Veterans News for August 17-20, 2012

by Ray Hyson on August 20, 2012

For Today: The Essence Of leadership. “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.  He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In the end, leaders are much like eagles…..they don’t flock, you find them one at a time.”
Reminder: The Veterans News will be moving to http://VeteransNews.org on Tuesday, September 11, 2012
VA Veterans News for Monday, August 20, 2012. Thanks to Kevin Secor, VA VSO Liaison

1.     Air Force general chosen as next JPAC commander

2.     Carvers personalize canes for disabled vets

3.     University of Kentucky to study effects of military suicides on those left behind

4.     Promising PTSD treatment faces hurdle

5.     Telling a veteran’s story in patterns on a quilt

6.     After 30 years, the Marines are returning to the Colt .45 pistol

7.     Colleges, universities beef up offerings to student veterans.

8.     Vision restoration nearing reality with new system in development

9.     Bill Would Expand Fertility Coverage For Veterans. 

10.  Parade Recognized Among Veterans Day Regional Sites. 

11.  Cortlandt Vet Receives Highest Honor Of Military Order Of Purple Heart. 

12.  VA To Adjust List Of Agent Orange Disorders. 

13.  Helping Female Veterans With Nowhere To Turn. 

14.  US Army Suicides Reached Record Monthly High In July. 

15.  Veteran Describes Battle With PTSD. 

16.  VA’s Family Caregiver Program Aids Disabled Veterans In Their Homes. 

17.  VA Details Fiscal 2013 Spending Plans. 

18.  VA Awards $4.5M Contract To Regroup VistA Code Into Modules. 

19.  Filipino WWII Veterans Surrender Uniforms, Medals In Protest Of Denial Of Benefits. 

20.  Veterans Riding Across US To Make Stop In Washington. 

21.  Veterans Treatment Court Was Recently Launched In Marion County. 

22.  Afghanistan Veteran Seeks To Return Purple Heart Medals To Rightful Owners. 

23.  Paralyzed Iraq Veteran Receives New Home In Appling. 

24.  Vietnam Veteran Gets A Different Kind Of Medal. 

25.  Panel Launches Drive To Fix Albany County Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

26.  Rural Veterans Get Upgrade To Healthcare Options. 

27.  Veterans Blast Revenue Officials. 

28.  Veterans Facing Homelessness, VA Launches Initiative To Help. 

29.  Vietnam Vets Honored In Marion. 

30.  Daniel Nimham Pow Wow Honors Veterans,

31.  Heritage. Laurel VFW Aims To Build Membership, Pass Baton To Next Generation. 

32.  Law Cripples Troubled Vets’ Efforts To Get Healthcare: Military. 

33.  Troubled Veterans Left Without Health Care Benefits. 

34.  Veterans Of Foreign Wars Scholarship Program Announced. 

35.  VA / VSO-MSO Hearings as August 20, 2012:

36.  Today in History:

1.    Air Force general chosen as next JPAC commanderAir Force Maj. Gen. Kelly K. McKeague, a 1977 Damien Memorial School graduate, has been selected to become commander of the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command on Oct. 31.

2.    Carvers personalize canes for disabled vetsTwenty-six disabled veterans from all four branches of the military will be honored Sunday when Maine’s first lady, Ann LePage, and others present them with eagle canes carved by craftsmen and craftswomen from across the state

3.    University of Kentucky to study effects of military suicides on those left behindIn a state where military suicides are a continuing problem, researchers at the University of Kentucky are studying their effects on Kentuckians who have lost a military or veteran family member, friend or fellow service member to suicide.

4.    Promising PTSD treatment faces hurdleAn FDA panel recommendation to change the classification of cranial electrotherapy stimulation devices could take them off the market until lengthy and expensive testing is completed. The possible delay comes at a time when there is no single magic-bullet therapy for the symptoms of PTSD and a growing number of doctors are turning to alternative methods like CES to treat servicemembers and veterans.

5.    Telling a veteran’s story in patterns on a quiltThe six helicopters, four other cross stitch patterns and the U.S. Army uniform patches on the quilt tell the story of one veteran Sue Helling came to know while working as a nurse for the VA clinic in Aberdeen.

6.    After 30 years, the Marines are returning to the Colt .45 pistolAn order last month of new M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistols for the Marine Corps is the first purchase of any Colt handgun in almost three decades by any branch of the U.S. military, though .45-caliber Colts were a trusty sidearm of the Army and Marines for most of the 20th century.

7.    Colleges, universities beef up offerings to student veterans.  NewsOK.com  Martin Brown, a retired Navy veteran, talks Friday with Department of Veterans Affairs representatives as the University of Oklahoma Veteran Student Services holds a special orientation for student veterans in Norman. Brown will be attending the …

8.    Vision restoration nearing reality with new system in development.  CMU The Tartan Online  He was recently awarded a four-year, $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to continue his research. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 21 million Americans suffer from functional vision …

9.    Bill Would Expand Fertility Coverage For Veterans. AP  A bill under consideration in the Senate “would expand the VA’s medical benefits package” to include in vitro fertilization and payment of some other procedures “meant to help wounded veterans start families as they return home from war and to address a harrowing consequence of combat that can radically change a couple’s marriage but receives less attention than post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries.” The AP notes that “more than 1,830 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered pelvic fractures and genitourinary injuries since 2003 that could affect their abilities to reproduce,” according to Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, who sponsored the bill. She “hopes the committee will act on the bill after returning from August recess.”

10.Parade Recognized Among Veterans Day Regional Sites. New London (CT) Day “the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Day Committee has recognized the 2012 Connecticut Veterans Parade as one of the nation’s official ‘Veterans Day Regional Sites’ for the third consecutive year. The annual procession in downtown Hartford is one of the largest veterans’ parades in New England” and is “the only Connecticut recipient of this recognition.”

11.Cortlandt Vet Receives Highest Honor Of Military Order Of Purple Heart. Briarcliff (NY) Daily Voice  Veterans advocate William “Willy” Nazario of Cortlandt received the national “Patriot of the Year” award, the highest given by the Military Order of the Purple Heart and an award that goes to only one veteran a year. He received the award Aug. 7 in a ceremony in Scottsdale, Arizona. Nazario is the Jr. Vice Commander for the MOPH’s Department of New York and “can be seen advocating for, talking to, and informing residents about veterans” throughout his region. He also is a frequent public speaker and “often rallies for the Veterans Affairs hospital in Montrose.”

12.VA To Adjust List Of Agent Orange Disorders. Military Times “Veterans suffering peripheral neuropathy from exposure to the toxic herbicide Agent Orange could be eligible for compensation from the Veterans Affairs Department” as the result of an Aug. 10 action to substitute that condition “for acute and subacute neuropathy” among those related to the herbicide. The change “removes the requirement that the symptoms resolved themselves in two years after they appeared.” The Times notes that veterans who served in Southwest Asia may be affected and should apply if they “developed the condition within one year of exposure to a degree that it is at least 10 percent disabling,” although “they may not be compensated until the ruling is final.”

13.Helping Female Veterans With Nowhere To Turn. Medill News Service Jas Boothe, now a captain in the Army National Guard, found herself in 2005 in the Army with “one thing on her mind: getting herself – and the son she was raising on her own – ready for her deployment to Iraq.” Boothe soon found, however, that “her home had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina” and “she was diagnosed with cancer in her head, neck and throat.” She contacted the Veterans Affairs Department, which “referred her to social services, where she was told she qualified for welfare and food stamps.” Boothe said, “There were a ton of services, housing facilities for men, but someone had forgotten about the women. … Our sacrifice was not equated to that of the males’ sacrifice, and that was shown in the level of services that we didn’t have.” The report details other problems.

14.US Army Suicides Reached Record Monthly High In July. Reuters  Higher suicide rate among active-duty soldiers in July, according to the US Army, which tracks the statistics. At 26 suicides, July’s rate more than doubled from June’s 12 such deaths and was believed to be the most ever recorded in a single month. Through July, the Army said it likely had 116 suicides, compared to 165 for all of 2011. The Army said 12 reserve soldiers also were believed to have committed suicide in July, for a total this year of 71. Separately, the Marine Corps said it experienced eight likely suicides in July, compared to six in June, bringing its 2012 total to date to 32, which was the total for all suicides in 2011.

15.Veteran Describes Battle With PTSD. WHSV-TV  The struggle of veteran Bruce Webb to heal from PTSD after considering suicide. Webb, of Grottoes, Virginia, “served in the military for 33 years” and returned “wounded from Iraq in March 2010.” His experiences after that were “the most painful ones.” Webb said he considered suicide in June 2010 but instead sought help from the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Staunton and “is now on medication and has Harley as his service dog. He also sees a counselor every week.” Webb says he likely will struggle with PTSD the rest of his life.

16.VA’s Family Caregiver Program Aids Disabled Veterans In Their Homes. Stars And Stripes  The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Family Caregiver Program, “which helps qualifying caretakers with important skills, resources and financial assistance to take care of their loved ones at home.” One caregiver is Deanna Parson of Clinton, Illinois, mother of Nathan Florey, a 27-year-old Army veteran who suffered an aneurysm in 2008 in Iraq. Parson receives “a monthly stipend” and help with other “needs such as plate guards, weighted mugs and a new wheelchair” for her son. The report notes that US Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois “visited the VA’s Decatur clinic Friday to talk about the year-old program for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. … To date, 131 Illinois family caregivers and more than 5,150 nationwide are part of the program,” which Durbin helped create.

17.VA Details Fiscal 2013 Spending Plans.  Washington Technology  “The Veteran Affairs’ Office of Information Security will see a boost in its spending as it focuses on cybersecurity, network security and privacy. The office plans to spend $123.2 million in fiscal 2013, an increase from $109.5 million in 2012 and $121.4 million in 2011.” Washington Technology notes that the VA office provided a spending outline at an industry forum. For fiscal 2013, cybersecurity projects will get $30 million, less than the $35.4 million for 2012 but more than the $24.3 million in 2011. Spending for fiscal 2013 for the network security operation center will increase to $70.5 million, up from $61.1 million for 2012 but less than the $79.9 million for 2011.

18.VA Awards $4.5M Contract To Regroup VistA Code Into Modules. Government Health IT  ”The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a $4.5 million contract to Ray Group International LLC, to refactor or reorganize the legacy code of VA’s VistA electronic health record system into modular components.” The project “supports VA’s Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA) community to modernize VistA for open source and to contribute to the VA-Department of Defense integrated electronic health record (iEHR).” Government Health IT notes that the project, a one-year contract, “is a monumental task.”

19.Filipino WWII Veterans Surrender Uniforms, Medals In Protest Of Denial Of Benefits. Huffington Post  ”A group of Filipino World War II veterans put on an emotional display this week, turning over their uniforms and service medals in symbolic protest over a longstanding denial of military benefits.” The group wanted “a hearing on H.R.210 – Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2011, a bill that would expand eligibility for veterans’ benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs by officially recognizing WWII-era Filipino service members as active military personnel.” The Huffington Post adds that Aug. 15 was the deadline the group gave Congress to pass the bill, and US Rep. Jeff Miller, Republican of Florida who chairs the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, denied the request.

20.Veterans Riding Across US To Make Stop In Washington. Missourian  Long road Home Project, a 90-day bike trip from Aberdeen, Washington, to Washington, DC, for five veterans who hope to arrive on Sunday, Sept. 9. They are riding “to raise money and awareness for other veterans in need of services while transitioning back to civilian life.” The riders represent service from the “Noriega Conflict in Panama” to Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

21.Veterans Treatment Court Was Recently Launched In Marion County. Ocala (FL) Star-Banner  The beginning of the Veterans Treatment Court in Marion County that is intended to give “veterans with diagnosed drug and mental health issues the opportunity to seek treatment rather than spend time in jail or have their cases take the traditional route through the court system.” Veterans who qualify are “given the opportunity to remain in the community while they undergo rehabilitation.” Their progress is monitored by a judge.

22.Afghanistan Veteran Seeks To Return Purple Heart Medals To Rightful Owners. NBC Nightly News  ”It is a small but meaningful token of gratitude and acknowledgment awarded to American service members killed or injured in combat. The Purple Heart is the military’s oldest medal and over time many have found their way into antique shops and into the hands of collectors. Tonight NBC’s Ron Allen has the story of one dedicated soldier determined to make a difference by returning those precious honors to where they belong.” Allen: “Capt. Zach Fike, a Vermont national guardsman, knows what it takes to earn a Purple Heart. He earned his in Afghanistan on September 11, 2010, when shrapnel from a rocket blast left him wounded. But Fike says he cares more about the Purple Hearts he’s finding. Each one has identification on the back of it. … He believes there are thousands of purple hearts out there, lost, or forgotten or in the hands of collectors that he wants to find and return to the families of those who sacrificed.”

