hiring practices.

Veterans News

Patients rate VA medical centers high for satisfaction  (Military Times)  Patients at Veterans Affairs medical centers remain satisfied with the care they receive and complaints are down, a new survey released Wednesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index found.

Chandler, Mesa might create veterans court  (AZ Central)  A specialized court for military veterans that focuses on treatment rather than punishment might be coming to the Southeast Valley.

I Served My Country. Then It Kicked Me Out.  (Politico)   I often think about Friday dinners with my family. Every Friday, no matter what, my wife and I took our two children out to eat; it was a ritual we looked forward to all week.

Tricare presents plan for re-enrolling some in Prime  (Military Times)  Tricare announced Tuesday its plans for reinstating thousands of beneficiaries who lost eligibility for Tricare Prime last October, but by law, not all who were booted off Prime will be able to re-enroll.

Your medical files may be at risk  (Military Times)  After veteran Aaron Alexis shot and killed a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard last September, the Air Force noted a spike in the number of personnel dipping into his electronic medical file.

Vets home director pushed out  (Union Tribune)  The director of the state’s veterans home in Chula Vista has been forced to resign for undisclosed reasons.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/15/14

Good news story of the day

Seats added to help New Jersey’s Veterans find new careers at the inaugural Veteran and Transitioning Military Re-careering Seminar  (PR Newswire)     On April 29th, the MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program ( will host its inaugural re-careering event for transitioning military and veterans in New Jersey.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Program offers Marines and sailors transition assistance  (JD News)  As the military continues its downsizing efforts, one program is committed to ensuring Marines and sailors get the assistance they need.

Donnelly, Purdue work to transition veterans back to civilian life  (JCOnline)  As the U.S. continues to close military bases across Afghanistan and send troops home, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, hopes to provide a smoother transition back to civilian life for them and their families.

Job, Health and Benefit Fair for Mississippi Veterans  (WHLT) The Mississippi Governor’s Job Fair Network is hoping to help Veterans and their spouses with job and health benefits.

Hoosier Veteran Job Fair To Feature 200 Employers  (WBIW)  Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today encouraged Hoosier veterans to attend the eighth annual “Operation Hire a Hoosier Veteran” Job Fair on Wednesday,

Veterans News

College Success For Veterans  (CBS Local Philly)  Data from veterans who used education benefits from the post 9/11 GI Bill seem to graduate with rates comparable to their non-veteran peers.

Society shouldn’t tar all veterans as loose cannons  (The News Tribune)  There is a military proverb that first reports from the battlefield are always wrong.

Why so many firings from Veterans Home? Lawmaker asks  (KCCI)  A lawmaker is demanding an investigation to determine why so many workers at the Iowa Veterans Home have been fired and disqualified from future state employment.

Anonymous online counseling for vets shows early success  (Military Times)  When they contracted with the Vets Prevail program late last year, Veterans Affairs Department officials hoped the Web-based mental health resource could enroll about 2,200 new veterans in its anonymous counseling over a year.

Arvada man, a World War II vet, gets overdue POW medal  (The Denver Post)  A World War II veteran and Arvada resident was presented Monday with a medal commemorating his time as a prisoner of war.

Benefits News

Other-than-honorable vet says VA cutting insulin supply after 15 years  (WRDW)  Veteran Richard Ray said he wants to know why the VA has discontinued the medication he needs to live.

McCain, Flake call for hearings on delayed care at Phx VA hospital  (CBS5AZ)  U.S. Sen. John McCain(R-Arizona) and U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake(R-Arizona) are calling for congressional hearings to determine whether dozens of patients died while awaiting medical care at the Phoenix VA Hospital.

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

Good news story of the day

One hero at a time, benefit for wounded Afghanistan veteran  (St George News)  From noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, veterans and friends gathered at the Casa Blanca Event Center in Mesquite, Nev. to pay tribute to Afghanistan Veteran Sgt. Travis Wood and his family.

