Archive for the 'care' Tag

Categories: 4 items(s) found

Employment

Veterans Info Site provides information to help reach transitioning military and veterans their family members become hired in the civilian work force in all disciplines. Providing Information for military veterans and their families on all things career and education-related. Higher Education for Veterans, Pre-K - 12 Education, Higher Education for Children, Spouse Education, Career Opportunities

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Family

Information to help military veterans and their families thrive. Military veteran family information includes: Marriage and Family, Child Care and Youth Programs, Parenting, Special Needs, Casualty Assistance and Surviving Loss, Single Life

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Health

Information to help military veterans protect themselves and make health a priority. Family Violence, Prevention and Care, Healthy Living, Managing Stress, Wounded Warrior

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Medical Benefits

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As a US Military Veteran, medical benefits are important. Medical Benefits Package for Veterans

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Posts: 157 items(s) found

'We Pretend The Vets Don't Exist'

Author and former marine Anthony Swofford gets to the bottom of an epidemic.

I was sitting next to Melissa, a call responder at the VA Crisis Hotline in Canandaigua, N.Y., when she looked at me and whispered, 'He just said he thinks he should walk out into traffic on Interstate 5 and end it all, that life is not worth living.'

Posted in Veterans News

1,500 Veterans Hired Through New Mo. Program

By Associated Press

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — The jobless rate for veterans remains high, but a Missouri program is working to help.

The program known as Show-Me Heroes launched in 2010. The Southeast Missourian reports that 1,500 veterans have been hired, and 1,834 companies have agreed to participate in the program.

Posted in Veterans News

2 Wars, 11 Years, 725 Fallen Californians

By Diana Marcum
Los Angeles Times
Pg. 1

They came from Walker Basin, a speck of a community at the edge of the Sequoia National Forest. From the farm town of Reedley, where a barber gives boys joining the military free haircuts before they ship out.

They came from San Francisco. Los Angeles. San Diego.

When they died, photos went up on post office walls in their hometowns. On Veterans Day, there are parades and charity golf tournaments. Buddies gather at graves to drink to the ones who are gone.

In the 11 years since the wars began in Iraq and Afghanistan, 725 service members from California have been killed.

Many died young -- 41% were not yet 22. Sixty-three were still teenagers.

They were fun-loving singles. Forty-seven were engaged. They were married, leaving behind 307 wives and husbands. They had children -- 432 sons and daughters.

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Posted in Veterans News

A Tale of Two Diagnoses: Records Show How Army Doctors Downgrade PTSD

How does one doctor diagnose an Iraq war veteran with PTSD while another says the same soldier has a less severe condition called adjustment disorder? Medical records shared by one of the characters in our feature story this week offer some insight into the workings the controversial forensic psychiatry team at Madigan Army Medical Center.

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Posted in Veterans News

A War Veteran's Identity Crisis

July saw a record number of suicides in the Army and among recent veterans. I was nearly one of them.

I suffer from both traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the two most common conditions of suicidal veterans. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming.

This summer, as has happened often before, I experienced severe depression, which leads to isolation. Then, when I was feeling most hopeless, I also started feeling tremendously reckless. I found myself feeling aggressive and impulsive, feelings that fuel erratic behavior. With each passing week of the summer, as I pushed yet another friend or family member away, it became easier to envision suicide as an option to break this insufferable tension.

Posted in Veterans News

A Welcome-Home Gift For Veterans: Jobs

By Mike Mullen and Steven A. Cohen

Our nation is finally emerging from one of the worst recessions in American history, yet for our military veterans there is no recovery in sight. The nation's unemployment rate is 8.1 percent. But the unemployment rate of our youngest military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan hovers at a stunning 29 percent.

Posted in Veterans News

Across U.S., Veterans Day Commemorations Under Way

By Jessica Gresko and Kevin McGill, Associated Press

Saturday marked the first of what will be three days of Veterans Day commemorations across the United States.

The holiday falls on a Sunday, and the federal observance is on Monday. It's the first such day honoring the men and women who served in uniform since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in December 2011.

It's also a chance to thank those who stormed the beaches during World War II — a population that is rapidly shrinking with most of those former troops now in their 80s and 90s.

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Posted in Veterans News

Annual relief effort in San Diego focuses on providing veterans with dental care

SAN DIEGO -- Two dentists and two Navy dental corpsmen are working on the mouth of John Gardinier, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and now lives in Tijuana near the clinic where he can get methadone for his drug addiction.

"It's no good to have teeth that are rotten," Gardinier, 64, had said as he waited to be treated at the dental services area at the 25th annual Stand Down in San Diego for homeless and hard-luck military veterans. The relief effort brings together dozens of government agencies, nonprofits and volunteers to provide veterans with a variety of health and social services.

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Posted in Veterans News

Army Changes PTSD Evaluations

Forensic Methods Led To Loss Of Pensions; Soldiers retested after problems at Madigan

The Army Surgeon General's Office has issued new guidelines for diagnosing PTSD that criticize an approach once routinely used at Madigan Army Medical Center.

The policy, obtained by The Seattle Times, specifically discounts tests used to determine whether soldiers are faking symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It says that poor test results do not constitute malingering.

The written tests often were part of the Madigan screening process that overturned the PTSD diagnoses of more than 300 patients during the past five years.

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Posted in Veterans News

Army Establishes Hotline

The Army Medical Command has a hotline available for soldiers and veterans who have been screened by forensic psychiatric teams since 2007 as part of the evaluation process for medical retirement. Soldiers and veterans with concerns about their diagnosis may call 800-984-8523.

Posted in Veterans News

As Attitudes Shift On PTSD Media Slow To Remove Stigma

In 1999, President Bill Clinton convened the first White House Summit on Mental Health. The aim of the conference and the public campaign that followed was, in part, to educate the media on the moral and ethical imperative related to dispelling the stigma associated with mental illness. In a radio address to announce the conference, Mr. Clinton said, "Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all."

In recent years, the Department of Defense has made unprecedented progress toward eliminating the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues affecting service members. This cultural shift within the military is a sea change, as more and more of our service members are seeking and receiving the support they need and deserve from a grateful nation. In the face of that progress, it’s unfortunate that some in the media continue to perpetuate a stigma linking military service to mental illness and violence.

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Posted in Veterans News

Biden Vows To Honor Medical Care Commitment To Veterans

Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday blamed Republicans for blocking a budget deal and risking automatic Pentagon cuts. But he promised a veterans group that America's fighting men and women won't suffer and will be guaranteed the best medical care for life.

"We're going to keep our commitment to American veterans no matter what happens," Biden said, winning applause from an audience of 3,000 people attending the Disabled American Veterans convention at Bally's hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

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Posted in Veterans News

Bill Would Expand Fertility Coverage For Veterans

WASHINGTON -- The roadside bomb that exploded outside Andrew Robinson's Humvee in Iraq six years ago broke the Marine staff sergeant's neck and left him without use of his legs. It also cast doubt on his ability to father a child, a gnawing emotional wound for a then-23-year-old who had planned to start a family with his wife of less than two years.

The catastrophic spinal cord injury meant the couple's best hope for children was in vitro fertilization, an expensive and time-consuming medical procedure whose cost isn't covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robinson and his wife were forced to pay out of pocket, with help from a doctor's discount and drugs donated by other patients.

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Posted in Veterans News

California: Call For Veterans Agency Fixes Is Reversed

By Associated Press

A federal court on Monday reversed its demand that the Veterans Affairs Department overhaul its mental health care system. A special 11-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that any such changes need to be ordered by Congress or the president.

Posted in Veterans News

Coming Home From War To Hit The Books

By David Wallis

FALLING asleep in a crowded lecture hall was never a problem for Adam Connell. Just the opposite.

As a freshman at the University of Iowa in fall 2010, he uneasily eyed his classmates. "I had feelings of bad anxiety," recalled Mr. Connell, 25, a Navy veteran. "When you pull into ports, because terrorism is so high, you are always super-vigilant at all times. In these 300-person lecture halls, you are just surrounded by people you don't know."