23.Paralyzed Iraq Veteran Receives New Home In Appling.  Augusta (GA) Chronicle “For the first time since Army Sgt. 1st Class Sean Gittens ended up paralyzed after serving in Iraq, he will be able to move freely through his home.” The organization Homes For Our Troops presented a new home to Gittens and his family on Saturday in Appling. The lot was donated by L.D. Waters of Appling, a Marine veteran of both World II and Korea, who “offered the family their choice…at the Farms at Greenbrier.” They chose a five-acre lot that now is home to a 3,500-square-foot brick house with four bedrooms that “is fully handicapped accessible, with push-to-open doors and a ceiling lift track that can help carry Gittens from his bedroom throughout the bathroom. Wide hallways and an open floor plan give Gittens space to move.” The home is the 114th project by Home For Our Troops.

24.Vietnam Veteran Gets A Different Kind Of Medal. Charleston (WV) Gazette  Vietnam veteran George Jackson “has been hand cycling for about a year – about the same amount of time it’s been since his right leg was amputated,” and he won a silver medal in the 10-kilometer race at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games last month in Richmond, Virginia. The Gazette adds, “His success at the games probably wouldn’t surprise those closest to Jackson, who played quarterback for the Bluefield State College football team for four years. When therapists at the VA Medical Center in Huntington introduced him to hand cycling, he caught on quick.”

25.Panel Launches Drive To Fix Albany County Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Albany (NY) Times-Union

26.Rural Veterans Get Upgrade To Healthcare Options. Dutch Harbor (AK) Fisherman

27.Veterans Blast Revenue Officials. Tasley Eastern Shore News

28.Veterans Facing Homelessness, VA Launches Initiative To Help. Carrollton (TX) Leader

29.Vietnam Vets Honored In Marion. Southern Illinoisan

30.Daniel Nimham Pow Wow Honors Veterans, Heritage. Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle

31.Laurel VFW Aims To Build Membership, Pass Baton To Next Generation. Billings (MT) Gazette

32.Law Cripples Troubled Vets’ Efforts To Get Healthcare: Military. Anchorage (AK) Daily News

33.Troubled Veterans Left Without Health Care Benefits. Provo (UT) Daily Herald

34.Veterans Of Foreign Wars Scholarship Program Announced. Walton (FL) Sun

35.VA / VSO-MSO Hearings as August 20, 2012:

September 13, 2012. HVAC, Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the Patient-Centered Community Care (PCCC) and Non-VA Care Coordination (NVCC) programs.

September 20, 2012. HVAC, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity will hold a hearing entitled, “Examining the Re-Design of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).”

36.Today in History:

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VA Veterans News for Saturday, August 18, 2012.  Thanks to Kevin Secor, VA VSO Liaison

1.     B-17 tours offer a glimpse of WWII history

2.     Pressure grows on military to stop sponsoring sports events

3.     Dale Earnhardt Jr. re-ups with National Guard for 2013

4.     Denture plan for veterans is toothless

5.     Capitol Connection: Veterans deserve the best care

6.     Civil War re-enactors to mark 150th

7.     Massachusetts Sues Warren Man, Alleges His Charity Falsely Claimed How Much Money Would Go To Veterans. 

8.     US Army Suicide Rate Increases. 

9.     IAVA Official Notes Struggles Faced By Returning Vets. 

10.  Microsoft To Drive A More Efficient VA Through Big Data. 

11.  Variety Of Factors Lead To “Chronic” ED Overcrowding At VA, Report Finds. 

12.  Grant Will Help Local Vets Get Work, Keep Homes. 

13.  Aragon Top Candidate For Interim ODVA Director Post. 

14.  Iraq Veteran, A Son Of Police Chief, Alleges Disability Bias In Officer Job. 

15.  VA Foster Program Gives First Coast Veterans Options. 

16.  For Veterans, The War Continues Long After They’ve Left The Battlefield. 

17.  Old School May Be Revamped As Housing. 

18.  Southern Oregon VA To Honor Female Vets Next Week. 

19.  Military Researchers Getting Better Understanding Of Brain Injuries. 

20.  Benefits Iffy For Drugs In Mild Hypertension. 

21.  Older Americans Living Longer, But Becoming More Obese. 

22.  Army Veteran Daniel Rodriguez Overcomes Battle Scars To Play Football For Clemson. 

23.  Veteran 104 Honored As Outreach Campus Opens. 

24.  Veteran At The Plate. 

25.  “Bands Of Brothers” Reality Show Seeks Veterans Who Can Carry A Tune. 

26.  New Markers Installed For Soldiers Of 1812. 

27.  Website To Help Veterans Connect. 

28.  Rare WWII Naval Dispatch Brings $20K At Auction. 

29.  VA / VSO-MSO Hearings as August 18, 2012:

30.  Today in History:

1.    B-17 tours offer a glimpse of WWII historyThe B-17 was an icon of American power and the star of films such as “Twelve O’Clock High” and “Memphis Belle.” Only a few are left, and one — nicknamed “Aluminum Overcast” — has come to Trenton, N.J.’s airport for ground tours and flights.

2.    Pressure grows on military to stop sponsoring sports eventsSo far, congressional efforts to put the brakes on military sponsorship of NASCAR races, bass fishing, pro wrestling and other sporting events have gone nowhere. But the effort could gain new life as pressure builds for lawmakers to rein in federal spending.

3.    Dale Earnhardt Jr. re-ups with National Guard for 2013A month after the military sponsorship of professional sports and teams survived a close vote in Congress, the Army National Guard extended its sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr. through next season.

4.    Denture plan for veterans is toothless.  Longview News-Journal  They wondered if there was somebody or some organization or the (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) that would help him with that cost. ANSWER: This is a difficult question. While there are several programs to help people who need just extractions …

5.    Capitol Connection: Veterans deserve the best care.  Foothills Media Group  According to the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs, over 16000 state residents have been deployed since Sept. 11, 2001. When they return home, many veterans will be eligible for healthcare benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

6.    Civil War re-enactors to mark 150th.  The Columbian  The 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry will drill and display its gear and weapons Saturday at the Veterans Museum on the Vancouver Veterans Affairs campus. It is part of a national Civil War commemoration sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

7.    Massachusetts Sues Warren Man, Alleges His Charity Falsely Claimed How Much Money Would Go To Veterans. Providence (RI) Journal Rhode Island resident John Chaves “and his Rhode Island-based business are being sued by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office for allegedly using deceptive fundraising tactics ostensibly to benefit American war veterans. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, alleges that Dynamic Marketing Solutions Inc., of North Providence, violated the Massachusetts charitable solicitation and consumer protection laws during a telemarketing campaign to benefit Bay State Vietnam Veterans Inc. of Somerset, Mass.” The Journal adds, “According to Attorney General Martha Coakley, the two operations mislead potential donors by falsely claiming how much money would actually go to veterans.”

8.    US Army Suicide Rate Increases. CBS Evening News   “A decade of war has put enormous stress on American troops, and today, the Army reported that in July, suicides among active-duty soldiers were more than double the previous month’s total.” CBS added, “Among active duty troops, 2012 could turn out to be the worst year ever.” The Army has “doubled the number of mental health counselors over the past four years but admits there are still not enough to handle all the pleas for help.”  USA Today “Soldiers killed themselves at a rate faster than one per day in July…announced” the US Army on Thursday. USA Today continues, “There were 38 deaths either confirmed or suspected as suicides, the highest one-month tally in recent Army history, the service said.” USA today notes that in a recent interview, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said his service is “very focused” on suicide prevention. Odierno cited a “campaign begun this year aimed at improving emotional resiliency, closely monitoring soldier attitudes and regularly assessing support programs.”  Washington Post If the current suicide rate continues, the “Army will lose about 200 active-duty troops this year, a number that is significantly higher than any year in the past decade.” The Post adds that the suicide numbers “are a significant blow to senior Army officials who had been hoping that the reduced rate of combat deployments and a series of initiatives to improve mental health care would result in a drop in the suicide rate, which surpasses levels for a similar civilian demographic.”  Military Times “The pace of one suicide every 27 hours this year frustrates Army leadership, which has vested heavily in prevention programs and mental health treatment.” The Times adds, “‘We definitely still have a lot of work to do,’ said Sgt. Maj. Donna Brock with the Army’s Medical Command at a joint Defense Department-Veterans Affairs conference on suicide prevention.”

9.    IAVA Official Notes Struggles Faced By Returning Vets. CNN Newsroom  Seven US service members died in a recent helicopter crash in Afghanistan. At a briefing on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressed that the US is still fighting a war in that country. When CNN asked Tom Tarantino, deputy policy director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), why such a reminder is so important, Tarantino said, “Men and women come home from war today to record-high unemployment rates, to a GI Bill that is not meeting all of its needs, to record-high disability backlog rates. We have to make sure that even when we bring troops home from Afghanistan, that we still have taking care of these men and women as they transition from being a warrior back to being a civilian.”

10.Microsoft To Drive A More Efficient VA Through Big Data. AOL Government  “The Department of Veterans Affairs recently committed to a continued partnership with Microsoft Corp. to use emerging tools and technologies to harness the power of big data and drive efficiency, mobility and better service. Spanning from the desktop to the data center and mobile devices, the renewed agreement will allow the VA to analyze big data the department has been unable to evaluate in the past.” The agreement also means that VA will continue to invest in a “groundbreaking data warehousing/big data analytics initiative.” Jack Bates, VA’s Director of Business Intelligence Service Line, said the initiative aims to improve the “quality of care” provided by VA. Bates added, “We are creating the culture of analytics, to train our staff how to effectively use data to improve safety and outcomes.”

11.Variety Of Factors Lead To “Chronic” ED Overcrowding At VA, Report Finds.  Fierce Healthcare  ”The Memphis VA Medical Center’s emergency department length of stay is ‘far below the VHA standard,’ and suffers from ‘chronic’ overcrowding, according to a report released” by VA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), which noted that the issue did not affect patient safety. Fierce Healthcare adds, “The VA concurred with the recommendations and noted that the facility had already opened six new medical/surgical beds and nine mental health beds. The facility has also added staff to perform ultrasounds.”

12.Grant Will Help Local Vets Get Work, Keep Homes. Asbury Park (NJ) Press  ”A Massachusetts-based nonprofit group is coming to the Jersey Shore this fall to administer a $1 million federal grant that will help homeless veterans and those at risk of losing their homes. Soldier On, a nonprofit organization based in Leeds, Mass., will administer the grant program for Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Burlington counties.” The funding is “part of a $2.9 million grant provided through the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families.”

13.Aragon Top Candidate For Interim ODVA Director Post. Oklahoma Journal Record “Retired Gen. Rita Aragon, the state’s secretary of veterans affairs, has become the top candidate for the interim executive director’s post at the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.” Aragon, “who was named VA secretary by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin in 2010, confirmed Thursday that she had submitted paperwork to members of the War Veterans Commission for the position.” The Journal Record adds, “If selected, Aragon would replace Martha Spear, who retired as director in July,” after the “Journal Record published stories detailing the abuse, neglect, rape and premature deaths of veterans at several veterans’ centers.”

14.Iraq Veteran, A Son Of Police Chief, Alleges Disability Bias In Officer Job.  AP  Iraq veteran Jeremy Peterson is suing the city of Rochester, Minnesota, “claiming disability discrimination after he wasn’t allow to return to his job with the police department.” In a “complaint filed in Olmsted County District Court, Peterson said he suffered hearing loss caused by multiple explosions during his two stints with the Army in Iraq.”

15.VA Foster Program Gives First Coast Veterans Options. Florida Times-Union  63-year-old Vietnam veteran Albert Campbell is very pleased that he was able to leave a “nursing home by entering” the US Veterans Affairs Department’s Medical Foster Home Program, which “pairs veterans with caregivers who help care for them around the clock.” Shirley Galloway, coordinator of the First Coast’s Medical Foster Home Program, “said veterans win because of the quality of life issues and consistent care they get. The VA wins because veterans get into a controlled environment” that allows caregivers to do something good and get paid for doing so.