Military Transition and Jobs News

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

Dept. of Veteran Affairs: VetCon, a veteran employment and services conference  (  Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary John A. Scocos today announced VetCon: A Veteran Employment and Services Conference will take place on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

PTSD affects veterans jobs, recent shooting could make it worse  (KXXV)  A local soldier says his PTSD is making it hard for him to get a job, and the recent Fort Hood shooting could make it worse.

Fort Hood Shootings Could Stymie Veteran Hiring  (Yahoo Finance)  In late 2012, Harry A. Croft, a psychiatrist and former Army doctor who specializes in veterans’ post-traumatic syndrome disorders, was approached by a human resources specialist for a Fortune 500 company.

Ohio bill would protect businesses favoring veterans in hiring  (The Columbus Dispatch)  To help those who served their country, Ohio lawmakers are moving toward granting legal protection to private-sector employers who prefer to hire and promote military veterans.

Commentary: Defense Civilian Layoffs Won’t be Pleasant, But They Are Necessary  (Government Executive)  Against the backdrop of an increasingly unstable world, including the Russian invasion of Crimea, the ongoing conflict in Syria, an agitated Iran, aggression from the North Koreans and a militarized China, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently announced that he would seek further cuts to our uniformed personnel.

Veterans News

With suicides way up, Treasure Valley group works to aid veterans  (Idaho Statesman)  In the summer of 2012, U.S. Army veteran Reed Pacheco had his suicide all planned out.

Veterans’ tax exemptions have LI school boards struggling  (Newsday)  School districts across Long Island are struggling with whether to enact a new property tax exemption to assist veterans and in the process put a greater burden on nonveteran taxpayers.

Isle lab moves to ID sailors from USS Oklahoma  (Star Advertiser)  The embattled Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command says it’s getting closer to gaining Pentagon approval to disinter and identify for return to families nearly 400 crew members of the battleship USS Oklahoma buried as “unknowns” at Punchbowl cemetery.

Large numbers of vets with PTSD live near military bases  (McClatchy DC)  The Army specialist who killed three soldiers at Fort Hood last week isn’t the only person from the neighborhoods that surround the massive military base near Killeen, Texas, who’s been evaluated or diagnosed with mental illness.

Combat vets battle an enemy within: Addiction  (  The first time Pearson Crosby went to the methadone clinic at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center in early 2013, he asked his father to go with him.

Why Are So Many Older Veterans Committing Suicide?  (National Journal)  The Fort Hood shooting reignited the national debate over the surge of suicides among those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Benefits News

Bill would aid Ohio veterans  (The News-Messenger)  The Ohio House of Representatives has passed House Bill 488, which will assist Ohio’s veterans in furthering their education.

Veterans Corner: VA removes annual income reporting requirements  (Sawyer County Record)  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is eliminating the annual requirement for most veterans enrolled in VA’s health care system to report income information beginning in March 2014.

Soldiers stuck in backlogged disability system can’t go forward, can’t go back  (The News Tribune)  Sgt. Chris Peden is stuck.

White House unveils expanded support for military, vets’ caregivers  (Military Times)  The White House continued its focus on veterans and military families by announcing new programs Friday to expand support and services available to those who care for injured or ill troops.

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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  (  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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Military/Veteran Transitionnews for 2/6/14

Military transition and veterans affairs news of the day for 2/6/14

Good news story of the day

Nashua firm helps get veterans back in the workforce  (New Hampshire Union Leader)  Ed O’Neill was having breakfast at Nancy’s Diner Monday morning with two guys in the crew of Veterans Mowing and Plowing when a light snow started blowing.

Military transition

Medical Technology Veterans Program is renamed the MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program (MVP) and Expands Nationwide  (The Wall Street Journal)  The Medical Technology Veterans Program, renamed the MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program (MVP), has expanded nationwide and to industries across the life sciences.

‘Hiring Our Heroes’ job fair coming to Kauai for Hawaii veterans and spouses  (Pacific Business News)  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has partnered with several national and local partners to bring its national Hiring Our Heroes job fair to the Garden Isle on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Kauai Veterans Center.

Free conference to help vets find lasting employment  (The Eagle)  Student veterans from around the nation will travel to College Station this week to take part in an innovative networking and career fair for servicemen and servicewomen.

