Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/7/14

Good news story of the day

Project Transition USA Announces New Sponsor for LinkedIN Job Search Workshop on U.S. Military Base  (PR.com)  Project Transition USA, the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit that specializes in teaching transitioning military veterans and their families how to fully utilize the powerful business networking site LinkedIN, is pleased to announce their newest LinkedIN Job Search Workshop Sponsor.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Many returning military vets bound for college  (The Post and Courier)  After five years in the Marines, including a tour in Afghanistan in which he saw buddies die in combat, Andrew Kispert found going back to college as a new veteran one of his biggest challenges yet. For starters, there was the strangeness of resuming civilian life.

Job fair aims to help veterans find employment  (CBS News)  At a recent job fair in New York City, employers were looking to hire veterans, who lag behind the general population when it comes to employment. Many of the employers at the fair say veterans have useful skills that make them valuable employees.

Maine government is helping veterans find employment  (WCSH6)  Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation is conducting a series of educational outreach sessions to assist veterans and current service members with obtaining state occupational licenses.

State Representative hosts job event for veterans  (WCYB)  The U.S. Labor Department says employers added 192,000 jobs in March, but the jobless rate remained steady at 6.7 percent.

Veterans get help with employment at Stockton job fair  (Press of Atlantic City)

Post-9/11 monthly vet unemployment rate back down  (Military Times)  Following a big jump in February, the March unemployment rate for the latest generation of veterans saw an even bigger decrease, the Labor Department’s latest employment report shows.

Veterans News

Fort Hood shooting revives debate on guns, mental illness  (CBS)  Last week’s shooting at Fort Hood has reopened a debate about guns and mental health in the U.S. as lawmakers and public officials once again tackle the question of whether more can be done to address the rising threat of active shooter incidents.

Wounded Marine’s nonprofit aims to help with invisible injuries of war  (The Daily News)  From his darkest hour a dream was realized.

Iraq War amputee Chad Pfeifer invited to Tahoe celebrity golf tournament  (AZ Central)  When Chad Pfeifer lost his left leg during his deployment with the U.S. Army in Iraq, he thought his days as a competitor were done.

Vets react to shooting at Fort Hood  (Army Times)  Army veteran Rick Schumacher has a job interview next week, and he hopes the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting comes up.

Does labeling Fort Hood shooter with PTSD stigmatize combat vets?  (Christian Science Monitor)  Immediately after the Fort Hood rampage last week, many were quick to label the shooter as a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Benefits News

Veterans’ path to graduation can be twisty  (Miami Herald)  University of Minnesota student Zac Bair enlisted in the U.S. Army to help pay for college. After three deployments in Afghanistan with the 75th Ranger Regiment and his “fair share” of combat, Bair was honorably discharged. Soon after, he enrolled at the University.

Nebraska lawmakers expand veteran benefits  (KSL)  More Nebraska veterans will receive tax breaks, tuition benefits and a hiring preference for government jobs once a series of new laws go into effect.

Veterans commissioner wants more jobs, education  (SFGate)  Tennessee’s Commissioner for Veterans Affairs says the department is widening its focus to address needs like unemployment, education and suicide prevention.

Can system handle needs of all veterans?  (MSNBC)  Congressional Reporter for The Military Times Leo Shane III and Iraq War Veteran Staff Sergeant Dan Nevins talk about the aftermath of the shooting at Ft. Hood and if our system is prepared to take care of soldiers on the home front upon arriving back from war.

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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 4/2/14

Good news story of the day

March Was First Month Without U.S. Fatalities in Iraq or Afghanistan In 11 Years  (Time)  For the first month since February, 2003, no U.S. troops died in Afghanistan or Iraq last month.

Military Transition and Jobs News

Veterans Job and Resource Fair set for Thursday  (Shreveport Times)  A job and resource fair targeted at veterans and service personnel who will depart the ranks in coming months is scheduled for Thursday at the Bossier Civic Center on Benton Road.