Posted in Veterans News

Contaminated Water

CBS Evening News, 6:30 PM

ANTHONY MASON: For 30 years, Marines and their families drank contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Today, many have cancer and other illnesses they blame on that water. Now they're battling the Veterans Administration for disability benefits. Mark Strassmann reports the Marines face an uphill fight.

Posted in Veterans News

Defense And VA Can’t Track PTSD Treatments, Report Finds

Neither the Defense nor the Veterans Affairs department -- which operate the world’s largest electronic health records systems -- tracks treatments used for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a report the Institute of Medicine issued last week. What’s more, Defense does not even know how many PTSD treatment programs it or the services provide.

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Posted in Veterans News

Dempsey: I Would Pay More For Health Care

By Patricia Kime, Staff writer

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs told Congress on Tuesday he would willingly pay more for health care in retirement than the rate structure currently enjoyed by military retirees.

Posted in Veterans News

Disability Claims Effort Is Improving, VA Says

The Department of Veterans Affairs' efforts to transform its broken disability claims process is yielding concrete results, despite a growing number of cases, a senior VA official told a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee Wednesday.

Allison A. Hickey, undersecretary for benefits for the VA, said training initiatives and a new paperless system being introduced are yielding faster and more accurate decisions on pending claims.

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Posted in Veterans News

DoD Can Help Troops Get Civilian Credentials, Board Says

By Andrew Tilghman

An Air Force B-2 Spirit pilot can fly across oceans carrying nuclear payloads, but he will need to apply for a civilian pilot's license before he can get a job shuttling businessmen from New York to Washington, D.C.

Posted in Veterans News

DoD Panel Urges New, Single Health Agency

By Patricia Kime, Army Times

An internal Pentagon task force is recommending the creation of a single defense health agency that would have broader reach and responsibilities than the current Tricare Management Activity, but would leave command of military treatment facilities within the individual services.

Posted in Veterans News

Does The V.A. Get It?

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it plans to hire 1,900 psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, clinicians and clerical employees, a 10 percent increase in its mental health staff. That's welcome progress for a system that is struggling to meet the needs of veterans. But there are questions about whether it will be enough — and whether the department is truly facing up to its problems.

Posted in Veterans News

Double Payments Bedevil Veterans' Pension System

By James Dao
New York Times
Pg. 19

PHILADELPHIA — In July 2010, a Department of Veterans Affairs employee named Kristen Ruell was updating a benefit claim when she noticed something odd. What should have been an increase of about $2,000 in a monthly payment to the widow of a veteran showed up on her computer screen as $21,000.

Puzzled, she set the claim aside and began digging into computer files for an answer. What she found surprised and worried her: the department’s database contained duplicate records for the widow, and the system was trying to pay her twice. It was also recommending a retroactive payment dating back months — though the widow had already been paid for that period.

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Posted in Veterans News

Employers recruiting veterans, military personnel at Aug. 8 Career Fair

More than 40 companies have signed on to take part in a Career Fair geared specifically for veterans and members of the military. These employers will be in Stamford on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 in order to recruit and interview to fill open positions at their companies.

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Posted in Veterans News

Employment Help Available To Veterans

Picture this: An applicant walks into a job interview, extends a firm handshake, looks the hiring manager straight in the eye, and begins to detail her impressive qualifications.

Her resume clearly shows a record of dependability and enthusiasm. It is evident that teamwork and commitment to the mission at hand are hardwired into her DNA. She has received world-class training from one of the most revered and demanding organizations in the world. And she has been tested, time and again, in pressure-cooker situations.

What's more, if she is hired, the company may receive a tax credit from the federal government of $5,600 or more.

Posted in Veterans News

First Lady Marks 1-Year Point For Military Effort

By Nancy Benac, Associated Press

WASHINGTON--Michelle Obama has been everywhere from a West Point mess hall to a NASCAR speedway in the past year to drum up support for military families, and now she's capping the yearlong effort with a two-day, four-state tour to take stock of what's been done.

Posted in Veterans News

For Ex-GIs, Next Battle Is Finding Job

By Beth Brown
San Antonio Express-News
September 20, 2012

The transition into civilian life hasn't been easy for Michael Jenkins.After 23 years in the Army, he retired as a sergeant first class in February. He has been unemployed ever since.

Jenkins is not alone in his struggle. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that while veterans have a nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6.6 percent, Gulf War-era II veterans — or those who have served in the military since Sept. 11, 2001 — have an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent. The country's overall unemployment rate is about 8 percent.

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Posted in Veterans News

For Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress, Pain Killers Carry Risks

By James Dao

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to be prescribed opioid pain killers than other veterans with pain problems and more likely to use the opioids in risky ways, according to a study published Wednesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Posted in Veterans News

Former War Commander Fighting For Funds To Combat Brain Injuries

More than 244,000 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with some form of brain injury over the past 12 years, according to Pentagon statistics.

They are the most common injuries among combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet little is known about how to treat these wounds or cure the illnesses that result from them, says Peter Chiarelli, retired four-star general and former vice chief of the Army.

For a nation that takes pride in taking care of its wounded soldiers, he laments, it is a shame that the so-called invisible wounds of war get so little attention.

Posted in Veterans News

For-Profit Schools Taking In Millions From GI Bill

Back in the spring, close to 50 unemployed young veterans gathered in a state agency building in Richardson to learn how to rework their résumés and make themselves more attractive job candidates.

The first speaker was someone from the University of Phoenix, a mammoth for-profit college that does an overwhelming amount of its educating online, not in classrooms. She passed out brochures, then detailed why the veterans should use their generous education benefits at her school.

Jim DePaolo, laid off just weeks before, was stunned.

Posted in Veterans News

GI Bill To Benefit 99,000 Jobless Vets

New program provides extra year of training for those aged 35 to 60

By Rick Maze

A new veterans education benefit could help 99,000 unemployed veterans learn new skills in career fields forecast to have high job growth over the next decade, a senior Veterans Affairs Department official said.

Posted in Veterans News

Good News For Veteran Discharged Without Benefits

More than 20,000 men and women have left the Army and Marines in the last four years with other-than-honorable discharges, jeopardizing their benefits and leaving some of them struggling to find treatment for health problems.

Jarrid Starks, a troubled Army veteran who received the Bronze Star for Valor but was dismissed from service with an other-than-honorable discharge, has been granted health-care benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Starks was featured in an Aug. 12 Seattle Times story that examined the plight of veterans whose other-than-honorable discharges have put their veteran's benefits at risk.

Starks had been told that it might take a year or more for the VA to undertake a review to see if he is eligible for benefits.

Posted in Veterans News

GOP Budget Doesn't Even Say The Word 'Veteran'

By Jon Soltz, Co-Founder of VoteVets.org, Iraq War Veteran

Do Republicans care about keeping our promise to veterans?

Looking at the recently released GOP budget, written by Rep. Paul Ryan, it's hard to see how they do. In fact, looking at the nearly 100 page document, the word "veteran" doesn't appear once. Not once.

Posted in Veterans News

Grant to help veterans

Agencies to expand services within state

Veterans homeless shelter receives VA funding: Veterans homeless shelter receives VA funding

Officials with state-based nonprofit groups that provide shelter and other emergency services to at-risk military veterans say the $847,000 grant awarded them Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs is a windfall that will provide tangible benefits soon.

 

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Posted in Veterans News

Hampton VA Tapped As National Test Bed

By Hugh Lessig

The Obama administration has selected the Hampton VA Medical Center and a site in San Antonio as launch points for a massive medical record-sharing program between the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense.

Posted in Veterans News

Hiring Our Heroes

NBC Nightly News, March 25, 6:35 PM

LESTER HOLT: Tonight we're proud to announce our NBC News network-wide initiative in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help more than a million unemployed veterans get back into the workforce. Tonight we're focusing on unemployed women veterans and the mentors helping them realize their full potential.

Posted in Veterans News

Homelessness, Economic Woes Rising For Female US Veterans

By Eric Tucker and Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Misha McLamb helped keep fighter jets flying during a military career that took her halfway around the world to the Persian Gulf. But back home, the Navy aircraft specialist is barely getting by after a series of blows that undid her settled life.

