Researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD) recently released findings of a new study called Prospective Post-Traumatic Stress disorder Symptom Trajectories in Active Duty and Separated Military Personnel, which examines Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms in Veterans, compared with active-duty populations. According to VA’s National Center for PTSD, the PTSD rate among Vietnam Veterans was 30.9 percent for men and 26.9 percent for women. For Gulf War Veterans, the PTSD rate was 12.1 percent. Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans had a PTSD rate of 13.8 percent.
Many have asked me “Who are the members of the Oklahoma veterans and military affairs committee”? Following are the members of the Oklahoma house and senate veterans and military affairs committees:
House – Chair Rep. Tommy Hardin, Vice Chair Rep. Josh West , Rep. John Bennett, Rep. Dale Derby, Rep. John Enns, Rep. Claudia Griffith, Rep. Chuck Hoskin, Rep. Scott Inman, Rep. Rick West.
Senate – Senator Frank Simpson – Chair, Senator Larry Boggs – Vice Chair, Senator Mark Allen,
Senator Randy Bass, Senator Bill Brown, Senator J.J. Dossett, Senator Joe Newhouse, Senator Adam Pugh, Senator Anthony Sykes . Don’t forget that Senator Mike Schulz is the senate President Pro Tempore
Veteran service organizations in several states have formed a “Final Salute Program” which is to honor veterans on a hospice program and to give them one final salute. While the program is geared primarily towards Vietnam veterans it does not distinguish between wars or conflicts. The sole purpose of the program is to honor those veterans on a hospice program one final time.
On March 21, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, Senator Jon Tester, introduced S. 681, the Deborah Sampson Act. This comprehensive measure addresses gender disparities and would improve and expand programs and services for women veterans provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The bill would establish a pilot program for peer-to-peer counseling and authorizes group retreat counseling for women veterans recently separated from military service. It would expand the capabilities within the VA Women Veterans Call Center and extend the number of days, from seven to 14, VA can cover the cost of care for newborns of women veterans and authorize medically-necessary transportation for newborns.
The legislation aims to eliminate barriers to care by ensuring every VA medical facility has at least one full-time or part-time women’s health provider, as well as a Women Veterans Program Manager and a Women Veteran Program Ombudsman. Additional resources are authorized for mini-residency training in women’s health for clinicians, and retrofitting VA facilities to enhance privacy, safety and improve the overall environment of care for women veterans.
S. 681 would provide support services for women veterans seeking legal assistance and authorizes additional grants for organizations supporting women veterans and their families. Finally, The Deborah Sampson Act would require data collection and reporting on all VA programs serving veterans, by gender and minority status, including a report on the availability of prosthetics for women veterans and would better coordinate outreach by centralizing all information for women veterans in one easily accessible place on VA’s website.
DAV’s 2014 report, Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home identified many of these gaps in VA programs for women and has long advocated for a more comprehensive provision of VA women’s health services that appropriately recognizes and honors their service and sacrifice.
Please contact your elected representatives to urge co-sponsorship and passage of S. 681. A letter has been prepared for this purpose or you may write your own to express your personal views. Click the link below to log in and send your message:
As always, thank you for your support.
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Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) introduced a bill that would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay for the transportation of a deceased veteran’s remains to a state-owned or tribal-owned veterans cemetery. The VA is currently only authorized to transport such remains to a national veterans cemetery. “These men and women stood ready to answer their country’s call with their lives, and we should treat their deaths with dignity,” said Banks.
The Senate passed a joint resolution on 8 MAR which would authorize a national memorial dedicated to those who served in the campaign that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion to be built on the National Mall. The House passed its version of the language in January and the VFW has committed $500,000 to support the construction
Medical IDs are an important benefit that veterans can claim, free of charge. It is easy to claim your veteran medical ID with the help of your clinician. Follow these simple steps to obtain this benefit: • Step 1: Download and print the VA information sheet to bring to your VA clinician https://www.americanmedical-id.com/media/wysiwyg/PDFs/AMI-VAHandout2016v3.pdf
Step 2: Select from the available medical ID styles on the information sheet.
Step 3: Visit your clinician to discuss the engraving information on your medical alert bracelet or necklace.
Step 4: Submit the VA information sheet to your clinician who will process your order with a Purchasing Agent.
In appearances before veterans groups this week, Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin is outlining his 10-point plan for reforming department operations and offerings, with a heavy emphasis on VA medical improvements. plan is separate from the 10-point VA plan President Trump unveiled on the campaign trail last summer, The list includes:
1. New accountability legislation
2. Extend the Choice deadline past August
3. Choice 2.0 Legislation
4. Infrastructure improvements and consolidations –
5. VA/DOD federal coordination
6. Enhance foundational services in VA
7. Electronic medical record modernization
8. Breakthrough in suicide prevention –
9. Appeals modernization
10. Accelerating performance on benefits claims
Information Relating to Military Tuition Waiver
This is a Financial Assistance opportunity included in Tulsa Tech Financial Assistance flyer along with other Scholarships and Grants. The program was approved by the Board of Education in 2016 and is intended to fill a gap in the availability of VA Educational Benefits which are current not able to be approved for many of the Tulsa Tech Full-Time programs due to issue relating to accreditation.
Military Tuition Waiver
Oklahoma veterans are eligible to attend one full time program
tuition free. Applicants must have served active duty
in the U.S. Military and have been honorably discharged
within the last 15 years.
The term “one full time program”, also referred to as “one full time career major”, includes any “Full-Time Programs” contained in the current “Make Your Own Path – Full-Time Classes” catalog which are identified for “Adults”. The selection of the “one full-time program” will cover the entire duration of the program, for example a Powersports Technology program of 5 months (all day) to 27-30 months (Evening) program for Aviation Generals. Note that this is a waiver of Tuition only. Any books or other related costs/expenses are not included in this program.
The Military Tuition Waiver application is available online via the HUB. https://hub.tulsatech.edu/studentresources/financialassistance/Documents/Military Tuition Waiver Application_v2.pdf
Eligibility Criteria are listed on the application as follows:
- Must have served on active duty and must have been honorably discharged.
- Must use this scholarship within 15 years of the date of separation from the U.S. Military.
- Must be an Oklahoma resident.
A copy of a valid OK Driver’s License or OK State issued ID and coy of DD-214 are required to be provided with the application.
Note that the applicant must go through the standard application process and be selected for the application program. Not every program will have availability for each applicant.
For details and face-to-face assistance for this program, the Tulsa Tech contact is:
Financial Assistance Consultant
Located on the Tulsa Tech Lemley Memorial Campus at 3420 S Memorial Drive
Office in the Career Service Center (CSC) building, Financial Aid Office
Follow Signs for “ENROLLMENT”