Veterans learn organic farming at Pa. program  (The Altoona Mirror)  With his burly physique and woolly beard, Brandon Barnhart looks every inch the laid-back country kid from tiny West College Corner, Ind.

Still Serving Veterans Seeks Businesses To Join Job Fair Feb. 19-21  (  Our veterans stepped forward to preserve our American way of life by putting their lives on the line with their military service.


Veterans advocate Michael Charter dies at 69  (UT San Diego)  Instead of maintaining a comfortable distance from the homeless people he encountered, Michael Charter chatted them up and recruited them for beach cleanups and other community events he supported while on the Ocean Beach Town Council board.

Veterans art therapy featured in exhibition at Tri-C gallery  ( You or a loved one went through the wringer of war and got hung out to dry.

Veterans group seeks new members  (The News Herald)  Although Burke County is home to a large number of military veterans, the population of those who served in World War II, the Korean conflict and Vietnam dwindles every day.

Masco Gives More Than $1 Million In Support of Military Veterans; 11 Michigan Organizations Among Recipients  (The Wall Street Journal)  Masco Corporation, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of home improvement and building products, and its Foundation have partnered — through a combination of products and cash grants — to award over $1 million in support of its veteran initiative: “America’s Heroes: A Million Thanks”.

Kendall veterans group gets new vehicle  (The Beacon-News)  The Kendall County Veterans Assistance Commission will get a sorely needed new vehicle.

Wounded Warrior Project Actively Transitioning Returning Veterans Foremost Into All Areas of Transport & Logistics Sector  (Yahoo Finance)  Last month marked a milestone for Wounded Warrior Project and the cold chain logistics industry.

Veterans affairs

WIP veteran benefits late, backlogged  (Times-Georgian)  I put this paragraph into the column I wrote on Aug. 8, 2013, using information directly from one of the VA websites, but how has it actually worked out for us?

House passes bill to give veterans in-state tuition, halt VA executive bonuses  (The Washington Post)  The House this week unanimously passed a bill that would expand veterans’ educational benefits and end bonuses for the senior executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs for five years.

House hearing to review veterans claims processing  (Stars and Stripes)  A hearing to review new technologies aimed at updating federal claims processing and erasing the massive Veterans Affairs disability claim backlog has been scheduled for Wednesday by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, according to a statement from chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla.

WWII vet granted benefits after long battle with VA  (USA Today)  Millard Sells saw fierce combat in 1945 on Iwo Jima, but for most of the past two decades he has been engaged in a different, more bureaucratic battle.

Veterans Affairs employee indicted for gambling, buying gun, drinking on the  clock  (  Judge Ray Elliott unsealed a grand jury indictment Wednesday against Johnny  Lloyd Surles for two criminal counts: false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim  against the state and obtaining property by false pretense.

Not enough parking is provided for patients and employees at Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center  (  “The worst is, there are no spots, first off,” said 15-year Army veteran Lynn Stuart, who recently had knee replacement surgery at the VA Medical Center.

Police investigate shooting at Veterans Affairs campus in Vancouver  (Oregon Live)  Sheriff’s officials in southwest Washington were saying little as they try to determine why a Veterans Affairs  worker was gunned down and wounded inside a public health building in  the second workplace shooting in Vancouver in as many days.

VA still fighting paper war  (Politico)  On the battlefield, Washington is racing to equip its soldiers on the front  lines with the most high-tech weapons and warplanes.


Commissaries won’t close, but prices may increase  (Military Times)  Pentagon proposals to reportedly slice $1 billion from the annual commissary budget may not hinge on closing stores, but on raising prices for patrons, sources said.

CBO: Military pension growth to fall 5 percent by 2023 with cut  (The Washington Post)  A controversial new pension cut for younger military retirees will help reduce projected growth for the retirement payments by about 5 percent by 2023, according to congressional number crunchers.

MacDill glitch exposes transfer woes for gay military couples  (The Tampa Tribune)  Monday afternoon, Air Force Staff Sgt. Ashley Carney had just wrapped up a meeting at MacDill Air Force Base to go over the final details of her move to Turkey, where she and her wife would become one of the first gay married military couples transferred to a Muslim country.