She was laid off from work last year and lost custody of her daughter. She's grappled with alcohol abuse, a carry-over from heavy-drinking Navy days. She spent nights in her car before a friend's boyfriend wrecked it, moving later to a homeless shelter where the insulin needles she needs for her diabetes were stolen.

Posted in Veterans News

House VA Panel Chairman Knocks Administration's Silence On Cuts

By Steve Vogel

Despite a proposed budget that would boost spending for veterans, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee accused the White House on Wednesday of leaving veterans "twisting in the wind" by refusing to declare the Department of Veterans Affairs exempt from automatic cuts to reduce the deficit.

Posted in Veterans News

Improve Care for Veterans With PTSD: Report

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Access to care for U.S. military service members and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) must improve, says an Institute of Medicine report released Friday that also calls for better tracking of treatments and results.

The congressionally mandated report also said that the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs should launch research programs to evaluate the effectiveness of their PTSD programs and make the findings widely available.

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Posted in Veterans News

Iraq War Veteran Challenges Military On Injury Benefits

By Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Tanya L. Towne was wearing her full “battle rattle” when she got injured preparing for war. Now the Pentagon must explain why that should be treated differently from a combat-related injury.

What happens next will put the Defense Department on the spot. It also could mean a lot to veterans other than Towne, who served 17 years in the New York Army National Guard before her 2009 medical discharge.

Posted in Veterans News

Iraq, Afghanistan Vets Are Congregating Online, And VA, Veterans Groups Are Following Them

DENVER--Busy, tech-savvy and often miles from their peers, thousands of new veterans are going online to find camaraderie or get their questions answered -- forcing big changes in long-established veterans groups and inspiring entrepreneurs to launch new ones.

"We're going back to school, we have full-time jobs, we have families and kids," said Marco Bongioanni, 33, of New York, who deployed to Iraq twice while on active duty in the Army.

That leaves little time for what he calls "brick-and-mortar" groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

Posted in Veterans News

IRS Forms Show Charity's Money Isn't Going To Disabled Vets

By David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffin, CNN Special Investigations Unit

Birmingham, Alabama-- A national charity that vows to help disabled veterans and their families has spent tens of millions on marketing services, all the while doling out massive amounts of candy, hand sanitizer bottles and many other unnecessary items to veteran aid groups, according to a CNN investigation.

Posted in Veterans News

Is The Army Doing Enough To Help Soldiers Suffering From Mental Health Problems?

By Greg Barnes, Staff writer
Fayetteville (NC) Observer

Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick stood in front of 14,000 soldiers on Fort Bragg in February with a message:

"We have got to stop the violence."

Just weeks before, Helmick had closed out the combat mission in Iraq and brought the troops home. Now, as he congratulated them for a job well done, he could not ignore some disturbing numbers. In just the past six weeks, he knew of six suicides and 25 accusations of spousal abuse.

Since Helmick retired in May, the violence at home has only gotten worse.

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Posted in Veterans News

Jobs After The Army

Starting now: Personalized support for your post-service life

The 22-year-old Transition Assistance Program is getting a total makeover, aiming to make the classes and workshops more helpful for troops leaving the military and entering a struggling civilian economy.

The new program, unveiled by President Obama after heavy prodding from Congress and veterans groups, recognizes that troops don’t all have the same needs.

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Posted in Veterans News

Lawmaker Sees 'Leadership Void' At VA

House Veterans' Affairs chairman decries waste, lavish conference costs

By Steve Vogel
Washington Post
October 4, 2012
Pg. B4

The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee said Wednesday that an inspector general’s report on Department of Veterans Affairs spending on conferences raises questions about its leadership’s ability to cope with problems faced by the people it serves.

“Disappointed is a polite word to describe my thoughts about this,” Rep. Jeff Miller, (F-Fla.) said at a joint hearing with the House and Senate veterans affairs committees to hear legislative requests from the American Legion.

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Posted in Veterans News

Legal Ambiguity With Sequestration Raises Questions for Veterans Panel

By Frank Oliveri, CQ Staff

The chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee is raising concerns that the 2011 deficit reduction law inadvertently could lead to a 2 percent cut to Department of Veterans Affairs health care.

Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has asked the White House to clarify what he called a "legal ambiguity" surrounding how VA health care spending could be affected if automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, take effect.

Posted in Veterans News

Macho Spouse Male Military Spouse Community Has New PTSD Video Series

The Macho Spouse, Male Military Spouse online community, has started a new video series on PTSD. Check out the first video, Defining PTSD with Nicholas Lind, and view the other great videos they provide on topics ranging from depression and deployments to finding work and career building.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Nicholas Lind, PsyD, Co-Owner of Post Traumatic Resources (Columbia, SC).  In this multi-part series, Dr. Lind defines PTSD, explains the symptoms, shares how and when to seek help, and offers insight into living with someone who struggles with PTS symptoms.  This first video offers a thorough explanation of what causes PTSD and how it may affect our families."

Posted in Veterans News

Macho Spouse Second PTSD Video

image for Macho Spouse Second PTSD Video

Macho Spouse Male Military Spouse Community Released Second PTSD Video: Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The Macho Spouse, Male Military Spouse online community, has a great video series on PTSD. Be sure to check out this video series and the other great videos Macho Spouse provides on topics ranging from depression and deployments to finding work and career building.

The second Macho Spouse PTSD video, Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,  is now live! Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources (Columbia, SC), discusses typical PTSD symptoms while offering some advice on how best to start an initial conversation with a loved-one who may have PTSD.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources(Columbia, SC).  In this multi-part series, Dr. Lind defines PTSD, explains the symptoms, shares how and when to seek help, and offers insight into living with someone who struggles with PTSD symptoms.  This second video discusses typical PTSD symptoms while offering some advice on how best to start an initial conversation with a loved-one who may have PTSD."

Posted in Veterans News

Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer is fighting for a new cause: helping veterans find jobs back home

With his marine unit caught in an ambush, Dakota Meyer knew what he had to do. In September 2009, Meyer and Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez drove their Humvee into the thick of the ­action in the Afghan village of Ganjgal, stopping repeatedly under murderous fire so that Meyer could leave the ­vehicle to pick up stranded ­Afghan soldiers. Using a machine gun and grenade launcher to ward off the swarming Taliban militants, Meyer darted house to house searching for four missing Americans. They were dead, and while the precise details of the action have been a matter of controversy, an official review of the battle credited Meyer with saving the lives of numerous fellow marines and Afghan troops.

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Posted in Veterans News

Mental-Health Experts Call For Military 'Parity'

The National Alliance on Mental Illness released a report Thursday calling on the Defense Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate barriers to mental-health care and make better use of local care in the treatment of military service members, veterans and their families.

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Posted in Veterans News

Military Bonds Draw Veterans to Mental Health Jobs

by: Rob Kane

Veterans have turned to psychology to become mental health professionals, and they’re filling in gaps in veteran care that government and civilian efforts have left open. And while they are still rare, programs to train them are slowly emerging at universities and nonprofit organizations around the United States.

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Posted in Veterans News

Military PTSD: All-Star Scientists Start Mental Health Mega-Project

There's no question that plenty of soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But exactly how many soldiers? That's a question that even top medical experts, not to mention military officials, still can't quite answer.

Now a new consortium, manned by some of the nation’s top scientists where PTSD is concerned, is hoping to develop an objective means of diagnosing the condition. In other words, the group hopes that the illness can — one day soon — be diagnosed using medical techniques like blood tests or brain scans, rather than self-reported symptoms.

Posted in Veterans News

Murray: 285 Madigan PTSD Diagnoses Reversed

Senator Calls For New Evaluations; Army investigating screening process

By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times staff reporter

The Army Medical Command has identified some 285 Madigan Army Medical Center patients whose diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder were reversed as they went through a screening process for possible medical retirements, according to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

Posted in Veterans News

Nearly 30% Of Vets Treated By V.A. Have PTSD

Jamie Reno
TheDailyBeast.com

A new study by the Veterans Administration reveals nearly 30% of its patients who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD. Jamie Reno reports.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has quietly released a new report on post-traumatic stress disorder, showing that since 9/11, nearly 30 percent of the 834,463 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Veterans advocates say the new V.A. report is the most damning evidence yet of the profound impact multiple deployments have had on American service men and women since 9/11. Troops who've been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan are more than three times as likely as soldiers with no previous deployments to screen positive for PTSD and major depression, according to a 2010 study published by the American Journal for Public Health.