Understanding vocabulary of returning vets will help them find jobs  (KSL)  With the unemployment rate for veterans still significantly higher than the national average, a simple lesson in military vocabulary might help drive down that number and help our nation’s heroes gain valuable employment.

War Veterans Open Up About Employment Challenges At Home In This Activision PSA  (FastCompany)  The unemployment rate for post-9/11 American veterans is higher than their non-veteran peers and it’s likely just going to get worse as the Pentagon gets set to shrink the U.S. Army to around 450,000 members, down from a high of 570,000.

Veteran, 21, Says Macy’s Denied Her Job Because of Her Service  (ABC6 On Your Side)  A 21-year-old Afghanistan veteran says she was denied a job at Macy’s because she served in the U.S. military.

USC Price raises scholarships for student veterans  (The University of Southern California)  The USC Price School of Public Policy raised more than $128,000 in scholarship funds for its undergraduate veterans and ROTC reserve officers at a fundraising reception in Beverly Hills.

Jersey vets need help to find jobs: Editorial  (NJ.com)  It remains a mystery why military veterans who come home to New Jersey when their service ends have a tougher time finding jobs than anywhere else in the 50 states.

Veterans News

Veterans gather for coffee, support  (Gazette.net)  A cup of morning coffee is bringing together a group of residents Monday mornings at the Chick-fil-A in La Plata.

April is Paralyzed Veterans Awareness Month  (Business Wire)  April marks Paralyzed Veterans of America Awareness Month and the 68th anniversary of the founding of the veterans service organization.

Student Veterans: An Investment Paying Off  (Military.com)  That veterans struggle after going from the military into a scholastic environment is a point of view not shared by Student Veterans of America (SVA). And data seems to back up their stance.

VA Faces Backlash, Reverses ‘Morally Wrong’ Cuts That Would Affect Homeless Veterans  (The Huffington Post)  The Department of Veteran Affairs is hoping a reversal in policy will appease some community groups fighting veteran homelessness.

Gov. Scott asks answers in VA hospital deaths  (Tampa Bay Online)  Gov. Rick Scott is the latest politician seeking answers about deaths at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Veterans Affairs Scrutinized Over Rehiring of Employee After Fatal Incident  (NBC Washington)  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one of the government’s largest employers, is under congressional scrutiny for its handling of a high-level employee in the wake of a News4 I-Team investigation.

Benefits News

Study Finds Over One Million Caring for Iraq, Afghan War Veterans  (The Wall Street Journal)  Megan Stewart follows her husband, Tim, around the house in Coloma, Mich., trying to make sure he remembers things like putting on his jacket before going outside or turning off the stove after making dinner.

Forging Partnerships, Building Friendships and Serving Veterans…the Washington State Way  (The White House)  It’s hard for one person to change the world. But with the power of partnerships, more specifically friendships, I truly believe that anything is possible!

Commissary cuts could hurt MWR programs  (Military Times)  Proposed cuts in commissary funding not only would drive shoppers away because their grocery prices would rise, but also could have a “devastating” ripple effect on base morale, welfare and recreation programs, advocates said.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 4/1/14

Good news story of the day

Army Vet, Military Dog Duo Keeps NYC Subways Safe  (ABC News)  Growing up on a military base, NYPD Transit Crime Unit Officer Juan Rodriguez always looked up to his father, a sergeant major with U.S. Army Special Forces.

Military Transition and Jobs News

3rd Annual Empowering Our Veterans Focuses on Entrepreneurship and Employment  (WHNT)  Calling all veterans, transitioning active-duty service members, and military spouses!

Milford career center helps veterans with more than just jobs  (Wicked Local)  A year after Steven Crosby was diagnosed with cancer, he lost his job. Then, his wife lost her job as she cared for him during his treatments and fought through the bureaucracy of getting him insured.

Thousands must go: Task force charged with keeping the best, cutting the rest  (Marine Corps Times) There are more than 4,000 Marines in line to reenlist this year, but fewer than 400 spaces remain, meaning even the top performers among them are at risk of being arbitrarily shown the door when their current contracts end.