Boehner proposes linking debt-limit hike to a restoration of recent cuts to military benefits  (The Washington Post)  House Speaker John A. Boehner scrambled to sell a new debt-ceiling solution to his Republican colleagues on Wednesday, encouraging them to demand a restoration of recently cut military benefits in exchange for a one-year extension of the federal government’s borrowing authority.

Castricone Proposes a NY Veterans Payroll Tax Exemption to Promote Veteran Employment  (Rockland County Times)  NY Assembly Candidate Dan Castricone this week released his plan to encourage employers to hire military veterans.

Bill would require Tricare to cover breast-feeding expenses  (Military Times)  Tricare would cover the cost of breast-feeding equipment, support and counseling for new moms who want to nurse their babies under a bill introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

Defense Cuts Remain Off Table in Debt-Ceiling Talks – For Now  (Defense News)  House Republicans have yet to settle on a plan to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, but it appears using defense cuts as a bargaining chip is not an option.

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Military/Veteran Transitionnews for 2/5/14

Military transition and veterans affairs news of the day for 2/5/14

Good news story of the day

Helping wounded vets move from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’  (Stars and Stripes)  Back when Michael Baker was a nuclear submarine technician in the Navy, he was a triathlete who spent as much time as he could exploring the Hawaiian outdoors near his naval base.

Military transition

Helping Transitioning Servicemembers Find Jobs Before Becoming Veterans  (The Huffington Post)  You’ve heard it said countless times: “It’s easier to get a job if you already have one.”

New website launches to help Montana veterans  (  Lieutenant Governor John Walsh announced the launch of a new website to help military personnel transition to civilian life.

The 10 Best Jobs For Veterans  (Forbes)  Many veterans returning to the U.S. from stints overseas have years of job experience under their belts, yet they feel daunted by the challenge of making the transition into the civilian workforce.

Military veterans graduate from Boston Fire Academy  (The Daily Free Press)  After 20 weeks of grueling training, 51 military veterans were inducted into the Boston Fire Department on Tuesday with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh in attendance.

Texas A&M Students Launch New Program To Help Aggie Veterans  (TAMU Times)  A new branch of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Texas A&M University, with the specific purpose of helping Aggie veterans, plans the first national military veteran conference in higher education  Friday and Saturday (Feb. 7-8) at the university.

Veteran students meet with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs John Scocos  (University of Wisconsin Superior)  Fifteen UW-Superior students with military experience were able to connect one-on-one with the Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs John Scocos on Monday.


Veteran Groups Launch Pre-Emptive Strike on Federal Budget  (The Wall Street Journal)  Four major veterans advocacy groups called for more veteran health-care spending in the next federal budget and changes to a number of Department of Veterans Affairs policies, in their annual outline of legislative goals released Tuesday morning.

New UC panel to aid military veterans  (Fox 5 San Diego)  The University of California on Monday announced the formation of an advisory  group to help military veterans address specific issues and succeed in earning  degrees.

Villa Park VFW Bringing Veterans Welcome Home Back Home  (Chicago Tribune)  The popular and effective Veterans Welcome Home and Benefits event is coming back to the VFW Post in Villa Park.

Despite progress, VA still has 400,000 backlogged claims  (UPI)  The Department of Veterans Affairs cut its backlog of hundreds of thousands of  disability claims by nearly one-third last year but is still struggling to  modernize an outdated processing system, a report released Monday by the Iraq  and Afghanistan Veterans of America found.

Veteran Hopefuls Use Bravery, Heroics in Bids for Congress  (Roll Call)  Veterans regularly run for Congress, but this cycle features candidates armed with particularly impressive biographies involving escapes, captures and military adventures that Tom Clancy would have struggled to dream up.

Veterans affairs

VA Launches Online Tool to Calculate Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits  (Department of Veterans Affairs)  The Veterans Affairs Department today launched a new online tool to make it easier for veterans, service members and family members to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA’s approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country.