The report, which revealed that 247,243 veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have been diagnosed with PTSD, was buried on the V.A.'s website without fanfare.

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Posted in Veterans News

New Bipartisan Legislation Will Preserve Post-9/11 G.I. Bill

Senator Jim Webb

Recently, I introduced bipartisan legislation to preserve veterans’ education benefits, offered under the Post-9/11 G.I. bill, from abuses by certain schools. Troubling statistics show that the cost to taxpayers to send a veteran to a for-profit school is more than double the cost of a public university and that eight of 10 educational institutions collecting the most V.A. benefits are for-profit schools.

Posted in Veterans News

New Disability System Fails To Speed Claims

Average case now drags on for more than a year

By Patricia Kime

Five years after launching a combined effort to cut the time it takes to complete disability evaluations and begin paying benefits to wounded, injured and ill troops, it now takes the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments an average of 100 days longer to close a case.

The Integrated Disability Evaluation System was launched in 2008 to combine the separate DoD and VA systems into one and cut the time it takes to complete to 295 days for active-duty troops and 305 days for reserve-component members.

Posted in Veterans News

New Steps Announced To Reduce VA Claims Backlog

The Department of Veterans Affairs is processing more than a million disability compensation claims a year, for veterans of every age and era, whether they served in wartime or during periods of relative calm.

But that has not been enough to keep the claims backlog from rising through current wars and the expansion of compensation eligibility to more medical conditions, particularly for veterans who served in Vietnam.

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Posted in Veterans News

New systems help veterans find jobs in transportation industry

Written by R. Norman Moody, FLORIDA TODAY

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki today unveiled a new portal on their departments’ websites designed to help military veterans find jobs in the transportation industry.

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Posted in Veterans News

Number Of Veterans In Congress Rises

By Rick Maze, Staff writer

At a time when Congress is facing big questions that will affect military careers, the percentage of lawmakers who served in uniform has increased slightly and remains higher than the general population.

Posted in Veterans News

Nursing Schools Examine Efforts To Care For Veterans

Colleges sign on for Joining Forces national initiative

With nurses often at the front lines of medical care, there's a movement in the Chicago area and across the country to ensure that nursing students are better trained to tend to a new generation of patients who are military veterans.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the National League of Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and other industry groups are calling on nursing schools to take a pledge to do more to educate students on handling veterans and their families. The pledge is part of Joining Forces -- a campaign championed by first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to support veterans. Hundreds of nursing schools have already signed on, according to nursing groups.

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Posted in Veterans News

Obama Campaign Struggles To Get Veterans' Support

By Aamer Madhani, USA Today

WASHINGTON – For months, President Obama and his surrogates have been spotlighting his efforts on behalf of military veterans — a group they think potentially could play an important role in determining who wins several battleground states in November.

Posted in Veterans News

Obama Details Veterans Job Corps

$1 billion program would focus on conservation

By Steve Vogel

President Obama will announce details Friday for a $1 billion Veterans Job Corps that the White House says will put up to 20,000 veterans to work over the next five years on projects to preserve and restore national parks and other federal, state and local lands.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki on Thursday described the program as "a bold new effort" to lower the high unemployment rate for post-Sept. 11 military veterans, which stood at 13.1 percent in December. The government estimates that 250,000 post-Sept. 11 veterans are unemployed.

Posted in Veterans News

Obama To Sign Lejeune Bill At Oval Office Signing Ceremony On Monday

President Obama will sign a bill on Monday to give health care to thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., according to a White House official.

Obama will host a signing ceremony at the Oval Office. The time of the ceremony and guest lists have not been released. But several guests from the battleground state are expected to attend.

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Posted in Veterans News

Obama To VA: Expand Mental Health Services

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed an executive order Friday directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand mental health services and suicide prevention efforts.

The president made the announcement in a speech to troops at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he was scheduled to hold a roundtable with soldiers and their families.

Much of what’s outlined in the executive order are initiatives that were previously announced earlier this summer by the VA.

Posted in Veterans News

OMB: Veterans Affairs Budget Is Exempt From Sequestration

By Bob Brewin

The Veterans Affairs Department's budget is exempt from sequestration, the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a letter to the Government Accountability Office today, a decision hailed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Posted in Veterans News

One Veteran's Heroic Quest

Doug Sterner has for 14 years been doing what the Pentagon has failed to do: catalog all 350,000 recipients of top medals of valor.

By David Zucchino
Los Angeles Times
October 4, 2012
Pg. 1

ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- Doug Sterner drives from his cluttered apartment here to the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., carrying a portable photocopier and a belief in American heroes.

Inside the Navy archives, he flips through thousands of typed index cards detailing bravery in battle. Sterner pulls out a card and starts reading. He's mesmerized by this story:

Charles Valentine August, a Navy pilot who shot down two enemy planes in World War II, was later shot down himself and captured in North Africa. After escaping, August returned to combat and was shot down again and taken prisoner by the Japanese.

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Posted in Veterans News

Panetta: Care At Lovell Center 'Sacred Responsiblity'

By Dan Moran

NORTH CHICAGO — Standing in the nation's first facility that combines the medical services of the Navy and the Veterans Administration, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his VA counterpart, Eric Shinseki, outlined their commitments Monday to both the ongoing military presence in Afghanistan and the care that will be required for those returning from the mission.

Posted in Veterans News

Pentagon Wants To Raise Some Retirees Health Fees

By Elisabeth Bumiller

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has warned that runaway personnel costs at the Pentagon are "unsustainable," and on Monday he tried to put a big brake on the spending: Over the next five years the Defense Department plans to nearly quadruple the health insurance fees paid by many working-age military retirees.

Posted in Veterans News

Pima County to open nation’s first Veterans’ Workforce Center on July 16

Pima County One-Stop Career Center is preparing to open the nation’s first workforce center aimed at helping military veterans find jobs and get training, benefits and support services.

The center will also help employers hire veterans.

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Posted in Veterans News

Planned Invictus San Diego facility would treat veterans, and later civilians, who have had amputations or traumatic brain injuries

By Gretel C. Kovach, U-T

A group of military, veteran and community health care heavyweights began meeting last year in San Diego to think big about improving treatment for amputation and traumatic brain injury.

The plan that took shape is unlike any nationwide, organizers say: a community center offering medical treatment, family and mental health counseling, job placement and education services under one roof.

Posted in Veterans News

Poll Shows Jobs Top Issue For Military

By Kevin Cirilli
Politico.com

As GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama prepare for Monday's foreign policy debate, a new poll shows that members of the armed forces view veterans' unemployment as their top concern, and a majority think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Eighty-eight percent of military members think Iraq and Afghanistan war vet joblessness is a problem, according to the poll from non-partisan advocacy group Concerned Veterans for America and obtained by POLITICO.

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Posted in Veterans News

Prosthetic Eyes, How A Veteran’s, Custom Prosthetics Company, Makes A Difference

The Center for Custom Prosthetics in Naples, Florida, is making an impact on U.S. military veterans by providing them with unique prosthetic solutions. The Center also provides the same quality service that veterans receive to the general public, which includes creating custom prosthetic eyes, noses, ears, hands and more. Based out of the west coast of Florida, the practice will be expanding its reach this Fall by opening new offices on Florida's east coast.

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Posted in Veterans News

PTSD can harm families of veterans

For 22 years, Shirley Booze attributed her husband’s violent nightmares and depression to “mental fatigue.”

It was clearly more than just everyday stress that was affecting the Army veteran, but Booze had no other way to classify his emotional isolation.

“It was like he was in a foxhole and trying to protect himself,” she said.