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.

Student veterans learn transition skills at Upstate event  (The State)  Robert Thomas remembers feeling overwhelmed when he attended college registration in a large gymnasium at the University of South Carolina as a student veteran.

Early retirement extended to Active Reserves  (Marine Corps Times)  Manpower officials have extended early retirement incentives to Active Reserve Marines, according to a recently published message.

Veterans News

Veterans Affairs cut claims backlog by 44 percent since last year’s high  (The Washington Post)  The Department of Veterans Affairs has cut its backlog of pending benefits claims by 44 percent since saying in March 2013 that its caseload had reached a “tipping point.”

Veterans health fair set at courthouse  (NewCastle News)  A veterans health fair has been scheduled for Friday.

More Nashville VA officials could face discipline  (The Tennessean)  The chairman of a key U.S. House committee is asking what action has been taken against Veterans Affairs officials in Nashville and Washington, D.C., who helped an employee abandon his assignment in Tennessee and run up over $100,000 in unauthorized expenses.

‘Out of Options’: Veterans With PTSD Hit Pot Underground  (NBC News)  Marine veteran Logan Edwards worried he could become one of the 22 former members of the armed services who, on average, commit suicide every day.

Outrage as V.A. hides names of hospitals where vets died from delays  (Washington Times)  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) blocked the release of the names of hospitals where 19 veterans died because of delays in medical screenings, leading to calls for transparency from news outlets and a bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers.

Marine battled back, yet fell to suicide  (U-T San Diego)  He rarely spoke of it. Not to his family or best buddies, fellow Marines or medical staff watching over him.

Benefits News

High hopes that Gov. Cuomo will sign Jobs for heroes bill  (Legislative Gazette)  After nearly a decade-long fight, a bill that would facilitate the awarding of state contracts to disabled veterans passed the Senate and Assembly last week, all but guaranteeing the legislation will be signed into law once it is delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

Scott Signs Bill Giving Tuition Break to Vets  (WJHG)  Governor Rick Scott spent part of his day in Panama City signing the Florida G.I. Bill. The bill offers a tuition break to honorably discharged veterans regardless of when they moved to the state.

Local veteran’s benefits caught up in red tape  (Northwest Ohio)  More than 400,000 claims have been unprocessed this year for disabled veterans seeking health and pension benefits from the Department of Veteran 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 3/28/14

Good news story of the day

102-year-old, veteran highlight Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament kickoff event  (News4Jax)  Actor and comedian Bill Murray is in town for the 14th annual Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament events, which began Thursday morning with the Pond Charity Golf Classic and lots of surprises in store.

Military Transition and Jobs News

City hiring veterans, military for fitness instruction  (News For San Antonio)  The city is looking for a few good men and women to help them get San Antonio in shape.

Job fair for military veterans  (MyFoxNY)  Many soldiers trading in uniforms for a suit and tie attended the hiring our heroes job fair at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan.

Job fair in Macon for area veterans  (Union-Recorder)  The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation agency will host a job fair for area veterans next month in Macon.

GDOL hosts job expo for veterans  (NBC11Alive)  The Georgia Department of Labor and the Aviation Institute of Maintenance team up to host a job expo for veterans and others looking for employment in Gwinnett County at the Aviation Institute located at 2025 Satellite Point in Duluth on April 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Job hunting for veterans: ‘My resume went into a black hole’  (The Guardian)  This week, military veterans finally received a better crack at getting jobs

Veterans News

Iraq war vet introduces military suicide prevention bill  (CNN)  The first Iraq war combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at reducing the number of military veterans who commit suicide.

Joplin 2014 Veterans Enterprise Forum  (Four State Home Page)  Area veterans learn about various programs available to assist with their benefits.

Flags display, Senate bill put focus on veteran suicides  (Stars and Stripes)  A new bill aimed at improving suicide prevention for veterans was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, as nearly 2,000 flags were planted within view of the Capitol — each one representing a current or former servicemember who had committed suicide so far this year.

