 H.R. 5484, the Toxic Exposure Research Act:

Representatives Dan Benishek (R-MI) and Mike Honda (D-CA) have introduced the Toxic Exposure Research Act (H.R. 5484) that will, when enacted into law, establish a national center at a VA medical facility for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Toxins, such as Agent Orange, are suspected of being responsible for birth defects, cancers, developmental disabilities, and other adverse health conditions in the children and grandchildren of veterans at a rate disproportionate to the general population. Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

 Mom of Marine Lost to Suicide Calls On Congress to Pass Critical Legislation:

On November 19, 2014 before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC), Susan Selke, mother of Clay Hunt, a Marine veteran who died by suicide in 2011, urged Congress to take swift action in passing the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Bill of 2014. The bill (S.2930), introduced Monday and spearheaded by IAVA, is sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Posted in News | Leave a comment

 VA Implements Second Phase of Choice Card Program:

On November 18, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it began mailing Veterans Choice Cards on November 17 to veterans currently waiting more than 30 days from their preferred date or the date that is medically determined by their physician for an appointment at a VA facility.

The Choice Program is a new, temporary benefit that allows some veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

 Veterans React to VA’s Reorg Plan:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a reorganization and overhaul plan for the entire department on November 10, 2014.  According to some Veteran Service Organizations, transformative change that delivers for veterans is long overdue.  Secretary McDonald is focusing on input from veterans on the ground and for establishing the Community Veteran Advisory Councils as a way to strengthen VA’s relationship their customers.  The creation of the MyVA Idea House where employees can also provide input to improve the system is a move in the right direction but as they say, “Talk is Cheap” and veterans need to see what will happen before they begin to have renewed faith in the VA.

The framework for the MyVA restructuring includes: the establishment of a new VA-wide customer service organization, led by a Chief Customer Service Officer who will report to the Secretary; the incorporation of a single regional framework to allow veterans to more easily navigate VA through simplified internal coordination; the creation of Community Veteran Advisory Councils that will work to coordinate veteran-related service delivery with local, state and community partners; the identification of opportunities for the department to restructure internal business processes into a shared services model, thereby improving efficiency and productivity, and reducing

Posted in News | Leave a comment

 Online Shop Connects Veterans to Employers:

A new integrated employment tool connects veterans and service members about to transition with employers and helps them translate their military skills into the civilian workforce.  The Veterans Employment Center is an online tool that connects veterans, transitioning service memebrs and their spouses with both public and private sector employers.

The VA Employment Center is at www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs.  For a tutorial video, who uses these??, on how to use this resource go to youtu.be/VWthI-eSoWK.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

 Online Shop Connects Veterans to Employers:

A new integrated employment tool connects veterans and service members about to transition with employers and helps them translate their military skills into the civilian workforce.  The Veterans Employment Center is an online tool that connects veterans, transitioning service memebrs and their spouses with both public and private sector employers.

The VA Employment Center is at www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs.  For a tutorial video, who uses these??, on how to use this resource go to youtu.be/VWthI-eSoWK.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

 Soldier in Korea gets helmet that saved his life in Afghanistan:

The hit-and-run attack in an Afghan town left Staff Sgt. Ryan Frye with a concussion, a scratch on the left side of his head, and a helmet so dented he couldn’t fit his hand inside it when he finally realized he’d been hit.

But inexplicably, he was alive.

“The helmet wasn’t supposed to stop the round,” the combat engineer said. “I think I was just lucky.”

After the attack, Frye reluctantly handed over his helmet to the military for evaluation and was told he’d get it back in six to eight months. But the months stretched into years, and well into Frye’s next deployment, to South Korea, where he was stationed near the Demilitarized Zone with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

Last week, more than 2 1/2 years after the attack that took a fellow soldier’s life, Frye was given back his helmet, paint still chipped from the bullet, during a ceremony at Camp Hovey, courtesy of Program Executive Officer Soldier.

Question?  Why did it take so long?  Think about it

Posted in News | Leave a comment

 Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Increase in Unemployment Rates for Veterans in October 2014:

Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 veterans increased, from 6.2 in September 2014 to 7.2 in October 2014. Among all veterans, unemployment rates also increased slightly, up 0.6 points from 4.7 percent in September 2014 to 5.3 percent for October 2014. The national employment rate decreased slightly from 5.9 percent in September to 5.8 percent in October.

On Tuesday, we will all pause to recognize Veterans’ Day and honor our veterans. On this day, and every other day, the nation should reflect not only on the service that our nation’s veterans gave while in uniform, but also the service that they continue to give once they come home. These are the veterans that can use an extra hand of support as we approach Veterans’ Day.

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

DAV 5K, Run to Honor Veterans

Over the next decade, it’s estimated that the number of injured U.S. military veterans will rise from 3.8 to 4 million. It is thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of those men and women, and of those who came before them, that we here at home are able to live freely and peacefully. DAV invites you to join in honoring our nation’s heroes at the DAV 5K in Cincinnati or San Diego this November. Joining us as we run, walk, ride and roll helps raise the funds necessary to ensure injured and ill veterans do not have to face the road to recovery alone. No veteran comes home unchanged, but with your help and participation, together we can empower our heroes and their families to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.

If you are going to be in either area and would like to register goto:

http://Donate.dav.org/site/pagenavigator/2014_5k/hompage.html

Posted in Events, News | Leave a comment

 Serve Veterans as Well as They Served Us:

Only those who experienced firsthand the horrors of combat can understand why most of these young men and women feel compelled to take such drastic and permanent measures such as suicide.

As Veterans Day ceremonies and parades occur throughout the country, it is important that we commit ourselves to do everything possible to prevent these needless and tragic deaths.

There are many tangible ways we can acknowledge their sacrifice, but the easiest is to simply say, “Thank you for what you have done for our country.”

Veterans Day is a time to honor not just those who have fought for us in battle, but all of the outstanding men and women who served in our nation’s armed forces since our founding more than 237 years ago.

Not all veterans have seen war, but a common bond that they share is an oath that they expressed their willingness to die defending this nation.

Perhaps, most significant in preserving our way of life, are the battles that America does not have to fight.

Posted in News | Leave a comment