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Posted in Veterans News

Rail Industry Aims To Hire 5,000 Veterans This Year

By Alicia Tarancon, CNN

Facing an aging rail industry workforce and an influx of returning military veterans, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday an initiative in which the growing rail sector will hire more than 5,000 veterans this year, matching the same number hired in 2011.

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Posted in Veterans News

Raise TRICARE Fees Or Deepen Force Cuts, Top Doc Warns

By Tom Philpott

If Congress blocks Defense Department plans to raise TRICARE fees for military retirees and beneficiary co-pays on drug prescriptions filled off base, the services will have to make even deeper cuts in force strength than now planned, the military's top health official told lawmakers Tuesday.

Posted in Veterans News

Readjustment Issues May Spur PTSD Treatment

The stress of readjusting to civilian life is a major reason some soldiers seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study finds.

Many veterans who require mental-health care do not receive it, and a great deal of previous research has focused on barriers to treatment. The new study was conducted to identify characteristics and factors that motivate veterans to seek mental-health treatment.

Posted in Veterans News

Retirees In New TRICARE Fight

By Tom Philpott

Older retirees, like Air Force Master Sgt. Floyd Sears, 81, stand shoulder to shoulder with younger retirees in opposing the higher fees being proposed for TRICARE benefits.

But Sears also agrees with many retirees that there's something especially wrong with the Obama administration's plan to impose a first-ever enrollment fee on 900,000 retirees age 65 and older and their surviving spouses.

Posted in Veterans News

Returning Veterans Swell Ranks Of US Entrepreneurs

By Michael Melia, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn.--As a truck driver for the U.S. military in wartime Iraq, Ed Young racked up 7,000 miles, facing a constant threat of attack that left him struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Four years later, he is driving long hauls again, but now in the U.S. as one of a growing number of veterans turning entrepreneur. The Navy veteran who had seen his post-war life spiraling out of control says his Connecticut-based car transportation business has helped to put him on the road to recovery.

Posted in Veterans News

Senate GOP Blocks Veterans Jobs Measure

Republicans object to the $1-billion price tag and Obama's plan to pay for it. Other bills also appear doomed.

WASHINGTON -- President Obama's proposal to create a Veterans Jobs Corps to stem high unemployment among recent military veterans was shelved Wednesday after Senate Republicans balked at the five-year, $1-billion cost, giving both sides fresh ammunition for the November election.

The jobs bill was on Obama's to-do list for Congress, a set of initiatives that Republicans have largely rejected. The measure was designed to help veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, by providing jobs on federal public lands projects and by building job training centers.

The jobless rate among post-Sept. 11 veterans was 10.9% in August, compared with 8.1 % in the general population.

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Posted in Veterans News

She's One Of Us

Petraeus -- Holly, that is -- makes mark on military by putting herself between soldiers and swindlers

By Rick Hampson, USA Today

When 18,000 members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division flew back to Fort Campbell, Ky., in 2004 after a year in Iraq, Holly Petraeus was there to meet them, no matter the hour, the weather or her other duties.

Posted in Veterans News

Shoddy Care For Veterans Becomes Campaign Issue

Rep. Howard Waxman says the Veterans Affairs bureaucracy is impenetrable. His opponent says Waxman hasn't tried hard enough.

By Steve Lopez
Los Angeles Times
September 26, 2012
Pg. 2

Bob Rosebrock and I sat under a tree on the West Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs property, discussing his pet peeve: How the country is failing its veterans. There was plenty to talk about.

Nearby was the gleaming $253-million California Veterans Home, opened with great fanfare more than two years ago, with local politicians lining up to take bows. But today, in a region with an estimated 8,000 homeless veterans, many of whom can't get access to care, roughly four-fifths of the 396 rooms are empty.

Yes, four-fifths.

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Posted in Veterans News

Soldiers' Mental Health: An Emergency

By Arnold Fisher And Bill White
New York Daily News
October 10, 2012
Pg. 32

Be Our Guest

Anyone who believes that our country’s methods are adequate for helping veterans re-adapt to society as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down need look no further than at the following data: In the year 2012, 211 members of the United States Armed Forces took their own lives.

At least 53 of them committed suicide in July and August. That is more than the total number of battlefield deaths in those months. This is a crisis that has gone largely unaddressed in this political cycle, and it’s unacceptable.

Posted in Veterans News

Study Calls For Better Assessment Of Government PTSD Programs

In the first comprehensive review of the government's programs for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in service members and veterans, a panel of experts recommended on Friday that the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs expand access to services, particularly for people in rural areas, in the National Guard or Reserves, or in combat zones.

The report, by the Institute of Medicine, also concluded that the two departments need to improve their assessment of how well their many treatment programs work, as well as find better ways of coordinating care that can begin overseas and then continue on bases or in small towns across the country.

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Posted in Veterans News

Taking His Doctor's Advice Could Cost A Combat Veteran His Apartment

By Joseph Berger

After Eugene Ovsishcher returned from a nine-month combat tour in Afghanistan, he experienced what his doctors called symptoms of post-traumatic stress: nightmares, flashbacks and a pervasive anxiety. A psychiatrist advised him to get a dog, and last August he did — a shaggy, mocha Shih Tzu puppy that Mr. Ovsishcher named Mickey because he crawled like a mouse.

Posted in Veterans News

The Death Of Peter Wielunski

For every soldier killed in combat, 25 veterans are dying by suicide. It's time to broaden efforts against PTSD.

By Robert Morgenthau
Wall Street Journal
Pg. 23

During the Civil War, they called it "soldier's heart." In World War I, doctors called it "shell shock." In World War II, the war I served in, we called it "battle fatigue." Now we know it as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The name may have changed, but one thing is clear: It is reaching epidemic proportions among our soldiers and veterans.

According to a Veterans Administration report released this March, current or former military personnel represent an estimated 20% of all known suicides in the United States—that's more than 7,000 veterans and service members each year. For every soldier killed in combat, 25 veterans are dying by suicide.

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Posted in Veterans News

Treating Veterans Sexual Trauma

Baltimore VA center offers help to victims of attacks and harassment in military

By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun

Machele Fredericks had to face her attacker every day.

She was in the Air Force. He was a fellow service member on the base. And he said that if she told anyone what he'd done, he'd kill her.

"You didn't hear much of people getting raped in the military back then," Fredericks said. "At least I didn't. So, you know, it was like fear every day: 'I hope he's not at the gate today.'

Posted in Veterans News

TRICARE Debate Rages On

By Tom Philpott

A House subcommittee expected to vote soon on whether to recommend raising retiree TRICARE fees sharply over the next five years heard some emphatic testimony against the move last week.

Posted in Veterans News

U.S. Army Should Embrace, Not Repress, Soldiers' Ambition

By Elizabeth Samet

In his landmark 19th-century treatise "On War," Carl von Clausewitz asked "whether history has ever known a great general who was not ambitious; whether, indeed, such a figure is conceivable."

Clausewitz knew that ambition had gotten a bum rap: "Other emotions," he explained, "may be more common and more venerated -- patriotism, idealism, vengeance, enthusiasm of every kind --but they are no substitute for a thirst for fame and honor."

Posted in Veterans News

U.S. Starts Campaign To Prevent Suicides

A new national strategy for reducing the number of suicides by better identifying and reaching out to those at risk was released Monday morning in Washington.

The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention report includes community-based approaches to curbing the incidence of suicide, details new ways to identify people at risk for suicide, and outlines national priorities for reducing the number of suicides over the next decade.

In conjunction with the report, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $55.6 million in new grants for suicide-prevention programs.

Posted in Veterans News

Unemployment Rises For Afghanistan And Iraq Era Veterans

By David Lerman, Bloomberg News

The unemployment rate for U.S. veterans who've served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan increased last year, while the rate for non-veterans declined, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Posted in Veterans News

Updated PTSD Program Means Better Care For Vets

For Johnnie Larmore, a veteran of three combat tours in Vietnam, living with post-traumatic stress disorder means bursts of anger followed by wells of depression.

Last week, the Port Angeles man left a recently expanded treatment program at VA Puget Sound American Lake Division in Lakewood. He calls it “the best staff and the best facility” he’s seen in his 41 years seeking help coping with Army combat-related PTSD.