16.For Veterans, The War Continues Long After They’ve Left The Battlefield. Pacific Northwest Inlander  Ed Pace, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, took his own life three weeks after seeking mental healthcare at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Spokane. When a “soldier comes in complaining of having suicidal thoughts, the VA ‘throws a lot of resources at them,’ says Quinn Bastian, chief of the Spokane VA’s behavioral health unit.” Pace’s father “doesn’t blame the VA for his son’s death, but he has been writing letters to his senators and congresswoman, asking that soldiers, be they retired or active-duty, be offered more services for their struggles after war.”

17.Old School May Be Revamped As Housing. Arizona Daily Star  “A proposal for the construction of a 65-unit apartment complex to house low-income female veterans and their children at the old Liberty Elementary School site is under consideration by the Sunnyside Unified School District.” A “preliminary plan for the Amity Center for Women Veterans — an estimated $10 million project — was presented to the Sunnyside Governing Board by Garry Brav, president of BFL Construction Co. Inc., during its regular meeting Tuesday.” Brav “told the board that the area has many advantages for the project, including the close proximity of the…Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.”

18.Southern Oregon VA To Honor Female Vets Next Week. KDRV-TV“The Southern Oregon Veterans Affairs Rehab Center is honoring women next week.” At 1:30 p.m. at the Red Lion Inn in Medford next Thursday, the facility will host the “annual women Veteran’s Tea.” According to KDRV, VA wants to honor women vets “with a special program, refreshments and opportunity for networking.”

19.Military Researchers Getting Better Understanding Of Brain Injuries. Frederick (MD) News-Post  US military “researchers are getting better clues into a suspected link between combat-related traumatic brain injuries and whether the shocks and jolts that come along with a battlefield blast or concussion may have long-term neurological effects. Studies on the biological changes in the brain being done in collaboration with the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Department of Veterans Affairs are showing an abnormal buildup of a protein called tau that is prevalent in people diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, researchers said.” While speaking at a roundtable on brain injury in Florida this week, Dr. Ann McKee, who directs the neuropathology service for the New England VA Medical Center, said the research involves improving traumatic brain injury diagnosis techniques.

20.Benefits Iffy For Drugs In Mild Hypertension. MedPage Today “Using antihypertensive medications to treat adults with mild hypertension and no previous cardiovascular events does not appear to reduce mortality or subsequent events, at least through about 5 years, a meta-analysis showed.” For the analysis, researchers examined “four randomized controlled trials that either provided individual patient data – to allow for the selection of patients with mild hypertension only – or had a patient population that was at least 80% mild hypertension. The trials included were the Australian National Blood Pressure Study (ANBP), Medical Research Council (MRC), Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program (SHEP), and Veterans Administration-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (VA-NHLBI) trials.”

21.Older Americans Living Longer, But Becoming More Obese. HealthDay  New research has found that while “Americans are living longer, healthier lives than in past generations,” rising “obesity rates and high housing costs could take a toll on these gains in longevity.” For its “report, the US Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics researchers looked at 37 indicators of well-being to assess how older Americans are faring as they age.” Veterans Affairs is one of “15 US agencies represented in the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.”

22.Army Veteran Daniel Rodriguez Overcomes Battle Scars To Play Football For Clemson. Washington Post  After developing depression following a deployment to Afghanistan, veteran Daniel Rodriguez “found therapy in training” to play football for the Clemson Tigers. So “for at least a little while longer – he has three years of eligibility while he attends school on the G.I. Bill – he’ll take full advantage of the catharsis his sport brings.”

23.Veteran 104 Honored As Outreach Campus Opens. Durham (NC) Herald Sun  ”A coalition of government and business organizations has made Durham’s new one-stop shop for veterans needing assistance with post-traumatic stress disorder, employment and housing a reality.” Next Level Veterans Outreach Campus “launched with an open house Wednesday afternoon and a ceremony that also was a celebration of the birthday and service of 104-year-old World War II veteran Samie Anderson.” Campus “partners include the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs, Durham VA Medical Center, and state and local government and business entities that assist with veterans’ housing, employment and PTSD treatment needs.”

24.Veteran At The Plate. Foxboro (MA) Reporter  ”12 disabled veterans from across New England” participated in the CVS Caremark Baseball Camp, which was held recently at Fenway Park, the home field for the Boston Red Sox. The camp offered an “‘amazing opportunity for our veterans,’ said Jenny McLaughlin, the adaptive sports case manager of the VA Boston Healthcare System, in a release. ‘Having the chance to share in this experience, our veterans can be inspired to take up a new sport or activity and fully integrate back into their communities.’” One of the vets who took part in the camp was Andres Burgos, who will also participate in the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic, scheduled to be held next month in San Diego.

25.“Bands Of Brothers” Reality Show Seeks Veterans Who Can Carry A Tune.  Galloway (NJ) Patch

26.New Markers Installed For Soldiers Of 1812. Norton (OH) Post

27.Website To Help Veterans Connect. Berkshire (MA) Eagle

28.Rare WWII Naval Dispatch Brings $20K At Auction.  AP

29.VA / VSO-MSO Hearings as August 18, 2012:

September 13, 2012. HVAC, Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the Patient-Centered Community Care (PCCC) and Non-VA Care Coordination (NVCC) programs.

September 20, 2012. HVAC, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity will hold a hearing entitled, “Examining the Re-Design of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).”

30.Today in History:

———————————-
VA Veterans News for Friday, August 17, 2012.  Thanks to Kevin Secor, VA VSO Liaison

1.     Vets facing unexpectedly difficult transition to civilian jobs, survey finds

2.     38 suspected suicides in July may mark grim record for Army

3.     Former Army officer from Texas accused of stealing $100K while in Iraq

4.     Alabama ‘Stand Down’ reaches out, helps homeless veterans

5.     VA foster program gives First Coast veterans options

6.     Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors Elgin Man

7.     After Officials Speak On The Subject, A Homeless Jacksonville Vet Tells His Story. 

8.     iEHR To Have Joint Immunization Capability. 

9.     Homeless Veterans To Receive Housing Help From Portland Nonprofit. 

10.  VA’s Troubled Claims Processing Backlog One Step Closer To Relief. 

11.  VA Cemetery Advances. 

12.  Veteran Care Delayed. 

13.  Does CRP Protect Families From Dementia? 

14.  Couples Therapy Can Help PTSD And Improve Relationships. 

15.  3 Ways The Military Is Using Mobile Applications. 

16.  Checklist Of Environmental Hazards Helps Reduce Inpatient Suicides In VAMCs. 

17.  Sleep Can Play Important Role In PTSD. 

18.  TRICARE Substance Abuse Treatment Falls Short, Experts Say. 

19.  Four Military Veterans Who Died At Oregon State Hospital Decades Ago Get Buried At Willamette National Cemetery. 

20.  Kingsburg Resident Coaches Local Veterans In National Competition. 

21.  Reeling And Healing. 

22.  Degenerative Brain Disease Threatens Afghan War Vets. 

23.  Yoga, Deep Breathing Used To Address Soldiers’ Post-traumatic Stress. 

24.  Roundtable To Assess Veterans Education. 

25.  Marine Killed In 1950 During Korean War Brought Home, Laid To Rest. 

26.  San Francisco Races To House Homeless Veterans In 100 Days. 

27.  VA / VSO-MSO Hearings as August 17, 2012:

28.  Today in History:

1.    Vets facing unexpectedly difficult transition to civilian jobs, survey findsNearly two-thirds of new veterans say they faced a difficult transition to civilian life, partly because of the bleak economic environment but also because they seem to be speaking a different language than the business leaders who might hire them, according to a survey on post-military employment released this week.

2.    38 suspected suicides in July may mark grim record for ArmyIn July, 38 soldiers, including 26 active-duty soldiers, are believed to have killed themselves, the Army said Thursday, setting what appears to be a grim record as the military struggles to address increasing numbers of suicides.

3.    Former Army officer from Texas accused of stealing $100K while in IraqA former U.S. soldier from Humble, Texas, is accused of stealing and laundering more than $100,000 from the American government during a deployment to Iraq, authorities announced Thursday.

4.    Alabama ‘Stand Down’ reaches out, helps homeless veteransJames Holmes joined about 195 veterans Wednesday as the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System this week conducts a Homeless Veterans Stand Down, offering services to homeless veterans such as crisis counseling, health care information, dental exams, haircuts and even manicures.

 

5.    VA foster program gives First Coast veterans options.  Florida Times-Union  Debra Richards checks in on Robert Johnson, one of three veterans that Richards fosters in her Jacksonville home. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has the Medical Foster Home Program that puts older and/or disabled veterans into foster homes …

 

6.    Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors Elgin Man.  eNews Park Forest  The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) has honored Arthur “Doc” Sheehan, a resident of Elgin and US Air Force veteran, as its August 2012 “Veteran of the Month.” Sheehan was honored during a ceremony Thursday morning at The Watch City …

7.    After Officials Speak On The Subject, A Homeless Jacksonville Vet Tells His Story. Florida Times-Union When Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki visited the Clara White Mission in Jacksonville on Wednesday, he “touted President Barack Obama’s ‘unwavering’ commitment to homeless veterans, pointing to various programs and $100 million in grants aimed at getting housing for vets. Jacksonville recently received $1 million from that program.” Shinseki also said nationwide veteran homelessness is decreasing and that VA’s goal is to eliminate it altogether by 2015. Veteran Ronnie Hellum was in attendance to Shinseki’s remarks, as well as similarly positive ones from Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and US Reps Corrine Brown and Ander Crenshaw. Hellum, who is receiving job training at Clara White, said he feels like he is getting his life “back on track.”

8.    iEHR To Have Joint Immunization Capability. FierceGovernmentIT  “The Veterans Affairs and Defense departments’ integrated electronic health record, or iEHR, will include a joint immunization function, according to a request for information posted to FedBizOpps Aug. 3 and updated Aug. 7.” FierceGovernmentIT adds, “The solution must interoperate with existing DoD and VA immunization IT systems and adapt to emerging iEHR infrastructure and services, says the RFI.”

9.    Homeless Veterans To Receive Housing Help From Portland Nonprofit. Oregonian A nonprofit called Transition Projects has just been “awarded a grant to further its work helping homeless veterans find permanent housing” in Portland. The Federal “government awarded Transition Projects $453,143 through its Supportive Services for Veteran Families initiative. Transition Projects is using the money to establish Oregon is Home: Stable and Secure Housing for Veterans.”

10.VA’s Troubled Claims Processing Backlog One Step Closer To Relief. Federal Computer Week  ”Veterans Affairs Department CIO Roger Baker is well aware of the flack surrounding the agency’s claims backlog, but says there isn’t a quick-fix solution.” Addressing a “crowd mostly of government contractors at Deltek’s Aug. 15 industry forum in McLean, Va., Baker spoke of how VA has been affected by the tightened fiscal environment and how the agency has doubled down on accountability in IT spending for the past three and a half years.” Baker “acknowledged the negative attention around the department’s beleaguered claims processing, but said VA is taking measures to improve the situation, though the process is time consuming.”


11.VA Cemetery Advances. Colorado Springs (CO) Independent “To those dying to be buried in a new veterans cemetery planned for southern Colorado: Burials should be allowed in 2015, before its first phase is completed in 2017.” In a draft environmental assessment, the US Veterans Affairs Department “says the proposed action calls for developing 50 acres in a first phase that will accommodate burials for about 10 years.”

12.Veteran Care Delayed. Grand Haven (MI) Tribune  Veterans “filing for benefits with the US Department of Veterans Affairs are standing in line. Currently, the Detroit Veterans Affairs regional office is experiencing an 18-month wait for traditional claims, said Doug Wells, supervisor of Detroit National Service Office” of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Wells “said there’s hope that Veterans Affairs will move quickly in the future, as they are transitioning to a virtual file program called Veterans Benefits Management System.”

13.Does CRP Protect Families From Dementia? MedPage Today  ”Healthy aging – and cognitive health in particular – may run in families and may be linked to high levels of an important marker for cardiovascular disease, researchers reported. In a cohort of men 75 and older without dementia, high levels C-reactive protein (CRP) were associated with a low likelihood that relatives would have dementia, according to Jeremy Silverman, PhD, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues.” The researchers reported their results “online in Neurology.” According to MedPage Today, Veterans Affairs was one of several organizations that supported the research.