Feinstein bill pushes housing for homeless vets at West L.A. VA campus (Los Angeles Times)  Sen. Dianne  Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced a bill Tuesday to smooth the way for the U.S.  Department of Veterans Affairs to partner with private agencies to develop  housing for homeless veterans on its West Los Angeles campus.

VA Offers New Tools to Ensure Post-9/11 GI Bill Beneficiaries Are Informed Consumers  (The White House)  What’s the first thing you do when shopping for a big-ticket item?

Report: Rocky Hill veterans’ housing goes unused  (The Washington Times)   Five houses in Rocky Hill that state officials set aside and renovated for  Connecticut military veterans have sat mostly empty for several years, while  statistics show one in 10 homeless people in the state is a veteran, according  to a published report.

Report: No ‘evidence of planning’ from Obama administration to help veterans  receive benefits  (The Daily Caller)  The Obama administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has no long-term  plan to correct the errors that have left hundreds of thousands of veterans  waiting months to receive benefits, despite President Obama’s State of the Union  vow to fix the problem.

Government concedes negligence in Legionnaires’ lawsuit  (  House legislation that would make it illegal for veterans hospitals nationwide to conceal disease outbreaks won passage on Monday evening with bipartisan approval.

Senators want answers on veterans records breach  (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)  Both U.S. senators from Missouri are seeking answers about the potential fallout for veterans and their families after a former clerk admitted misfiling hundreds of military records at a St. Louis warehouse.

Former fighter pilot named new director of Punchbowl  (Star Advertiser)  A former Air Force fighter pilot and onetime inspector general for Pacific Air Forces will become the new director of Punchbowl Cemetery March 9, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced.


Tax break for young military retirees stirs debate, clears House committee  (The Spokesman Review)  Idaho doesn’t charge its state income tax on military retirement pay for those age 65 or older, but it does tax pension benefits for military retirees who are younger than 65.

In new pitch to pass jobless pay, Harry Reid sweetens deal with measure to restore military pension cuts  (Washington Examiner)  The Senate this week will make another attempt to pass an extension of federal unemployment insurance by tying the effort to a plan to restore military pension benefits.

Senate to take up comprehensive veterans reform bill Thursday (The Washington Times)  Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont  independent, said Tuesday a comprehensive veteran’s reform bill could be brought  up on the Senate floor as early as Thursday.

Florida Legislators aim to increase veterans benefits  (First Coast News)  Lawmakers are debating new programs that will impact the more than 1.6 million veterans who live in the state of Florida.

Veterans Service Organizations Urge $72.9 Billion Investment in Veterans’ Health Care and Benefits  (  Four of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations—AMVETS, DAV, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)—are urging the Administration and Congress to provide $72.9 billion to sufficiently meet veterans’ health care and benefits needs.

Senate panel to mark up bill repealing military pension cuts  (The Hill)

The Senate Armed Services Committee will mark up a bill next week to repeal the $6 billion military pension cuts included in last month’s budget deal.

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Military/Veteran Transitionnews for 2/4/14

Military transition and veterans affairs news of the day for 2/4/14

Good news story of the day

Wounded veteran gets the keys to mortgage-free home   (The News Tribune)  A combat-wounded Army veteran got the keys to a mortgage-free home in Federal Way Monday through a Wells Fargo military affairs program.

Military transition

22,500 face cuts this year  (Marine Corps Times)  The Air Force is planning to cut roughly 22,500 airmen this year alone through its massive force management programs.

Job fair for military members, veterans set for Tuesday  (Los Cruces Sun-News)  A free job fair for veterans, is scheduled for Tuesday at Fort Bliss in El Paso.

Veterans given tools for civilian job hunting  (Sun Sentinel)  They came out of the Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy more skilled than they went in, and many thought employers would welcome them with a job.

Interstate compact aids transition of students in military families  (Great Falls Tribune)  Senior Brandon Brooking transferred to C.M. Russell High School from Texas in the middle of his junior year, and he said it was the easiest transition he’d experienced as the son of military parents.

New UC panel to aid military veterans in university  (Los Angeles Times)  The University of California on Monday announced the formation of an advisory group to help military veterans address specific issues and succeed in earning degrees.