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Posted in Veterans News

VA Care Extended To Camp Lejeune Water Victims

By Rick Maze, Staff writer

Congressional negotiators have taken a big leap in expanding veterans' health care by proposing Veterans Affairs Department treatment for veterans and dependents exposed to contaminated well water at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Up to 750,000 people — Navy and Marine Corps members and their families — may have been exposed to water found to be contaminated by carcinogens from the 1950s into the 1980s.

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Posted in Veterans News

VA Goals Skew Vets' Mental-Health Care, Senate Panel Told

By Steve Vogel

The Department of Veterans Affairs' mental-health care system suffers from a culture in which managers attach more importance to meeting meaningless performance goals than helping veterans, according to testimony before a Senate committee Wednesday.

Posted in Veterans News

VA Says Bay Pines Vets' Care Falls Short

By Howard Altman, The Tampa Tribune

As the military struggles to cope with an alarming suicide rate among veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs for the first time is monitoring how its hospitals handle patients making the critical transition from hospitalization to living on their own.

The first published review in the country: Bay Pines VA Health Care System near St. Petersburg.

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Posted in Veterans News

VA Short Of Mental Health Specialists

Need critical as PTSD cases rise

By Gregg Zoroya, USA Today

As thousands of additional veterans seek mental health care every month, the Department of Veterans Affairs is short of psychiatrists, with 20% vacancy rates in much of the country served by VA hospitals, according to department data.

Posted in Veterans News

VA Wrongly Sent Letters To Caregivers Warning Of Sequestration Cuts

By Leo Shane III and Megan McCloskey
Stars and Stripes (stripes.com)

WASHINGTON – Caregivers of wounded veterans mistakenly received letters recently warning that automatic spending cuts set for January could stop their monthly stipends, creating more concern about the problems that sequestration might bring.

Veterans Affairs spokesman Josh Taylor said department officials have contacted all of the caregivers who received the notifications, clarifying that their stipends are not in danger and apologizing for the confusion.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Dept. Will Increase Mental Health Staffing

By James Dao

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Thursday that it plans to hire about 1,600 additional psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other mental health clinicians in an effort to reduce long wait times for services at many veterans medical centers.

Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Help Themselves By Helping Others

Nonprofit grooms ex-military for jobs via service projects

Jeffrey Hall knows the look of an empty pantry.

“I do remember some days when we only had crackers in the house,” said Hall, 45, who recalled frequent trips to a food bank on the North Side. “A family of four, and crackers and water.”

Hall left Chicago to join the Navy, but he will return this week as a fellow with The Mission Continues, a nonprofit group dedicated to involving veterans of recent wars in meaningful service projects. More than 100 veterans will gather in Chicago this weekend to prepare for six months of work at nonprofits across the country.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Invited to Attend New Opportunities Workshop at Nova Southeastern University

Workshop to Educate South Florida Veterans on Franchising & Small Business

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- As July 4th approaches, and with unemployment rates for some groups of veterans hovering at more than 18 percent, business leaders at Nova Southeastern University's H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the International Franchise Association (IFA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will host the New Opportunities Workshop (NOW) to educate veterans across South Florida on franchising and small business opportunities.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Job Corps Act dies in Senate

The Veterans Job Corps Act died in the Senate Wednesday on a procedural vote when 40 senators balked at the $1 billion price tag for a measure that would have provided employment for veterans in conservation work, in Veterans Affairs Department cemeteries, and helped in police and fire departments.

Supporters needed 60 votes and got only 58 to overcome an objection by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that the $1 billion in costs, although paid for through budgetary gimmicks, would have pushed VA over the spending limits set by last year’s Budget Control Act.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Say Late Pay From VA Cripples Their Finances

By Dan Elliott, Associated Press

DENVER -- Exasperated veterans who work part-time for the Veterans Administration while attending college say their paychecks are sometimes weeks late, leaving them in trouble with bill collectors or having to borrow money to avoid eviction.

The two-week paycheck is typically about $360, and can be vital to veterans raising families and juggling expenses.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans' Homelessness High Priority For Agency

VA pursuing strategic, and some say lofty, goal of ending problem by 2015

WASHINGTON -- On a cold night in Monmouth County, N.J., a lone dishwasher stayed late, taking on extra work to buy time. The restaurant's owners, trying to close up, guessed the man had no place to go. And when they tried to find him one, they struck out.

The restaurant is owned by rock legend Jon Bon Jovi's foundation, and Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Hurley, discovered that night that finding services for the homeless is no easy task. For the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is trying to tackle the problem of veterans' homelessness, figuring out how to make the task easier is a pivotal goal.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans' Mental-Health Care Is Delayed

Report says department overstated how quickly it provided service

By Steve Vogel

The Department of Veterans Affairs has greatly overstated how quickly it provides mental-health care for veterans, according to an inspector general's report released Monday.

Posted in Veterans News

VetNet: A Place for Veterans and Military Spouses to Build Civilian Careers

by Kevin Schmiegel
freeenterprise.com

As we continue to evolve the Hiring Our Heroes program, we've come to realize that it isn't more tools that are needed, but rather organizing the ones that already exist and making them easier to find. One of the biggest challenges facing the veteran and military spouse community today is the sheer volume of resources available to help them transition to civilian life. While this abundance is the measure of a grateful nation and a tribute to those who served, in the end, the most important result is individuals and families getting the help they need.

Posted in Veterans News

Vets Struggle To Go From War To Work

Civilian employers are reluctant to hire them, they say.

By David Zucchino

WASHINGTON -- Matt Pizzo has a law degree, can-do attitude, proven leadership skills, and expertise in communications and satellite technology from his four years in the Air Force.

Posted in Veterans News

Vets, Supporters Find Solace, Camaraderie In Rolling Thunder's Roar

Motorcycle rally marks 25th year of taking D.C. by storm

By Ben Wolfgang, The Washington Times

For Walt Koren, it would be easier to know that his old friend is dead. Instead, he's lived with uncertainty for 41 years. Whether William Patrick Millner, an Army Air Cavalry pilot in Vietnam and high school classmate of Mr. Koren's, survived a crash landing in Laos in 1971, and whether he remains in captivity somewhere in Southeast Asia, are questions that haunt him to this day.

Posted in Veterans News

Wal-Mart Therapy Tried By Pentagon For Traumatized Troops

By Gopal Ratnam and Michelle Fay Cortez, Bloomberg News

No one knows better than Connie Chapman that almost 150 years since troops came home with "soldier's heart" after the Civil War, the U.S. military is still struggling to identify and treat what's now called PTSD.

Posted in Veterans News

War Might Be Making Young Bodies Old

BOSTON -- A litany of physical or emotional problems spill out as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans make their way, one by one, to the 11th floor of a VA hospital in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

The tragic signs of post-traumatic stress disorder or battlefield concussion are all too evident. Even more alarming for researchers is emerging evidence that these newest American combat veterans -- former GIs and Marines in their 20s and 30s -- appear to be growing old before their time. Scientists see early signs of heart disease and diabetes, slowed metabolisms and obesity -- maladies more common to middle age or later.

Posted in Veterans News

Warrior Transition Command Launches 'Hire a Veteran' Campaign

STORY SUBMITTED BY J.D. LEIPOLD, ARMY.MIL

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Army's Warrior Transition Command unveiled its three-pronged Hire a Veteran education campaign plan Monday.

The plan aims to help employers understand that wounded warriors can bring a wealth of leadership experience and skills to the table and to their bottom line.

"This campaign is about setting conditions, not just preparing our Soldiers for a new career as a veteran, but also preparing employers about this unique population who has so much to offer," said WTC Commander Brig. Gen. David J. Bishop in kicking off Warrior Care Month at the National Press Club.

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Posted in Veterans News

Wounded Warriors Are Fighting A New Kind Of War

A wide-ranging inspection of Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Battalion found that the program for physically and mentally wounded soldiers has shortcomings - notably a need for better leadership.

Posted in Veterans News

Wounded Warriors Face New Enemy: Overmedication

All Things Considered (NPR), 4:10 PM

ROBERT SIEGEL: When sick or seriously wounded troops return home from combat duty, most are assigned to special units called Wounded Warrior battalions. These units aim to give thousands of soldiers and Marines the month they need to recover.