14.Couples Therapy Can Help PTSD And Improve Relationships. Time  A new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, 250K) suggests that a “treatment called ‘cognitive behavioral conjoint therapy’” may help individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the romantic partners of those individuals. The study examined “40 heterosexual and same-sex couples, half of whom were treated in an outpatient VA hospital clinic in Boston, and the other half who were treated at a university research center in Toronto, Canada.”  Medscape Lisa Najavits, PhD, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Massachusetts, indicated that one of the strengths of the study was the inclusion of same-sex as well as heterosexual couples.” But Najavits also “noted that the patients in the study sample appeared to be generally easier to treat than typical PTSD patients in the community, inasmuch as patients in this trial were relatively satisfied with their relationship at baseline, had a general lack of severe comorbidities, including substance abuse, and had the support of an intimate partner who was willing to participate in lengthy treatment sessions.” But one of the study researchers was “careful to point out…that the patients included in this study looked very much like other PTSD patients she has studied in the past and that the investigators excluded only those patients with the most severe substance abuse problems.”

 

15.3 Ways The Military Is Using Mobile Applications. FedTech “The Veterans Affairs Department, led by Roger Baker, assistant secretary for information and technology, has made huge progress in creating technology to support our veterans.” For example, in order to help “vets manage the symptoms” of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), VA has “launched the PTSD Coach app for iOS and Android.” The department is “also working on an electronic health records app, projected to be ready in 2017.”

16.Checklist Of Environmental Hazards Helps Reduce Inpatient Suicides In VAMCs.  US Medicine “When receiving care in a hospital, suicidal patients could take advantage of anything from bedding to belts to kill themselves. That’s how usually harmless objects become ‘environmental hazards’ and why they should be considered in efforts to keep suicidal patients safe in the inpatient setting, according to Peter Mills, PhD, director of the VA National Center for Patient Safety Field Office.” He “poke at the 2012 DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference about how addressing potential suicide hazards can decrease hospital suicides.”

17.Sleep Can Play Important Role In PTSD.  Frederick (MD) News-Post  “As wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wind down, the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are preparing to help soldiers return to civilian life.” The News-Post adds, “While many returning soldiers may complain of initial sleep disruptions, VA’s Dr. Jim Spira, who directs the department’s Pacific island division of the National Center for PTSD, said establishing a routine, regimented nightly schedule and abstaining from certain habits — such as eating large meals and drinking alcohol before bedtime — may help deter long-term problems.” The News-Post add, “‘Effectively treated sleep doesn’t mean you’ve effectively treated PTSD,’ Castro said.”

18.TRICARE Substance Abuse Treatment Falls Short, Experts Say. NextGov  Some former combat commanders and treatment experts believe the outsourcing of treatment to 20-day programs at civilian rehabilitation centers under TRICARE is “taking a Band-Aid approach” to a much larger problem. According to experts, “such a short stint at an inpatient facility can only begin to chip away at addiction and will do little to help troops cope with the combat experiences that many of them have tried to suppress with alcohol or drugs.” Retired Army Col. David Sutherland, said TRICARE’s 20-day deadline wasn’t sufficient. TRICARE “needs to err on the side of the patient,” he said. “Treatment needs to be condition-based, not time-based.”

 

19.Four Military Veterans Who Died At Oregon State Hospital Decades Ago Get Buried At Willamette National Cemetery. Oregonian  On Wednesday, four veterans were to be “interred with full military honors at a funeral at Willamette National Cemetery.” The “four are all men who died at the Oregon State Hospital and their cremated remains were unclaimed and unidentified for decades.”

20.Kingsburg Resident Coaches Local Veterans In National Competition. Hanford (CA) Sentinel “Helping veterans keep alert and active has been the mission of Kingsburg resident Toni Lopez,” who is “in charge of the recreational programs at Fresno’s Veterans Administration Community Living Center. The programs not only improve the veterans health,” they also prepare veterans “to participate in the annual National Veterans Golden Age Games,” which was held this year in St. Louis. During the event, 42 medals were “earned by ‘Team Fresno’ and Lopez” was “cited as ‘Coach of the Year’ by the nonprofit organization, Help Hospitalized Veterans.”

21.Reeling And Healing. Wall Street Journal A nonprofit called Project Healing Waters gives disabled veterans the chance to fly fish in various parts of the country. Veteran Ed Nicholson runs the program through US Veterans Affairs Department facilities. Healing Waters, however, is not a VA program. Vets who take part in the program do not have to pay to go on fly-fishing trips.

22.Degenerative Brain Disease Threatens Afghan War Vets. Huffington Post

23.Yoga, Deep Breathing Used To Address Soldiers’ Post-traumatic Stress.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

24.Roundtable To Assess Veterans Education. American Legion

25.Marine Killed In 1950 During Korean War Brought Home, Laid To Rest. WEWS-TV

26.San Francisco Races To House Homeless Veterans In 100 Days. KALW-FM

 

27.VA / VSO-MSO Hearings as August 17, 2012:

September 13, 2012. HVAC, Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the Patient-Centered Community Care (PCCC) and Non-VA Care Coordination (NVCC) programs.

September 20, 2012. HVAC, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity will hold a hearing entitled, “Examining the Re-Design of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).”

28.Today in History:

——————————–
Secretary Shinseki Meets with Local Leaders to Help End Veteran Homelessness. On Aug. 15, Secretary Shinseki met with Veterans and local leaders at the Clara White Mission in Jacksonville, Florida – one of many community partners working together to end homelessness among Veterans by 2015. Read more

 

Congratulations to United States Navy SEAL, Master Chief, Mark Lilly who was informed by CVE VA today that his re-verification as a SDVOSB has been approved.  Congrats Mark!
More on CVE.  Some of you know that it took me a year to get re-verified through CVE…but I did get re-verified and I wont go into the long drawn out process.  My Company was re-verified on February 2012, some six months ago (should never have been denied to begin with).  Believe it or not, today an Inspector from CVE showed up at my office unannounced to perform an on-site visit and demand certain documentation regarding my 2011 income/revenue. Since I was not at the office today, this documentation will be e-mailed to CVE tomorrow.  You can bet that I was not a happy camper.  I spoke at length with Tom Leney and he explained that CVE, at the behest of GAO will be performing more and more unannounced and random inspections and site visits so I guess we better stand by.  As this process goes forward I will keep you all informed.  Tom asked me if I thought I was being singled out and my response was ”yes!”  Gimme a break, I just got re-verified six months ago.  At any rate, if in fact all of this is random selection, there is not too much any of us can do about it as it is all autorized under existing law.  In the meantime, my attorney Lee Dougherty is also standing by!  Tom Leney from CVE will be sending me more information that I can share with you all.

 

A Message from Veteran Bill Errico- Would anyone like to answer? Anyone in the Senate or the House especially want to answer?    “Wayne, not sure how to pursue this, most federal agencies/departments put up road blocks to hiring disabled Vets on virtual basis. Security is always the reason.

 

As you can imagine the biggest issue Disabled Vets have to employment is mobility. There are technologies that allow them to work from home. In addition, a great deal of the security issues can be addressed as well.

 

How do we get Congress to start applying pressure on the Agencies/Departments to recognize this inequity for our Severely disabled Vets?”

 

Bill Errico, Executive VP, Government Practice

Pearl Interactive Network

 

Interagency Agreement Offers Convenience To Veterans’ Prescription Refillshttp://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2370
Veterans: Schedule Immunizations Today! http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20120820a.asp

New VA Medical Center Opens in Las VegasOn August 6, Secretary Shinseki celebrated the opening of VA’s newest medical center in Las Vegas. The one-million square-foot VAMC will provide health care and support programs for thousands of Veterans. Learn more

 

Quick Tips for Student Veterans. http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/7891/quick-tips-for-student-veterans/

 

The National Resource Directory provides online support and access to over 10,000 services and resources.  Please visit: www.NationalResourceDirectory.gov.  Also Please be sure to check your particular state for any additional benefits that may be offered.

 

Reserve Officers Association (ROA) SmartBrief for August 20, 2012http://www.smartbrief.com/servlet/wireless?issueid=7C5857BE-D7A1-4AF1-9B04-422FCB3494FC&sid=22cbe9eb%2d3ef0%2d4eca%2d8105%2def9f466dc32d

 

Prayers and blessings for you and your loved ones and for our dear Troops and their loved ones everywhere,  The 1% of America that serves!
Best…….Wayne
—————————

 

NAUS News for period ending Friday, August 17, 2012.  Join NAUS Folks, Join NAUS!
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Weekly Update
August 17, 2012
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“If the results of the IG investigation are upheld, this represents an egregious misuse of funds meant to provide for the care of America’s veterans.”

~ Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Chairman House Veterans’ Affairs Committee ~


WASHINGTON REPORT

 

Did VA Misuse Funds?

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, reports that the VA authorized $9 million for a series of conferences last year and that a preliminary investigation has found that planning trips for the conferences cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

 

He says VA employees reportedly received gifts including alcohol, concert tickets and spa treatments. Miller said VA officials had assured his committee earlier that oversight of spending was adequate.

 

 

The VA said in a statement that the conferences were for legitimate training purposes, but the VA’s inspector general is looking into allegations of misconduct. VA spokesman Joshua Taylor said this week the two conferences in question cost about $5 million.

 

 

While the IG investigates, the VA said it has taken action to remove purchasing authority of any employees in the work unit under investigation. VA Secretary Shinseki also has directed an outside independent review of all training policies and procedures. The department also has directed ethics training for all VA personnel involved with the planning and execution of training conferences and recertification of contract specialists.

 

NAUS to Continue Push for Explanation on TRICARE Funds Reprogramming

Last week NAUS reported that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had said the Pentagon reprogrammed $1.36 billion from the TRICARE account in fiscal 2011. With the reprogramming request for FY 2012 fund and what we also found out about

reprogramming from FY 2010, over $3 billion of Defense Health System funds have or will be diverted from what the funding was requested for.

 

 

Congress is on recess and the Members are working on reelection efforts and promoting their party choice for President. However, NAUS has not forgotten this very important issue and we are again asking for your help. See the article in the NAUS News section about contacting your elected officials while they are home. In addition to what is listed there we would like you to ask them why does DoD think they can meet shortfalls in other areas of their budget by raiding health care accounts?

 

 

Also continue to use the NAUS CapWiz site to send emails on this and any other subject that affects you and your family.

 

 

Sequestration Would Hit National Guard Hard

Many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, the Secretary of Defense and many military flag rank officers all agree that sequestration, should it happen, would be a disaster for DoD. Not much has been heard so far on the impact it could have on the National Guard.

 

 

In a statement this week, Paul McHale, a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania and former assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, warned that sequestration would affect Title 32 funding, which allows the National Guard to operate under the command of its governor and act in a law enforcement role while the federal government foots the bill. “That is the ultimate impact of sequestration to our National Guard,” McHale said at a conference at The Heritage Foundation. “We use Title 32 pretty regularly.”

A loss of that money would put the financial burden of any domestic threat or crisis at the state level. “States are also cash poor; they’re strapped right now,” said retired Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, former chief of the National Guard. “It is a bare bones, underfunded organization, historically.”

 

 

Army General Investigated for Overspending

AP News Report

The Associate Press reports that a four-star Army general who was the first head of the new U.S. Africa Command is under investigation for possibly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars improperly on lavish travel, hotels and other items. Gen. William ‘Kip’ Ward has been under investigation for about 17 months, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to make a final decision on the matter before the end of the month, according to several defense officials.

Defense officials said Ward is facing numerous allegations that he spent several hundred thousand dollars allowing unauthorized people, including family members, to fly on government planes, and spent excessive amounts of money on hotel rooms, transportation and other expenses when he traveled as head of Africa Command. NAUS Note: Really? Is there no branch of the government immune to wasting taxpayer money? Where are the oversight mechanisms? Maybe all deployed military, even flag officers, should sleep in tents like those who are actually doing the fighting.

 


 

Welcome to the NAUS Weekly Update. Please email us any feedback, corrections or tips. You can join NAUS online here.

 


 

Last Chances This Year to See Twilight Tattoo

Summer is quickly coming to an end and so are the weekly performances of the Twilight Tattoo. The performances of the Twilight Tattoo are scheduled for every Wednesday night for the remainder of August only. The time-honored tradition takes place at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, VA. The performances are free and open to the public. If you live near or will be visiting D.C you ought to consider attending. For more information and schedule details, visit the U.S. Army Military District of Washington’s Twilight Tattoo website.