Programs aimed at veterans go into motion  (The Scribe)  Last month The Scribe reported on two planned programs to benefit the campus veteran community: Boots to Suits and Peer Mentorship.


Veterans with traumatic brain injuries and combat-related challenges  (Medical Press)  Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have found that among traumatic brain injury-diagnosed veterans treated by the Veterans Health Administration between 2009 and 2011, the majority had a clinician-diagnosed mental health disorder and approximately half had both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and pain.

World War I Portland veteran’s Purple Heart returned to his family  (Morning Sentinel)  A military medal awarded to a Portland man wounded in World War I was returned to his family in Pittsfield on Sunday.

Simi Valley gala to benefit troops  (Ventura County Star)  Auction items at the Military Tribute Gala in Simi Valley will include a weeklong stay at a Maui resort and a sailboat cruise in Newport Beach.

Genesee County veterans’ military records dating to WWII damaged by mold, document restoration set  (  Thousands pages of damaged military papers belonging to Genesee County veterans are boxed and bound for Livonia, where document recovery specialists will try to salvage them from water, mildew and mold damage.

Military sniper links his string of armed robberies to PTSD  (Los Angeles Times)

As an Army sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gabriel Brown craved danger. Combat satisfied what he called his “adrenaline addiction.”

Veterans have mixed feelings about Budweiser’s ‘A Hero’s Welcome’ Super Bowl ad  (PRI)  One told the story of a relationship between a puppy and the Anheuser-Busch signature Clydesdales. The other, however, looked at a celebration for an American veteran, returning home from battle. The ad, according to several veterans, tried to walk a delicate line between celebrating and pandering.

Marine intelligence officer busted in $235,000 sting, FBI says  (Sun Sentinel)  A U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer complaining of money and marriage woes may have thought his troubles were over when he pulled into a Dania Beach parking lot to pick up a duffel bag stuffed with $235,000 in cash.

Army program helps soldier choose life over suicide  (USA Today)  The demons rushed in during the months after Levertis Jackson returned from Afghanistan in 2011. “I felt like I was losing complete control of my mind and my sanity,” says the former Army specialist.

Veterans affairs

Veterans hospital finds ways to tame MRSA super bug  (USA Today)  Before 2007, the potentially deadly super bug MRSA stalked patients at the Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center — with infection rates 20 times higher than they are today.

Veterans Affairs to hold information forum for patients  (  Veterans who receive health care services at the Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Lincoln are invited to attend an information forum Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.

VA reduced benefits backlog, but needs to get back in gear, say veterans  (The Christian Science Monitor)  Despite having made good progress to reduce a backlog of disability claims that peaked last March, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts have lost momentum in recent months, according to a new report from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

VA lacks control over own data, leaks could occur: audit  (The Washington Times)  The Veterans Affairs Department doesn’t have solid controls over its own financial reporting or computer data, leading to the possibility that the agency could leak information or mistake just how much it is spending, an investigation found.

Report: Veterans Affairs Backlog Shrinking, But Still Daunting  (National Journal)  The Department of Veterans Affairs has made a dent in its mountain of backlogged disability compensation claims, but it still has a very long way to go, according to a report released Monday.


Lawmakers seek in-state tuition rates for veterans  (The Washington Post)  The House overwhelmingly passed legislation Monday that would require public universities around the country to charge veterans in-state tuition rates or face financial penalty.

IRS offers special benefits for military  (The Tennessean)  The Internal Revenue Service opened the 2014 tax-filing season Jan. 31, so filers who have their tax returns done can send them in now.

Raises, BAH are likely targets of 2015 defense budget  (  The Pentagon’s 2015 budget is likely to contain such belt-tightening proposals as reducing active-duty pay raises and housing allowances and instituting fees for Tricare for Life, officials told a Senate panel Thursday.

Reid readies bill repealing pension cuts  (The Hill)  The Senate is gearing up to vote on a bill as early as next week that would repeal the $6 billion cut to military pensions as part of a larger veterans package, according to Senate aides.

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