Posted in Veterans News

WWII Veteran Gets His Medals

More than 60 years after completing an illustrious career in World War II, a veteran has received the Distinguished Flying Cross and seven other medals.

Doug Ward, 89, of Mondovi, Wis., said he was grateful to be recognized and was touched that many of his fellow veterans were on hand to watch Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) present him with the medals Sunday.

Posted in Veterans News

The American Legion's higher education booklet

NEED A LIFT? Helps guide you through the higher education application and financing process. Although the focus of the guide is to help children of deceased and disabled veterans in their pursuit of higher education, it offers information that can benefit all students.

The American Legion, an organization of wartime veterans, wrote Need A Lift?, a college financial aid guide, to spare you frustration and save you time as you plan your "after-high-school" education.

While the focus of this guide is to help children of deceased and disabled veterans in their pursuit of higher education, all students can benefit from the information offered. The American Legion wants to help all students go as far as they can.

This guide is filled with scholarships, grants, fee waivers, student loans, and the organizations that offer them. We've also included information to help you select a school, apply for student financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), learn about loan forgiveness, understand tax credits, and much more!

Posted in Education

Feds Hire Vets

image for Feds Hire Vets

For specific information on Federal employment for veterans

Posted in Employment

Hero to Hired

image for Hero to Hired

Find jobs with military-friendly companies looking for employees with your skills and experience.

This is a Department of Defense Yellow Ribbon program that allows employers to post all their jobs at no cost. H2H is the lead sponsor in several Milicruit virtual career fairs, and also co-sponsors some of the U.S. Chamber Hiring Our Heroes career fairs.

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Posted in Employment

My Next Move for Veterans (Find a Job)

image for My Next Move for Veterans (Find a Job)

My Next Move for Veterans is created for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, by the National Center for O*NET Development. My Next Move for Veterans helps U.S. veterans find jobs by providing a usefuk set of tools and information to match tasks, skills, salary information and job listings that can ultimately result in veterans  hired in the civilian work force.

Posted in Employment

Troops To Teachers

image for Troops To Teachers

Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge and experience are most needed.

Posted in Employment

VA Careers

image for VA Careers

VA is committed to hiring Veterans. If you are transitioning from the military, a Veteran already, or an active Reserve or National Guard member, we invite you to explore the benefits of continuing your career at VA.

Posted in Employment

Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) - US Department of Labor

VETS Proudly Serves Veterans & Service Members! We Provide Resources and Expertise to Assist and Prepare them to Obtain Meaningful Careers, Maximize their Employment Opportunities, and Protect their Employment Rights.

1356 Views | 143 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Employment

Healing Household 6

image for Healing Household 6

The mission of HH6 is to connect caregivers of US Veterans with the essential resources needed to strengthen the family support foundation. Our goal is to build resilient households by focusing on the wellbeing of the family, helping to alleviate household tension, and empowering caregivers and children.

392 Views | 41 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Family

VA for Vets: Your Gateway to VA Careers

image for VA for Vets: Your Gateway to VA Careers

VA for Vets facilitates the reintegration, retention and hiring of Veteran employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We offer career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members. VA for Vets is your gateway to a rewarding career serving our nation's Veterans.

Complete Disability Resource Guide Medicare Solutions

Disability often brings to mind wheelchairs and amputees on crutches. The scope of disability has changed throughout the years and so has the mindset on what constitutes a disabled person. Federal disability discrimination law states that disability is defined as a mental or physical affliction that to a large extent hinders at least one or even more of an individual's important life actions. Impacted life activities can include self-care, learning, moving, and the basic activities of daily life, which include cooking to keeping your home clean. The terms that once defined disability have changed as well. Mental retardation is no longer a mainstream term, intellectual disability has long replaced it. People are less likely to be pigeon-holed into a category as the world awakened to what's possible, not impossible for a person "differently-abled." There is no physically disability that needs to set a person back, those veterans who have lost a limb, a child born with a physical birth defect such as a shortened arm, to diseases such as multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy, don't need to curtail activity or social life. Many disabled people used to live in institutions, now the amount of resources available to live a quality life are abundant; and most people living with an impairment can either live on their own or with support from family, friends, private, public or government programs.

Posted in Health

Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Compare website

image for Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Compare website

The VA Hospital Compare web site. This site is for Veterans, family members and their caregivers to compare the performance of their VA hospitals to other VA hospitals. Using this tool, Veterans, family members, and caregivers can compare the hospital care provided to patients.

My HealtheVet for online personal health records

image for My HealtheVet for online personal health records

My HealtheVet is VA's online personal health record. It was designed for Veterans, active duty Servicemembers, their dependents and caregivers. My HealtheVet helps you partner with your health care team. It provides you opportunities and tools to make informed decisions and manage your health care.

VeteranAid website Has Information On Veteran Aid and Attendance Improved Pension

image for VeteranAid website Has Information On Veteran Aid and Attendance Improved Pension

The Veterans Administration offers Aid and Attendance as part of an "Improved Pension" Benefit that is largely unknown. This Improved Pension allows for Veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, undressing, medication dosing, or taking care of the needs of nature to receive additional monetary benefits. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an Assisted Living facility also qualifies.

Brain Injury Resource Center

image for Brain Injury Resource Center

HeadInjury.com provides brain injury information, education and support to foster self-advocacy and self-care in partnership with families, doctors, rehabilitation facilities and lawyers. Phone: (206)621-8558

 

Posted in PTSD / TBI

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC)

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is a part of the U.S. military health system. Specifically, it is the TBI operational component of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Founded in 1992 by Congress, DVBIC’s responsibilities have grown as its network of care and treatment sites has grown.

Posted in PTSD / TBI

Life Improvement Following Traumatic Brain Injury (LIFT)

Life Improvement Following Traumatic Brain Injury (LIFT) is an interventional pilot study to test the effectiveness of a telephone-based and in-person Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) intervention for treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) following Traumatic Brain Injury.

Participants are randomly assigned to receive one of the following: 1) Telephone-based CBT, 2) In-person CBT, or 3) Usual care (control).

1307 Views | 226 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 1 Comments


Posted in PTSD / TBI

National Center for PTSD

The National Center for PTSD is the center of excellence for research and education on the prevention, understanding, and treatment of PTSD. The Center has seven divisions across the country.

Posted in PTSD / TBI

Realistic Hope A Traumatic Brain Injury Community

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The undisputed "experts" at living a fulfilling life with a brain injury are those who "have been there done that."

The purpose of this site is to connect the survivors, their family, friends and caregivers who" have been there done that" to those looking for answers to accomplish the same.

Every brain injury is unique, however, everyone's roadmap has the same elements

Learn how others have traveled their journey and build your unique roadmap.

1428 Views | 209 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in PTSD / TBI

America Wants You

AMERICA WANTS YOU is a unique private sector initiative that is teaming up with corporate America to find job opportunities for those men and women who have served in our Country's military. It is an idea inspired by an ABC News series titled "Made in America" which brought to the attention of the American People the need to support American-Made products to help stimulate the creation of jobs here in this country.

Coming Home Project

The Coming Homeâ„¢ Project is a non-profit organization devoted, since 2006, to providing expert, compassionate care, support, education, and stress management tools for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, service members, their families, and their service providers. We are an experienced team of psychotherapists, veterans and interfaith leaders committed to alleviating the unseen wounds of war. Our nationally recognized, evidence-based programs address the emotional, social, moral, and spiritual injuries and the family challenges experienced during all stages of deployment, especially reintegration.

1361 Views | 164 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


US Vets

U.S.VETS provides comprehensive services to the veterans we serve, including case management, employment assistance, job placement, counseling, as well as drug and alcohol free housing. At our facilities veterans progress through a seamless continuum of services designed to help them increase their level of responsibility and prepare them to live independently in the community.