HEALTH CARE NEWS

 

Changes Coming to US Family Health Plan Eligibility

TMA Press Release

Starting this fall, the eligibility requirements for the US Family Health Plan (USFHP) are changing for new enrollees.

TRICAREbeneficiaries who enroll in USFHP after Aug. 20, 2012 will lose their eligibility for the program when they turn 65 and be transitioned into TRICARE For Life. Under the new policy, beneficiaries 65 and older won’t be able to enroll in USFHP after Aug. 20, 2012.

Because the eligibility requirements are effective Oct. 1, 2012, new USFHP enrollees must submit their application by Aug. 20, to be enrolled before the requirements go into effect.

All current USFHP members, including those who enroll before Aug. 20, can remain in USFHP, regardless of age, until they no longer qualify for TRICARE coverage. However, if a beneficiary dis-enrolls from USFHP, the new rule applies if they wish to re-enroll at a later date.
USFHPenrollment will remain open to eligible active duty family members, qualifying surviving children and spouses who have not remarried, unmarried children up to age 21 or until age 23 for full-time students, retirees and their family members under the age of 65, and former adult dependent children whose sponsor’s status qualifies them for TRICARE Young Adult coverage. Beneficiaries can enroll at any time and coverage follows the 20th of the month rule.

USFHPis a managed care TRICARE Prime option offering comprehensive coverage at a low cost to beneficiaries. Beneficiaries enrolled in USFHP receive their care at one of the health care facilities belonging to USFHP member hospitals and health systems in their region. For more information on USFHP or to enroll go to www.tricare.mil/usfhp or call membership services at 1-800-748-7347.

 

ACTIVE DUTY NEWS

AF NCO Retraining Program

More than 1,300 Air Force noncommissioned officers may now apply for retraining under the fiscal 2013 NCO Retraining Program (NCORP). Voluntary applications will be accepted through Oct. 5. However, Airmen in restricted career fields will only be able to apply for specific career fields and will also have a shorter Phase I application window: July 30-Sept. 3. The master vulnerability list is available on the virtual Military Personnel Flight website from the Air Force Portal or the myPers website) and affected Airmen must check it weekly. For more NCORP information, visit the myPers website and enter “retraining” in the search box.

 

Political Activity Guidelines Available

With the 2012 Presidential election less than 90 days away, there are a number of directives and guidelines that servicemembers and government employees need to keep in mind when it comes to being in military or government service and being involved in political activity. The Department of Defense (DoD) has included guidelines for using social media related to political activities and issues in the ‘Public Affairs Guidance for Political Campaigns and Elections‘, the DoD Memo on Civilian and Military Personnel Participation in Political Activities, the DoD Directive on Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces and the U.S. Army Social Media Handbook.

 


Help! NAUS would love to have more fans on Facebook to spread the NAUS message — if you use Facebook, please click here and “Like” NAUS. Thank you and thanks to all who signed up the past few weeks on our Facebook page.


 

Navy-Wide Alcohol Survey

The U.S. Navy has launched a Navy-wide survey to learn more about sailors’ alcohol use and the best ways to communicate abuse prevention and responsible use of alcohol messages. The survey is completely anonymous and will take only five to eight minutes to finish. Sailors responses to the survey will help to inform a new social marketing campaign aimed at reducing alcohol abuse in the Navy. To take the survey, visit this page. The survey password is “Navy,” which is case sensitive. For security purposes, participants can only take the survey once from an IP address. The survey will be online until Aug. 27.

 

VETERANS NEWS

 

Retiree Newsletters Available

The latest version of the Navy retiree newsletter Shift Colors is available here.

 

The Marine Corps retiree newsletter Semper Fidelis is available here.

 

The Coast Guard/NOAA retiree newsletter Evening Colors is here.

 

The Air Force retiree newsletter Afterburner is here.

 

The Army retiree newsletter Army Echoes is here.

 

 

National Resource Directory

The National Resource Directory advertises itself as: “Connecting Wounded Warriors, Service Members, Veterans, Their Families and Caregivers with Those Who Support Them”

The National Resource Directory provides online support and access to over 10,000 services and resources. Please visit the website and also be sure to check your particular state for any additional benefits that may be offered.

NAUS NEWS

NAUS Summer Recess Alert

Congress has recessed and your elected officials are now on their traditional August Recess. They will be campaigning, some travel and many will be taking vacations with their families.

 

NAUS is asking you to contact your Representatives and Senators while they are at home. Every Rep. and 33 Senators are up for election.

 

 

A personal visit to one of their district/state offices is always a good first choice. We also encourage you to attend any/all “town hall” meetings they might have. The best way to get answers is to sit in the front row and keep your hand in the air until you get to ask your questions. Be clear and mention you are a member of NAUS.

 

 

If your Representative or Senators are not around, then drop by their home-district office or send an email. Find a way to make sure your opinion is heard.

 

NAUS has several pre-written emails on our CapWiz site that can be sent as written, change to add a message or written entirely on your own to voice your views.

 

The issues we feel are worth an extra measure of attention are:

 

  • Continue to oppose drastic TRICARE fee increases and co-pays.
  • Why has DoD reprogrammed Military Health Care funding for three years?
  • Work to prevent sequestration that will impose drastic new cuts on DoD and will weaken our national defense.
  • Make a permanent “Doc Fix” that will ensure sufficient doctors remain in the Medicare and TRICARE systems.
  • Work to ensure that the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency Indemnity Compensation offset is finally eliminated.
  • Ask Congress to recognize the contribution Merchant Mariners made to victory in World War II

 

Those wanting to make phone calls to their elected officials can find phone numbers for local offices also on the CapWiz site.

 

 

Feel free to pass on any feedback you get and also send any pictures to naus@naus.org.

NAUS Annual Meeting Week – October

In two months, the NAUS Annual Membership Meeting will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Old Town Alexandria, VA, on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. This year’s keynote speaker is Vietnam War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Paul Bucha.

 

 

The week’s events kick-off Wednesday with the NAUS Regional Vice Presidents workshop at NAUS HQ. On Thursday, October 17, your Board of Directors and legislative staff will “Storm the Hill,” followed by the Board of Directors meeting on Friday at the hotel.

 

 

Events for members start Friday and include a Potomac River lunch cruise, and a “Meet the NAUS Board” reception at the hotel Friday evening. The Annual Meeting and luncheon is scheduled for Saturday.

 

 

More details, including costs and registration information are found online here, or you may contact Ms. Vicki Sumner, NAUS Director of Administration. Please plan to attend and help make this annual event a memorable and effective one as we continue to serve as The Servicemember’s Voice in Government.

 

 

Reminder: Online registration is encouraged – It’s easy and saves you and the NAUS staff time. When you register, be sure you indicate which functions you want to attend. If you need hotel accommodations, you will need to make those reservations separately with the hotel directly.

 

 

There will be a limited number of daily parking passes available to anyone at the registration desk on the Annual Meeting day. Get there early to get one. For members who live in the area a very good alternative to driving is to take a Metro Blue or Yellow Line train to the King Street station. Use the North entrance/exit and you will be only about 100 yards from the Hilton entrance.

 

 

 

 

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Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen stand in harm’s way around the globe to defend our nation and our cherished liberties. NAUS asks you to please pray for their continued strength and protection—and pray as well for their families, who daily stand in support of their spouses, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters.

GODBLESSAMERICA

 

 

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Article Sent in by Mark Lilly, USN SEAL Ret. 

NAVY TIMES

SEALS, soldiers among dead in crash

Taliban says it shot down Black Hawk; 7 U.S., 4 Afghans dead

By Heidi Vogt and Kay Johnson – The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Aug 16, 2012 14:57:22 EDT

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — Seven American troops and four Afghans died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash on Thursday in southern Afghanistan, the NATO military coalition said. The Taliban claimed their fighters shot down the aircraft.

 

The crash marked another deadly day for the U.S. in Afghanistan, less than a week after six American service members were gunned down, apparently by two members of the Afghan security forces they were training to take over the fight against the insurgency as international combat troops prepare to exit the country by the end of 2014.

 

The spike in American deaths and attacks by Afghan allies have stirred fresh doubts about the prospects for the U.S. plan to leave a capable Afghan government in place when most troops depart after more than a decade of war.

 

Spokesman Brig. Gen Gunter Katz said the NATO coalition is investigating the cause of Thursday’s crash in Kandahar province, though U.S. officials said initial reports indicated it was not shot down.

 

Kandahar is a traditional Taliban stronghold and the spiritual birthplace of the hardline Islamist movement that ruled Afghanistan before being ousted in 2001 by the U.S.-led alliance for sheltering al-Qaida’s terrorist leaders.

 

Among the dead were seven American service members, three members of Afghan security forces and one Afghan civilian interpreter, said Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for the coalition. He said there were no survivors of the crash. He declined to give any details on the mission of the helicopter, a UH-60 Black Hawk.

 

U.S. officials said three of the seven American troops killed were special operations forces — two Navy SEALS and a Navy explosives expert. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the information.

 

Four U.S. soldiers were also confirmed among the victims who were killed, according to Col. Thomas Collins, Army spokesman in Afghanistan.

 

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said insurgent fighters shot down the helicopter in Kandahar province on Thursday morning.

 

“Nobody survived this,” Ahmadi told The Associated Press by phone.

 

The helicopter was shot down in Kandahar’s Shah Wali Kot district, which lies in the northern part of the province, said Ahmad Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the provincial government said. He declined to give further details.

 

However, U.S. officials said initial indications are that it was not shot down, though an investigation has been opened. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity the investigation is ongoing.

 

White House spokesman Jay Carney said it was too early to determine the cause of the crash.

“Based on my information, at this time the cause of that crash is still under investigation,” Carney said. “Of course our thoughts and prayers are with those American and Afghan families who lost loved ones in that incident.”

 

The area where the helicopter went down — a stretch of Kandahar along the border with Uruzgan province — is seen as a Taliban stronghold and key transit route. The insurgents regularly attack police checkpoints around the rural villages of the district and plant bombs in the road to catch passing government vehicles.

 

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a medium-lift helicopter that has served as the U.S. Army’s workhorse since the 1980s.

 

The U.S.-led NATO force in Afghanistan has relied heavily on utility helicopters such as the Black Hawk to ferry troops, dignitaries and supplies around the mountainous terrain, thus avoiding the threat of ambushes and roadside bombs.

 

Thursday’s crash is the deadliest since a Turkish helicopter crashed into a house near the Afghan capital, Kabul, on March 16, killing 12 Turkish soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground, officials said.

 

In August last year, insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter, killing 30 American troops, mostly elite Navy SEALs, in Afghanistan’s central Wardak province.