Benefits News

Military Update: Exchange-commissary merger could help each survive  (The Sentinel)  Thomas C. Shull, chief executive officer of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is not, which helps to explain his March 17 memo proposing a merger of commissaries with exchanges to try to save both.

Service Members Weigh in on Benefits  (U. S. Navy)  Senior local military commanders, senior enlisted advisers and retired veterans spoke with the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) during a public hearing panel at the Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island hotel March 26.

Benefits backlog for veterans has shrunk, but critics say VA still not working fast enough  (Bay Area News)  Whenever Vietnam veteran Don Cooper asked about his request for an in-home aide, the Oakland VA regional benefit office told him the same thing: A decision would take 14 months.

Mo. Veterans Commission accused of failing to file claims  (KSDK)  Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) plans to demand an audit into the Missouri Veterans Commission for what she calls an egregious failure to help veterans.

Veterans Receive Help With Benefits  (Missourian)  Veterans turned out Sunday to sign up for VA medical benefits and ask questions during a special event at AT&T in Washington, an official said.

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/27/14

Good news story of the day

Iowa House OKs benefits for veterans  (Quad-City Times)  The Iowa House passed wide-ranging legislation Wednesday aimed at attracting military veterans to work and live in Iowa.

Military Transition and  Jobs News

Job seekers attend base employment fair  (JDNews)  With resumes in hand, more than 1,000 job seekers attended the Camp Lejeune employment and education fair on Wednesday.

Veteran Transition Workshop  (KIROTV)  The Veteran Transition Workshop is available to our veterans and spouses whether they are currently going through their Transition Assistance Program (TAP) or have been out of the military for some time.

Transition GPS: Navy helps prepare Sailors for civilian life  (DC Military)  Service members planning to retire or separate from military service within the next year should hurry and register for the Transition GPS — Goals, Plan, Succeed — class.

Sailors leaving Navy over stress on social issues, Top Gun instructor says  (The Washington Times)  A Navy F-18 fighter pilot and former Top Gun instructor is publicly warning admirals that retention is beginning to suffer from the military’s relentless social conditioning programs.

AF civilians have another shot at early retirement, separation  (Air Force Times)  The Air Force said March 26 it will offer a second round of early retirements and voluntary separation payments to civilian employees.

Veterans News

Veterans benefit from third-annual Stand Down in Torrington  (The Register Citizen)  A group of veterans stood at attention and saluted the American Flag as the national anthem played at the Torrington Armory Wednesday.

Obama Pays Tribute at Graves of World War I Soldiers  (New York Times)  President Obama paid homage Wednesday to the American soldiers who died at Flanders Fields in the battles of World War I, which began 100 years ago and took the lives of hundreds of thousands.

‘Environmental Poisoning’ of Iraq Is Claimed  (New York Times) An advocacy group representing American military veterans and Iraqi civilians arrived here on Wednesday armed with a message for the United States government: Washington must do something for the thousands of people suffering from what the group called the “environmental poisoning” of Iraq during the war.

Benefits News

More veterans taking advantage of Post-9/11 GI Bill  (Florida Courier)   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.

DiNapoli Finds Veterans Are Not Informed of Health Benefits Options  (Rockland County Times)  Poor coordination of health benefits for veterans by the state Department of Health (DOH) and local social services departments resulted in many veterans being placed in the state’s Medicaid program rather than federal programs, according to an audit released last week by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Legion pushes VA to continue progress on claims  (Military Times)  The American Legion’s national commander is happy with work Veterans Affairs Department officials have done on their disability claims and veteran outreach goals.

DoD official: ‘Tough choices’ necessary on pay and benefits reform  (Military Times)  Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale pleaded with Senate lawmakers Wednesday not to undo money-saving personnel changes in the fiscal 2015 budget proposal, saying such a move would devastate spending plans for years to come.

Senators weigh impact of proposed Tricare fee hikes  (Military Times)  Military advocacy groups appear divided over a Pentagon proposal to consolidate Tricare health programs, but all agree that active-duty families should not have to pay higher medical costs just because they don’t live near a military hospital.