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS)

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The AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY (AFAS) is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force. It promotes the Air Force mission by helping "to relieve distress of Air Force members and their families and assisting them to finance their education". It is rooted in the original Army Air Corps and the World War II Army Air Forces, whose members wanted to "take care of their own." Through the years, AFAS has become increasingly effective in helping individuals with personal emergencies-- as well as extremely useful when used by commanders to help solve personnel problems in their units.

Posted in US Air Force

US Coast Guard Personnel Service Center (PSC)

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The Personnel Service Center (PSC) supports mission execution by recruiting, accessing, assigning and developing careers, maintaining well-being, compensating, separating and retiring 
all Coast Guard military personnel.

Link: http://www.uscg.mil/psc/

Posted in US Coast Guard

Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (CIAV)

The Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (CIAV) is a national non-partisan partnership of organizations committed to working with and on behalf of all military, veterans, families, survivors and providers to strengthen the existing system of care and support for all those affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program

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The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a DoD-wide effort to promote the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities, by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle. Through Yellow Ribbon events, service members and loved ones connect with local resources before, during, and after deployments.  

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Whistleblowers call VA inspector general a joke

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to retaliate against whistleblowers despite repeated pledges to stop punishing those who speak up, a group of employees said Tuesday. One called the department's office of inspector general a "joke."

VA whistleblowers from across the country told a Senate committee that the department has failed to hold supervisors accountable more than a year after a scandal that broke over chronic delays for veterans seeking medical care and falsified records covering up the waits.

Shea Wilkes, a mental health social worker at the Shreveport, Louisiana, VA hospital, said agency leaders are "more interested in perpetuating their own careers than caring for our veterans."

Wilkes, who helped organize a group known as "VA Truth Tellers," said "years of cronyism and lack of accountability have allowed at least two generations of poor, incompetent leaders to plant themselves within the system," harming medical treatment for veterans. The informal watchdog group includes more than 40 whistleblowers from VA facilities in a dozen states.

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Important VA Numbers and Websites

We grabbed the useful telephone numbers and links to other websites so you can access them here whenever the VA Website is down for maintenance. (Please note: These phone numbers and links are present on the VA website even when the website is down for maintenance. However, it may be difficult to find what you need because the information on the website does not appear in the normal format.)

Veterans Crisis Line - 800-273-8255 and Press 1

More important numbers and website links below...

The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs reviews veterans' programs, examines current laws, and reports bills and amendments to strengthen existing laws concerning veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), such as health care, disability compensation, GI Bill education and job training, home loan guarantees, life insurance policies, and a nationwide system of veterans' cemeteries.

2052 Views | 297 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


The Veterans Voice

The Veterans' Voice"THE VETERANS' VOICE" is an independent, grassroots publication founded  in 1998 as a quarterly newspaper dedicated to all Veterans past and present. Since that time we have grown tremendously. We  distribute nationally to VA facilities, outpatient clinics, Vet centers,VSO's, elected officials and individual subscribers. 

The Retired Enlisted Association

THE RETIRED ENLISTED ASSOCIATION (TREA) was founded in 1963 by two men retired from the Air Force -- Master Sergeant George Skonce and Master Sergeant Dean Sorell. These two dedicated retirees realized that they, and their fellow enlisted retirees, had no voice in the corridors of power to stand up for their hard-earned rights and promised benefits.

US Department of Veterans Affairs

The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides patient care and federal benefits to veterans and their dependents.

The VA's mission is to fulfill President Lincoln's promise "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's veterans.

Well Spouse Association

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While not specifically targeting veterans and their families, the Well Spouse Association provides help for veterans and families of veterans by providing support for spousal caregivers.

SpousalCaregiving

Are you a husband, wife or partner looking after a spouse or partner with chronic illness and/or long-term disability?

Do you feel alone in your spousal caregiving?

Do you feel no one really gets what you are going through?

Or do you know someone else who fits this description?

If so, you (or that person) are a spousal caregiver, and the WSA's twin mottos: "You Are Not Alone" and "When One is Sick... Two Need Help" say it all!

Well Spouse® Association Members find support, sharing and a social community

 

Homeless veterans: Stand Down - 60 Minutes - CBS News

Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes (CBS) did a great report on Stand Down - an annual encampment in San Diego where veterans can find hope, help and services. This is an informative report about how people help homeless veterans.

Posted in Veterans Videos

Video - Find and Apply for Federal Careers

This OPM video has information on finding and applying for federal jobs using the USAJobs website.

The video walks you through the steps that are required to find and apply for jobs in the federal government. The topics that are discussed involve searching for federal jobs, creating your account in profile, managing your account, reviewing job opportunity announcements, submitting applications and following up on your application status.

1683 Views | 206 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Jobs

Video - Hero to Hired - H2H Can Recommend a Career Path Based on Skills and Interests

Hero 2 Hired

Everything you need to find a job. Start now.

H2H isn't just another job site. We are a Yellow Ribbon-funded project with a special mission: to THANK YOU for your service by helping you find your perfect career.

We know that searching for a new job is a big undertaking. H2H was created to make it easy for Reserve Component service members to connect to and find jobs with military-friendly companies who are looking for employees with your training and skills.

1406 Views | 148 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Jobs

Video - Vet to Vet: Prepare Yourself for a Career with the Federal Government

image for Video - Vet to Vet: Prepare Yourself for a Career with the Federal Government

This video shows several Veterans giving advice to Veterans and transitioning service members about how to prepare for employment with the Federal Government as a civilian.

Posted in Veterans Jobs

Apps Designed to Help Wounded Warriors

Handheld technology helping to heal the invisible scars of war.

1548 Views | 184 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Videos

Army Surgeon General on Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and Army Medicine is taking this time to increase awareness about it. Watch this video to see Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho's message to the soldiers about how the Army is leading the charge in care, education, and technology to treat those with traumatic brain injuries.

1327 Views | 212 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Videos

Defense Department proposes Military Health Agency

The Department of Defense is looking for ways to cut costs in the Military Health Care System. One plan calls for Congress to create a New Military Health Agency.

1547 Views | 256 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Videos

How to Apply for VA Healthcare Online

How to Apply for VA Healthcare Online

1327 Views | 214 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Videos

Military Retirement System Overhaul Proposals

Federal officials testified on proposals to overhaul the military retirement system. They urged caution in moving forward with overhauling the military retirement system and said options were being reviewed carefully by the Defense Department.

 

Posted in Veterans Videos

New electronic medical records save veterans time and VA money

A pilot program for secure record sharing that insures consistency of medical care while saving veterans time and money.

996 Views | 132 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Videos

Occupational Therapy Team helps Wounded Warriors

In a deployed environment servicemembers are subject to risks such as post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Cases vary in severity but some can be treated in theater allowing servicemembers to return to duty. The Occupational Therapy Team is just one of the specialized groups that work together to help the wounded warriors.

1425 Views | 161 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Videos

Video - Health Care Professionals Look to the Future of Military Medicine

A Pentagon Channel report on the future of military health care with commentary from Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and the director of Tricare Management Activity. Speaking on the strategy for the military health system's future, Dr. Woodson said, "This is an opportunity for us to reorganize, be more efficient, be more effective and make us stronger for the long haul. It will not affect patient care in a negative way, in fact I think it will strengthen our strategies for taking care of beneficiaries." Watch this video for the full story.

1308 Views | 215 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Videos

Video - Talking With Heroes Reports from Afghanistan

Talking WIth HeroesWATCH as we talk with 10th combat Aviation Brigade Bravo Company 277th Aviation Support Battalion soldiers in Bagram Air Field Afghanistan where they work on aircraft and more. We talked with SPC Sean Ginn from Midwest, Wyoming, SGT Joshua Maidinbaam with six years of service including an infantry division deployment to Iraq and now to Afghanistan. He is from Marmora, NJ, SPC James Henderson with 4 years of service and from Azle, Texas, PFC Joseph Wheelihan from Belleglade, FL, SPC Thomas Tipton from Phoenix, AZ, SGT Donald Wilkins with 5 years of service and from Louisville, KY, They talk about Care Packages especially from SoldiersAngels.org and OperationShoebox.org. They all give Shouts Outs to Family and Friends back home!

1291 Views | 111 Likes | 0 Dislikes | 0 Comments


Posted in Veterans Videos