 

At least 221 American service members have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/08/ap-nato-helo-crash-kills-11-081612/

 

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From: JS Pentagon OCJCS Mailbox Warrior and Family Support

Sent:   Monday, August 20, 2012 7:26 PM

Subj: Warrior & Family Support News for Monday, 20 August 2012 – “Keeping Faith with the Military Family”

COMMUNITIES IN ACTION

 

Bergen vets lack access to program to avoid homelessness
NorthJersey.com
Unlike Passaic and other parts of the state, Bergen County lacks a program focused specifically on keeping veterans and their families from falling into homelessness. The Compassion Fund operated by Bergen County’s United Way came up with $2000 for

 

Gary native brings paintball event helping wounded veterans build camaraderie …
nwitimes.com
Spencer Tesanovich, captain and co–creator of the Team Defiant paintball organization, has some sage and simple advice for people taking part in his “Red Strike” excursion. “Be hydrated, motivated and dedicated,” he said. “Drive on and have fun, but

 

Prince William Chamber launches veterans initiative

Inside NoVA
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is creating aN initiative that brings together veterans and the civilian community in a myriad of ways. The chamber has recently formed a council that is open to anyone who is interested in helping veterans

 

WELLNESS

 

Trauma and technology: New tools teach veterans, clinicians about PTSD
Boston.com (blog)
The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are developing a host of tools online and on smartphones to help veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. I wrote in today’s Globe about some of the new technologies, including an online

 

Veteran successful in taking on PTSD
Martinsburg Journal
Going from being what he described as a functional addict to a graduate of the VA Medical Center’s PTSD program, an accomplished stained glass artist and loving father and husband was no easy feat. But Hugee has been moving onward and upward since

 

Army Suicide Rates Reach New High in July
Medical Daily
“Issues like minor depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances…begin to surface after a service member has been home for more than a year, and start to reintegrate with their family,” Bruce Shahbaz, a medical analyst with the Army’s Suicide Prevention

 

EDUCATION

Student, former wounded veteran plans forum Aug. 24 at LSC-CyFair
Your Houston News
U.S. Army Sgt. Derek Kolb served his country for nearly nine years and now as president of the Lone Star College-CyFair Student Veteran’s Association, he is helping educate fellow veterans. Kolb, president of the Student Veteran’s Association,

 

US Soldiers’ Children Already Feeling Pain Of Budget Cuts
Huffington Post
What many lawmakers may not realize is that because of their inability to compromise on a replacement for this budget axe – and because of a quirk in the way the U.S. Department of Education allocates funds to schools heavily populated by military kids

 

Bergen veterans educate others on rights
NorthJersey.com
A group of men, all veterans, often sit around a table at the Northern Valley Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 32 post in Bergenfield, drinking coffee, eating donuts, playing pinochle and swapping stories. The stories they tell, in tones modest

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

FDU offers veterans help in starting businesses
NorthJersey.com (blog)
Are you a veteran looking to start or expand a small business? Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship in Madison is offering a free, 10-week program, Veterans Launching Ventures, to help veterans with small businesses

 

Finding a job biggest challenge for veterans, survey finds
Washington Post
Veterans facing physical or mental-health issues were twice as likely as others to say they were not ready for the transition. In addition, close to half of those who said they were not ready said they needed more education or technical training. The

 

Our best regards…Randall E. “Smitty” Smith, Lt Col, USAF

Deputy Director, Warrior & Family Support, Office of the Chairman

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From: JS Pentagon OCJCS Mailbox Warrior and Family Support
Sent:   Friday, August 17, 2012 1:43 PM

Subj: Warrior & Family Support News, “Keeping Faith with the Military Family”

COMMUNITIES IN ACTION

 

How We Can Get More Money to Deserving Charities

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

In this difficult economic climate, it is more important than ever to make sure we understand why people give—and to ensure that hard-earned dollars get to the nonprofits that deserve them the most. What we know is puzzling…

 

Allied center for homeless veterans adds transitional home to Jacksonville …
Florida Times-Union (blog)
The Allied Veterans Center, a nonprofit that houses homeless veterans, will dedicate a transitional home Thursday for veterans who have completed the center’s job training, education and health program. The 3 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony for the 8130

 

VA foster program gives First Coast veterans options
Florida Times-Union
Debra Richards checks in on Robert Johnson, one of three veterans that Richards fosters in her Jacksonville home. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has the Medical Foster Home Program that puts older and/or disabled veterans into foster homes

 

WELLNESS

 

Suicide Crisis Among Active-Duty Troops and Veterans: Time for Action
Examiner.com
According to a recent Pentagon report, cited in a June 8, 2012 article, Suicides Among US Troops Averaging One a Day, the suicide rate for active-duty soldiers in the military has risen from 10 percent in 2005, to 20 percent as of June of this year

 

PAWWS trains dogs for vets with PTSD
ABC7Chicago.com
August 16, 2012 (PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill.) (WLS) — A south suburban dog trainer and groomer is taking on a new role and she is now adopting and training service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Inspired by a story about PTSD trained

 

PTSD Improves When Substance Abuse Also Treated
FOX2now.com
(CNN) — Combining treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse resulted in improved PTSD symptoms without worsening symptoms of substance abuse, according to a study released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical

 

EDUCATION

Network of services aids veterans in transition from combat to classroom
Community Impact Newspaper
“That also carries with it positive economic impacts on communities. Veterans carry with them benefits, and some of those benefits are monthly cash benefits, like the GI Bill,” Prather said. “That’s money that’s spent at H-E-B; that’s money that’s

 

FSU hires full-time veterans resource office coordinator
Wicked Local
Fields, he added, “is a very engaging person – he has the experience we were looking for, a great educational background, and he’s very passionate about helping veterans.” One of his most important tasks will be to help veterans navigate their VA

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

Tom Perez, Unemployed Veteran, Becomes Employer With Meineke Car Care …
Huffington Post
Rather than continuing to apply for jobs, Perez decided to switch tactics and apply for franchise opportunities, hoping to provide a living not just for himself and his family, but for other veterans struggling to find employment. That decision led to

 

Vets starting tech businesses rely on each other for support

The Washington Post

Leaving military service to join civilian life can be a tricky transition for many veterans — but even more so when they hope to go into business for themselves. Some vets seek government support as they are starting out, while others turn to fellow veterans and their own personal networks…

 

Vets facing unexpectedly difficult transition to civilian jobs, survey finds
Stars and Stripes
Servicemembersfrom Oregon interact with employers during the ”Hiring Our Heroes” job fair at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore., Nov. 19, 2011. Cory Grogan/Oregon National Guard. WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of new veterans say they

 

Our best regards…Randall E. “Smitty” Smith, Lt Col, USAF

Deputy Director, Warrior & Family Support, Office of the Chairman

——————————————————-

From: Lee Dougherty
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2012 12:33 PM

SubjOne Week till August VETworking Events – DC and Virginia 

(Please see attached Flers for August 28 and August 30, 2012, events).

Dear Friends and Veterans,

 

 

Only one week till VETworking. If you are planning on attending please register early. Being new venues planning is more important than at our regular venue at the Tower Club.

 

 

We are holding our regular 4th Tuesday of the month breakfast on August 28th in Chantilly in partnership with the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee. This is an opportunity for those in the Chantilly, Reston and Herdon area to experience the wonderful opportunity to network with other Veterans focused on success. We have a wonderful guest speaker and it should be a great event for those who can’t make it in to our regular monthly breakfast. www.aug28vetworking.eventbrite.com/

 

 

On August 30th we are having a special evening networking event in Foggy Bottom in Partnership with the National Veterans Center. Registration for this event has been phenomenal. This is a free event and will provide those in the District the opportunity to meet and build relationships with other Veterans as well as introduce the NVC and its programs to the Veteran community.

www.aug30VETworking.eventbrite.com Event though this is a free event please register so we can plan on snacks and nametags.

 

 

As always, if there are companies out there looking for quality SDVOSBs or VOSBs to team with there is no better place to connect then at VETworking events. As a friend and supporter of Veterans you are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

 

Get registered and bring a friend!

Lee Dougherty, Esq.

General Counsel, P.C.

If you have trouble viewing the announcement below click here: August VETworking

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Ton of News from Al Buning, Col, USAF (ret), in NJ.  Thanks Al

Community Preparedness Digest:

Support FEMA in its Effort to Build a Stronger, More Resilient Nation

This year, FEMA is launching a national campaign to build and sustain disaster preparedness throughout the country, and is seeking expertise to assist this effort within the FEMA Regions. This posting is being made available through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program, which allows eligible applicants to work for the Federal government for up to one year and then return to their previous positions.

. Final Flight
(Killeen Daily Herald) …”That was one of the best sounds I ever heard,” Sweeney said while listening to the distinct “whop, whop, whop” of the UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopters for the last time as the three remaining active-duty choppers retired Saturday at a commemorative airlift at Robert Gray Army Airfield.

Sequestration Ground Zero: ‘Fayette-Nam’
(Politico.com) Here in the military town home to Fort Bragg, long fighting off its nickname Fayette-nam, the unemployment rate has soared above that in the rest of the country for years.

. USS Constitution
(ABC) The USS Constitution sets sail on the 200th anniversary of its famous victory.

USAF Tests New Missions For UAVs
(Defense News) Predator UAVs are becoming key players in the U.S. Air Forces premier combat exercises Red Flag signaling yet another major cultural shift in the way the historically fighter-heavy service operates.

US, Israel View Iran Threat With Different ‘Clocks’: General
(Yahoo.com) The United States and Israel have different interpretations of the same intelligence reports on Iran’s nuclear programme, the US military’s top general said.

US Hopes For Stronger Military Ties With Iraq: General
(Yahoo.com) Eight months since American troops withdrew from Iraq, Baghdad has signalled a readiness to bolster military ties with the US, America’s top general said ahead of a visit to the country.

Interview With General Dempsey
(FNC) …Before arriving in Afghanistan, General Dempsey told me that he is very concerned about the increased efforts by Iran to establish militias in Syria. He said he is very concerned about reports that Iraqi banks are helping Iran bust Western sanctions designed to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

Dial Back Pay Raises, Report Says
(Army Times) The time is right to scrimp on military pay raises, says a new report that appears to agree with a Pentagon proposal to cap basic pay hikes starting in 2015. The report, commissioned by the Defense Department, was conducted by the Rand Corp., a think tank that has done considerable research for the military on ways to hold down personnel costs.

DoD Plan For Rapid Cyber Buys Delayed
(Defense News) The U.S. Defense Department is falling behind on a plan that was intended to allow it to buy critical cyber tools quickly. The delay is due to concerns that the strategy’s bureaucracy would only slow the purchasing process, sources familiar with the plan and the internal deliberations said.

U.S. Troops’ Kids Early Victims Of Congress Budget Inaction
(Reuters.com) Amid all the hand-wringing in the U.S. Congress over January 2 spending cuts that would wallop military and domestic programs, children of American soldiers already are feeling the pinch of a budget mess.

Drone Strategy To Be Examined By Analysts
(Bloomberg Government (bgov.com)) The use of drones to fight terrorism gets a fresh look this week as demand for the unmanned aircraft continues to soar.

. Heart To Heart
(NBC) The Purple Heart is the militarys oldest medal and over time many have found their way into antique shops and into the hands of collectors. Tonight, NBCs Ron Allen has a story of one decorated soldier determined to make a difference by returning some of those precious honors to where they belong.

. For Veterans, Finding A Job Is Biggest Challenge, Survey Finds
(Washington Post) Despite a continued drop in the unemployment rate among Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans, a new survey reports that more than two-thirds of their post-9/11 generation believe that finding a job is the greatest challenge they face in making the transition to civilian life.

Jay Leno, Leon Panetta Auction Fiat 500 For $385,000
(USAToday.com) Jay Leno sold his Fiat 500 for an impressive $385,000 last night (plus some additional donations on the side), with all proceeds going to a charity to help wounded soldiers recover. Also there to spur bidding: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Army Chief of Staff Ray Odiero. Others threw even more money into the pot.

. Convicted Soldier Seeks Civilian Appeal Rights
(Miami Herald) A military court convicted Army Master Sgt. John E. Hatley of murder in wartime. Unfortunately for the defrocked combat infantryman, military law keeps him from appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

. Mercy Returns Home As Pacific Partnership Wraps Up
(Navy Times) After taking care of thousands US Military Head In Afghan Trip As Insider Toll Mounts
(Yahoo.com) The top US military officer Martin Dempsey flew to Afghanistan Sunday for talks with senior commanders, as this year’s toll from insider attacks by Afghans on coalition troops reached 40.

 

. Unit’s Fight For Better Anti-IED Software Won, But At High Cost
(Washington Times) Months before the Armys ill-fated 5th Stryker Brigade was to leave Washington state in the summer of 2009 for the war in Afghanistan, its commander became convinced that he needed a particular type of equipment to counter cunning bomb-makers.

9/11 Suspects To Appeal Over Ban On Mentioning Torture
(London Times) US government prosecutors will face an unprecedented legal battle this week over their ruling that every allegation of torture made by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged 9/11 co-conspirators must remain classified as top secret.

Canceled U.S. Contracts Offer Preview Of Sequester’s Effects
(Washington Post) A surge in canceled U.S. contracts as war funding winds down may be a preview of the damage ahead for government vendors under looming automatic budget cuts.

Defense Workers To Congress: Solve The Problem, Stop The Automatic Cuts
(Reuters.com) The uncertainty over automatic cuts in U.S. defense spending to be triggered in January because of congressional inaction has spread to the engineers and project managers in South Florida’s aerospace industry.

Afghan Attacks Pose Threat To Exit Plans
(Los Angeles Times) this dusty summer, American troops are dying at unprecedented rates at the hands of their Afghan allies. And both sides are struggling to explain why, even as they search for ways to stem what are known in military parlance as “insider” attacks.