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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 3/25/14

Good news story of the day

Schultz Family Foundation Commits $30 Million To Help Veterans Navigate The Challenges Of Returning To Civilian Life  (PR Newswire)  The Schultz Family Foundation announced a $30 million commitment to help America’s veterans overcome the challenges of returning to civilian life and maximize their skills for America’s businesses and communities.

Military Transition and Jobs News

The 8 Best Jobs for Military Veterans  (Business News Daily)  Many military veterans will attest to the fact that finding work after their time in the service can be a difficult one.

Stockton College Hosts Veteran Resource and Employment Fair April 4  (The Sandpiper) Active military, veterans and civilians are invited to attend a free Veteran Resource and Employment Fair at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 4.

Career Tips For Military Veterans Starting to Work in Civilian Positions  (Examiner)  There are so many articles and sites with tips on how to find a civilian job when you have served in the military and are now a veteran seeking employment. Now here you are one of the fortunate veterans to have found a job, you have been hired and next week you start.

A look at Air Force FY14 Force Management: Transition Assistance Program  (17th Training Wing Public Affairs)  As Fiscal Year 2014 Force Management programs continue to reduce military strength numbers, an increasing amount of personnel are participating in the Transition Assistance Program, which is required by law.

‘Boots to Business’ Helps Troops Become Entrepreneur  (Defense.gov)  When Sandra Gonzales and Tony Turin were enrolled in the Defense Department’s Transition GPS course, they found their career calling through an optional entrepreneur track called “Boots to Business.”

Great Career Opportunities For Transitioning Military Veterans  (WTVR)  Top companies want military-experienced talent for civilian jobs.

Cash to leave in 2015: AF cranks up retirement, separation budget  (Air Force Times)  The Air Force is planning to spend as much as $1.6 billion on separations and early retirements by the end of fiscal 2015, according to budget documents submitted to Congress.

Veterans News

New rules on hiring disabled workers, vets go into effect for federal contractors  (St. Louis Today)  New Labor Department regulations go into effect today that require federal contractors to take steps to hire minimum numbers of protected veterans and disabled workers.

 Obama administration urges veterans to sign up for Obamacare  (Washington Examiner)  The Obama administration is encouraging military veterans to sign up for Obamacare as it pulls out all the stops to maximize enrollment ahead of the March 31 deadline.

Safe environments assist transition of student veterans (USC News)  There is no universal way to support student veterans with mental health issues but, generally speaking, providing a safe environment on college and university campuses has proven effective.

Veterans struggle to upgrade less than honorable discharges  (ABC2News)  For former military veterans, there is one rule to having “bad papers:” Keep it silent.

Pennsylvania DMVA Announces Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Recipients  (The Street)  The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has selected 9 Pennsylvania-based organizations to receive $342,020 in grants from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF).

Ex-soldier shot by deputy served in hard-hit JBLM Stryker battalion  (The News Tribune)  The Army veteran shot to death late Friday by a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy was a former Wilson High School student who fought in Afghanistan with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker battalion that experienced more fatal casualties than any other comparable unit.

Benefits News

Report: Most GI Bill veterans make good on education benefits  (Washington Post)  A new report indicates that more than half of U.S. military veterans who used the GI Bill recently have earned a postsecondary degree or certification, suggesting educational benefits for former service members are paying off.

Vets group calls for better suicide prevention services  (Military Times)  When Kristofer Goldsmith tried to kill himself six years ago, the Army responded by kicking him out of the military for misconduct.

VA Benefits Seminar  (Cherokee One Feather)  April 5 from 1-3pm at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.

Veterans with PTSD can now use medical marijuana  (WZZM13)  Last week the Michigan medical marijuana review board added post traumatic stress syndrome to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.

Comprehensive Health Care for Veterans  (VetWire)  With the deadline for having to choose a health care plan looming, Veterans can breathe a bit easier with new eligibility options for a comprehensive health care package.

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