The South China Sea’s Gathering Storm
(Wall Street Journal) Since World War II, despite the costly flare-ups in Korea and Vietnam, the United States has proved to be the essential guarantor of stability in the Asian-Pacific region, even as the power cycle shifted from Japan to the Soviet Union and most recently to China. The benefits of our involvement are one of the great success stories of American and Asian history, providing the so-called second tier countries in the region the opportunity to grow economically and to mature politically.

. . DOD Transfer Rules May Ease Sequester Pain
(Bloomberg Government (bgov.com)) The Defense Department each year gets contingent authority from Congress to shift almost $8 billion between programs, and the Pentagon may seek to use this reprogramming authority to mitigate the effects of sequestration.

. Five Business Lessons From The US Navy
(Forbes.com) One of the worlds most efficient, effective and skilled organizations has an average age under 24 years old and experiences 100% turnover in less than every 4 years.

Joint Command Merges U.S., Afghan Elite Forces
(USA Today) Elite U.S. and Afghan special operations forces have been combined under a single command in an effort to improve coordination and pave the way for the possibility of continued U.S. military presence after 2014 when most American forces will withdraw.

S. Korea, US Start Major Annual Military Drill
(Yahoo.com) The South Korean and US militaries Monday began an annual major joint exercise to test defences against North Korea, a drill denounced by Pyongyang which vowed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent.

Myanmar Progress ‘Fragile,’ Says U.S. Envoy
(Wall Street Journal) Myanmar’s overhauls of the past year remain fragile and tenuous, the new U.S. ambassador to the country said, with continuing evidence of human-rights violations and concerns about opaque policy-making and possible military ties to North Korea.

Anti-Japan Protests Erupt In China Over Disputed Island
(New York Times) Anti-Japanese protests spread across China over the weekend, and the landing of Japanese activists on a disputed island on Sunday sharply intensified tensions between the two countries.

Role Of Jihadists Growing In Syria
(Washington Post) A shadowy jihadist organization that first surfaced on the Internet to assert responsibility for suicide bombings in Aleppo and Damascus has stepped out of the shadows and onto the front lines of the war for Syrias cities. for Syria’s cities.

Israeli, US Navies Finish Joint Drill
(Jerusalem Post) The exercise, Reliant Mermaid, focused on search and rescue maneuvers, included live fire; Turkish Navy refuses to participate.

KBR Must Face Guardsmen’s Toxic-Chromium Suit, Judge Says
(Bloomberg.com) KBR Inc. (KBR) must face a trial on claims that it knowingly exposed U.S. troops to toxic chromium dust in 2003 while they were guarding a company work site in Iraq, a Houston judge ruled.

Seeing Reality In Egypt
(Washington Post) A new reality and an alternative reality are shaping up in Egypt. President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood appear firmly in control . Morsi seized on the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai early this month an embarrassment for the military and particularly the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ( SCAF ) to remove the most senior military leaders from office.

Exploding Costs
(Washington Post) A WORLD FREE of nuclear weapons is an appealing dream, but the reality is that the atomic bomb will not disappear soon. As long as the United States possesses a nuclear arsenal and needs to deter threats, the warheads and bombs must be kept safe, secure and, if deployed, effective. This is a goal of a major U.S. effort to refurbish and extend the life of its existing weapons.

. Now Is Not The Time To Rein In Pay Raises
(Army Times) The Rand Corp., the Pentagons go-to think tank, has issued a new report that discusses options for scaling down the size of future military pay raises.

Portraits in Courage: The Air Force released the latest volume in its Portraits in Courage series, honoring 20 airmen who displayed bravery and determination in the face of especially challenging or dangerous situations. “These exceptional airmen persisted through extraordinary circumstances, confronted unforeseen dangers, and surmounted seemingly impossible challenges, all to accomplish their missions, and often saving the lives of others in the process,” reads an Aug. 19 service release. Click here to visit the Portraits in Courage website, or click on the hyperlinks to the individual airmen below for their stories.

Lt. Col. Karl Ingeman, 555th Fighter Squadron, Aviano AB, Italy;
Capt. Barry Crawford, 104th FS, Warfield ANG Base, Baltimore;
Capt. Jennifer Curtis, 75th Medical Operations Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah;
Capt. Darrel Deleon, 1st Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colo.;
Capt. Blake Luttrell, 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C.;
MSgt. Angela Blue, 355th Medical Operations Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.;
MSgt. Christopher Uriarte, 212th Rescue Squadron, JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska;
MSgt. Kevin Wallace, 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, Britain;
TSgt. Tavis Delaney, 116th Air Support Operations Squadron, Camp Murray, Wash.;
TSgt. David Perez, 377th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.;
TSgt. Scott Saenz, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron, Scott AFB, Ill.;
TSgt. Matthew Schwartz, 90th CES, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.;
SSgt. Trevor Brewer, 48th Security Forces Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, Britain;
SSgt. Christopher Jarrell, 81st SFS, Keesler AFB, Miss.;
SSgt. Kyle Klapperich, 23rd STS, Hurlburt Field, Fla.;
SSgt. Jeffery Salazar, 22nd STS, JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.;
SSgt. Vanessa Salzl Bibb, 59th Medical Wing, JB San Antonio, Tex.;
SSgt. Travis Sanford, 10th Combat Weather Squadron, Hurlburt Field;
SSgt. Ben Seekell, 4th SFS, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.; and
SrA. Veronica Cox, 33rd RQS, Kadena AB, Japan.

(Washington, D.C., report by TSgt. Shawn J. Jones)

Dubie Gets Third Star for NORTHCOM Assignment: Maj. Gen. Michael Dubie, Vermont National Guard adjutant general since 2006, last week pinned on his third star for his new assignment as US Northern Command’s deputy commander at Peterson AFB, Colo. “That third star was richly earned and is richly deserved,” said National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Craig McKinley during Dubie’s Aug. 14 promotion ceremony in the Pentagon. “It’s an honor for me to be here,” said Dubie, who will assume his new role on Aug. 27, according to an NGB release. In that role, he will also serve as vice commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s US element. Dubie succeeds Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass, whom the Senate has confirmed to receive a fourth star to lead the NGB in place of McKinley, who is retiring. (Arlington report by Army Sgt. Darron Salzer)
Nuclear Weapons Program Graduates First Class: The first class recently graduated from the Air Force’s new graduate-level nuclear weapons certification program, announced Air Force Global Strike Command officials. The initial group of 15 graduates included CMSgt. Brian Hornback, AFGSC command chief, according to an Aug. 17 command release. The Air Force Institute of Technology announced the program last November, states the release. “For us to determine or define nuclear experts, we have to first get them the education and professionally develop them so that they understand all the nuances of being a professional in the nuclear enterprise,” said Hornback. The program is a distance-learning initiative that consists of three, 10-week classes that students have up to two years to complete. It is designed to provide them with a solid understanding of nuclear weapon effects, nuclear weapon proliferation, and an extensive understanding of nuclear strategy and policy, states the release. The next session is scheduled to start on Oct.1. (Barksdale report by Joseph Murray)

Assured Deterrence and Shared Lefse: Norwegian defense chief Army Gen. Harald Sunde last week reviewed the Air Force’s nuclear deterrent arsenal on a visit to the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, N.D. “This visit is intended to give General Sunde a greater understanding of strategic deterrence so that he can better communicate the importance of deterrence to multiple audiences back in Norway,” said Minot spokesman Lt. Jose Davis, reported the Minot Daily News on Aug, 17. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey invited Sunde to tour Minot specifically because it is the only base in the Air Force to house both B-52H nuclear-capable bombers and Minuteman III ICBMs, according to the report. Sunde engaged with base leaders and visited Minot flight and missile field operations on Aug. 15.

 

Former Aviano Inspector General Faces Sexual Assault Charges: Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, former 31st Fighter Wing inspector general at Aviano AB, Italy, faces a court-martial for allegedly groping a female civilian base employee in March, announced Aviano officials last week. Specifically, the Air Force has charged Wilkerson, who was the wing’s IG from January to May, with two counts of violating Article 120 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice—for abusive sexual contact and aggravated sexual assault—and three counts of violating Article 133—for conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman. He faces a maximum sentence of more than 37 years of confinement if convicted in his trial this fall, said the officials. “The Air Force and the 31st Fighter Wing are dedicated to a culture where sexual assault is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Zobrist, 31st FW commander, in an Aug. 16 release. To continue to the full report, click here.

OPM breaks down the basics of phased retirement

The Office of Personnel Management released a factsheet to federal agencies in July explaining what phased retirement is and how it will work.

 

========================

Gen. William “Kip” Ward, the former commander of U.S. Africa Command, engaged in “multiple forms of misconduct” including inappropriate use of government aircraft and excessive amounts of government funds spent on parties and gifts, a Defense Department Inspector General’s report alleges. The report, provided to Federal News Radio in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, sheds new light on allegations against Gen. Ward that were first reported earlier this week. Read the full story.

 

National Preparedness Month: Discussions Between Generation X, Y, and Z

 

‘Today’s Air Force’ highlights new CSAF, Air Force Week

 

New instruction puts spotlight on standards, culture

 

 

Report Details Military’s Energy Investments

08/15/2012 03:39 PM CDT

 

Family Matters Blog: Money App Puts Finances in Hand

08/17/2012 02:16 PM CDT

Dempsey: Transition in Military Uncomfortable but Necessary

08/17/2012 05:20 PM CDT

New Program Aims to Better Help Troops Transition to Civilian Life

08/18/2012 09:05 PM CDT

 

Ceremonial garb brings a lot of questions
You may have noticed that when Gen. Mark Welsh III took over as chief of staff, he was wearing a rarely seen ceremonial uniform along with outgoing chief Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy.

“Exactly when did the AF adopt John Phillip Sousa’s uniform as its own?” one reader commented online. [ Read More ]

Bold Quest To Test Ground Comms

The U.S. Joint Staff is scheduled this month to begin the year’s second Bold Quest exercise, an assessment of the capabilities of dismounted coalition soldiers, with an eye toward reducing friendly fire and improving combat effectiveness. … more

Chiarelli Joins Harris Board of Directors

MELBOURNE, Fla./WASHINGTON — Retired U.S. Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff from 2008 until his retirement earlier this year, has been appointed to the Harris Corp. board of directors. … more

Some Senior Lawmakers Show Flexibility in Budget Negotiations

With Congress in recess until September, few believe lawmakers will agree on a comprehensive deal to lower the U.S. deficit before November’s elections. … more

U.S. Report Warns of Japan ‘Drift,’ Urges Defense Boost

WASHINGTON — A group of former U.S. policymakers on Aug. 15 called for Japan to expand the scope of defense cooperation with Washington, saying that the two nations’ alliance needed momentum to overcome strains. … more

 

Sequestration Devastates National Guard Capabilities to Respond to Disasters, Former Military Leaders Warn

When military forces responded to Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the mix of troops supporting civil authorities in that disaster was roughly 70 percent active duty and 30 percent from the National Guard. By contrast, the response to… »

· New Navy Energy Policy

 

 

· 2013 TRICARE Prime Enrollment Fees Announced

· Website for Those with PTSD

· New America’s Army Comics App

· Pentagon Opens History Exhibit

·

 

 

High Tech Night Vision And Helmet Sensors

 

Medicare prescription drug premiums to remain steady for third straight year

08/06/2012 01:01 AM EDT

 

 

Using Technology to Improve Access to Mental Health Care

 

Sign-up deadline looms for Family Health Plan
Tricare beneficiaries who live in one of the regions served by the Uniformed Services Family Health Plan have until Monday to apply for the program if they want to stay in it when they become Medicare-eligible.

The Defense Authorization Act for 2012 barred Medicare-eligible retirees and their families from enrolling in the plan beginning Oct. 1, 2012. [ Read More ]

Woman charged with sex assault of airman
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Eagle River woman has been charged with sexually assaulting an Air Force airman.

The Anchorage Daily News reports 40-year-old Lagina Griffiths has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and coercion. [ Read More ]

DoD details general’s lavish travel, spending
WASHINGTON — The four-star general who headed U.S. Africa Command used military vehicles to shuttle his wife shopping and to spas, and billed the government for a refueling stop overnight in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite, a Defense Department investigation has found.

A 99-page report details excessive unauthorized spending and travel costs for Gen. William “Kip” Ward, including lengthy stays at lavish hotels for Ward, his wife and his staff members, and the use of five-vehicle motorcades when he traveled to Washington. It also said that Ward and his wife, Joyce, accepted dinner and Broadway show tickets from a government contractor during a trip on which he went backstage to meet actor Denzel Washington and they and several staff members spent the night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. [ Read More ]

 

Helping female veterans with nowhere to turn
In August 2005, Army Lt. Jas Boothe had one thing on her mind: getting herself – and the son she was raising on her own – ready for her deployment to Iraq. [ Read More ]

Guard to keep sponsoring Earnhardt Jr.
BROOKLYN, Mich. — The Army National Guard is staying on as a sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 NASCAR Sprint Cup team. [ Read More ]

Olympians return to ranges at Ft. Benning
FORT BENNING, Ga. — Back at Fort Benning after competing in the 2012 Olympics, three soldiers from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit returned to the firing ranges Thursday to teach junior shooters from across the country and soldiers honing their skills. [ Read More ]

· Plane crashes in N.Y. exercise; none injured

· SEALS, soldiers among dead in crash

· Army faces highest monthly total of suicides

CDC Concerned by New Flu Variant

 

Emergency managers plan for worst, hope for best

Bombs are exploding, chemical weapons have contaminated half the base, badly injured airmen are scattered everywhere, communication systems are down and there’s a fire inside the wing headquarter building.

 

 

Operation Deep Freeze – Airmen escape heat of summer for icy coolness of Antarctica

On one of the hottest days of the year in Washington, Airmen from McChord Field are headed to one of the coolest places – Antarctica.

Mental Health Nurses provide critical service to Air Force

For some airmen, finding a kind ear and expertise from someone in the mental health profession can mean the difference between life and death.

 

 

 

New Heritage Hall displays unveiled

 

 

X-51A flight ends prematurely

 

Total force seminar builds ‘bold leadership’

 

 

Nevada Guard officials warn budget cuts may impair emergency responses
Las Vegas Review – Journal
In terms of defense cuts, the National Guard and other reserve components would be affected disproportionately because cutting 10 percent of the days a Guard soldier or airman works would amount to a deeper cut than for active duty personnel, said
See all stories on this topic »
Sequestration Threatens National Guard
National Defense Magazine (blog)
Severe cuts to the military that may come as a result of sequestration next year may adversely impact the National Guard, and by extension, domestic security, former Pentagon leaders said Aug. 15. “The only thing worse than the flawed legislative
See all stories on this topic »

http://nt3.ggpht.com/news/tbn/J2jCJWuvTsgJ
National Defense Magazine (blog)

In the Louisiana National Guard, another general officer promotion
NOLA.com
Maj. Gen. Stephen Dabadie has become the latest Louisiana National Guard officer to see promotion in the general officer ranks. Dabadie, who served a stint overseeing the National Guard task force created to help the New Orleans Police Department
See all stories on this topic »

http://nt1.ggpht.com/news/tbn/QVDD2fkPGwIJ
NOLA.com

Combating Suicides: An estimated 18 veterans commit suicide every day, which in just one year exceeds total casualties from almost 11 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The VA estimate doesn’t reflect military suicides, which continues to frustrate senior leadership despite increased mental health services and a tremendous push to remove the stigma associated with seeking help. More must still be done, especially after Army announced this week that 38 active-duty and Reserve Component soldiers took their own lives in July, up from 24 in June, and on pace to exceed last year’s total of 283. If you know a veteran or service member who might need a little extra help, please refer them to the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, their online chat at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255, for free, confidential support. VFW Posts can also help spread the word by ordering free informational material from http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/Resources/SpreadTheWord.aspx

Support for CRPD: As the Senate returns from their August recess, one item of importance to disabled veterans is the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or CRPD. As of July 2012, 115 countries have ratified this non-binding document, which spells out the vision that disabled persons everywhere should have reasonable accommodations in public places, and should not be discriminated against. It will also give the United States more influence in providing guidance to nations seeking assistance in improving the conditions for disabled persons, and paves the way for disabled veterans to work, travel, and study in nations where their disability currently makes such decisions more difficult. For our Action Alert on the issue click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/issues/alert/?alertid=61692521
For more information about the CRPD, visit the US International Council on Disabilities at: http://www.usicd.org/index.cfm/crpdupdates

U.S. Family Health Plan Enrollment Changes: The VFW just learned that eligibility requirements for new U.S. Family Health Plan enrollments change on Monday. New USFHP enrollees must submit their application before Aug. 20 to be enrolled when the requirements take effect Oct. 1. TRICARE beneficiaries who enroll after Aug. 20 will lose their eligibility for the program when they turn 65 and be transitioned into TRICARE for Life. Beneficiaries 65 and older will also not be able to enroll in USFHP after Aug. 20. All current USFHP members, including those who enroll over the weekend, can remain in USFHP, regardless of age, until they no longer qualify. All eligible TRICARE beneficiaries who reside within one of six designated USFHP locations may enroll, except for active duty service members or activated National Guard/Reserve members. Read more at http://www.tricare.mil/mediacenter/news.aspx?fid=747.

Analysis: Is the debate over defense cuts getting ‘hysterical’? Chances are, the latest story or speech about the prospect of deep cuts in U.S. military spending has contained two things: The term “sequestration” and a very large number. But one noted analyst wonders if mammoth job-loss projections — based on economic models and driven by assumptions that might not pan out — are helping the debate or hurting it.

· Cyber Command struggles to define its place on a shifting battlefield

By Aliya Sternstein

Collateral damage and a dearth of cyberwarriors are among the Pentagon’s biggest hurdles. …full article

· FBI gives police free tool to convert photos for facial recognition

By Aliya Sternstein

Bureau tries to enlarge its biometric database by making it cheaper for local authorities to submit and search suspects’ faces. …full article

Two more cows have died from anthrax exposure in northeast Colorado, expanding the first outbreak of the disease in the state in 31 years to three ranches;

Some Senior Lawmakers Show Flexibility in Budget Negotiations

With Congress in recess until September, few believe lawmakers will agree on a comprehensive deal to lower the U.S. deficit before November’s elections. … more

U.S. Report Warns of Japan ‘Drift,’ Urges Defense Boost

WASHINGTON — A group of former U.S. policymakers on Aug. 15 called for Japan to expand the scope of defense cooperation with Washington, saying that the two nations’ alliance needed momentum to overcome strains. … more

USAF Hypersonic Aircraft Fails Flight Test

The U.S. Air Force’s X-51 hypersonic test aircraft failed during its latest launch over the Pacific Ocean. … more

Panetta acknowledges Taliban role in increased green-on-blue attacks. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta this week blamed the Taliban for the increasing number of green-on-blue attacks, a departure from previous comments in which he and other military leaders had downplayed the group’s involvement.

Navy No. 2: Budget cuts could threaten future operations. Looming automatic budget cuts could drastically reduce the Navy’s global presence, requiring a narrower defense strategy drawing on an anemic fleet of roughly 230 ships, according to the Navy’s second highest-ranking officer.

Navy soliciting bids for ship-based laser weapons. The Navy wants to be the first U.S. military service branch to deploy cost-effective, high-energy laser weapons capable of burning holes in approaching targets in the air and on the sea.

Wife of accused fake war hero released on house arrest. A woman accused of helping her husband lie about being war hero and scamming the federal government with him out of $500,000 in disability benefits over six years was shown on videotape Tuesday during in federal hearing doing yard work, lifting a wheelchair and walking without a cane.

Veterans Affairs applies for grant to expand cemetery. Pacific Daily News Flowers cover one of many graves at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti, yesterday. Faced with the prospect of reaching its capacity in two years, the Guam Veterans Affairs Office is preparing to apply for a federal grant to expand the cemetery …

Veteran Friendly Community initiative almost ready to launch. State Journal … recognize veteran friendly communities across the state is almost ready to launch. Heather Miles, communications director with the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance told the Legislature’s Select Committee on Veterans Affairs that …

Help available to veterans. Statesman Journal Help is available from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but many feel disenfranchised from the government and therefore do not seek help. On Sept. 28, Serving our Veterans at Home, the Salem Vet Center and Community Action Agency will host this …

 

Former Aviano wing IG accused of sexual assault
The former inspector general for the 31st Fighter Wing in Italy faces charges of abusive sexual contact, aggravated sexual assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman, the Air Force announced Thursday.

Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson’s court-martial is slated to begin Oct. 26 at Aviano Air Base, an Air Force news release said. [ Read More ]

How to determine the best plans to achieve opportunities and develop the wisdom to “see” the key decision points and act correctly.—this is exactly right—

Prime ContentReps.: Do mail order drugs really save money?
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has asked the Defense Department inspector general to audit the Tricare mail order pharmacy program to determine whether the highly touted service saves money or wastes medicine.

Eight House members wrote to acting IG Lynne Halbrooks on Aug. 3 requesting the review. They want to know how Tricare ensures that patients don’t receive unneeded medicines and can return unused prescriptions. [ Read More ]

Army faces highest monthly total of suicides
The Army experienced a record 38 suicides in July, the highest monthly total since the service began releasing monthly figures in 2009. [ Read More ]

Officials: Budget cuts will harm National Guard
Massive budget cuts that are due to take effect in January if Congress can’t reach a deficit-reduction deal could affect not only the active-duty military but also the National Guard, experts said Tuesday. [ Read More ]

 

· 4-star general investigated over spending

· With genealogy, military history gets personal

· Japan marks 67th anniversary of WWII’s end

· Pentagon: Iran building militia in Syria

· Satirical military news site fools some readers


.TRICARE Outsources Addiction Treatment With Little Oversight. NextGov “To cope with a growing population of drug- and alcohol-addicted personnel, the Defense Department has outsourced substance abuse treatment to a network of 1,053 civilian rehabilitation facilities through the TRICARE insurance plan.” NextGov, however, says its own “investigation shows military health care executives evaluate those facilities with less rigor than Consumer Reports applies to the testing of toasters.” NextGov adds, “Senate and House Armed Services Committee spokesmen have not responded to queries about the Pentagon’s decision to continue outsourcing substance abuse treatment.”

.Couples Therapy Shows Promise For Partners With PTSD. Los Angeles Times “Researchers have…found that couples therapy” which is “designed around” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) helps the couple’s relationship. Results of the research were “reported in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Assn.” The Times adds, “In an accompanying editorial in the journal, Lisa M. Jajavits of the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System” said the research represents an important attempt “to study new options for the treatment of PTSD.” Boston Globe Details on the research, noting that “40 heterosexual and homosexual couples – with one partner having PTSD – were given either weekly therapy sessions in the VA Boston Healthcare System or in a Toronto research center or were assigned to be in a control group; those with PTSD who had the couple therapy experienced a greater improvement after 15 weekly sessions of therapy compared to those who didn’t have the therapy.”

.The Hunt Is On For Biological Signs Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Technology Review “A consortium of US psychiatrists, neurobiologists, data scientists, and more will pool resources in an effort to find a better means of diagnosing and potentially treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that can lead to debilitating anxiety or depression as well as cardiovascular disease.” David Diamond, a neuroscientist at the Veteran Affairs hospital in Tampa is a member of the consortium, as is Jennifer Vasterling, a “clinical investigator and chief of psychology at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System.” Vasterling “says that long-term study could one day guide doctors in preventing” PTSD symptoms from developing.

Resources, Education, Advice For Woman Veterans. KUSA-TV “There are 38,000 woman veterans in Colorado, but the Department of Veterans Affairs says few identify themselves as such and often do not seek VA healthcare. So for the second year, the VA is putting on a fair to educate women veterans about the opportunities and benefits they have earned.” The Women’s Veterans Resource Fair is scheduled to take place on “Aug. 25 in Greenwood Village.” Rebecca Sawyer Smith of the US VA said that at the fair, VA will “be talking about transition – transitioning not only from soldier to civilian but also transition throughout your life. The schedule is very robust, and we’re very excited this year.”

https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/951/related/1

· What type of active duty counts for a Reserve or Guard member regarding the

Post-9/11 GI Bill Answer ID 951 | Published 07/31/2008 10:04 AM |

Updated 10/28/2011 02:34 PM The following active duty qualifies for

Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility:

.All Title 10 active duty supporting named contingency operations

.Title 32 service for the purpose of organizing, administering, recrutions,

instructing, or training the National Guard

.Title 32 service under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a

national emergency

.All voluntary active duty, with the exception of active duty for medical

care and medical evaluation

All forms of inactive duty training (drills and funeral honors), as well as

annual training do not qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit.

(News and comments provided by Wayne Gatewood)

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