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'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

100,000 Jobs Mission in Chicago Seeks Veterans

IDES and IDVA Partner to Put Veterans to Work; Pre-Registration is Encouraged for Best Service, Results

CHICAGO--(ENEWSPF)--June 28, 2012.  With a goal of hiring at least 100,000 Veterans by 2020, a coalition of more than 60 companies, government agencies and Veteran groups will be hosting a huge hiring event in Chicago July 12 for military Veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

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Posted in Veterans News

A Marine's Death Brings Together His Dad And His Battlefield Buddy

By Michael M. Phillips
Wall Street Journal
Pg. 1

HOOVER, Ala.—Two years ago, Matthew Proctor dropped to his knees in the Afghan dirt and watched his best friend bleed to death.

These days, when dreams get disturbing or guilt eats at his gut, there is one person the former Marine corporal is likely to call: Thomas Rivers Sr., his dead friend's father.

When Mr. Rivers, 60 years old and a pharmaceutical executive, feels himself sinking into black depression or misses the pleasures of raising a son, it is the 24-year-old Cpl. Proctor he confides in or invites over for a boat ride. "He lost a best friend, and in a sense I lost a best friend as well as my son," says Mr. Rivers. "That is a bond we share."

War sunders some relationships and forges others. More than 6,500 Americans have died in Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving gaping holes in families across the nation. Out of duty or kindness, guilt or need, the troops who survived often step forward to fill the voids their buddies left.

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Posted in Veterans News

For Vets, Fireworks Can Stir Memories Of Gunfire

Many who served on battlefields seek refuge from and ways to cope with Fourth of July displays

He knows it's just fireworks, but Andrew Sabin's heart races anyway and he starts to sweat profusely.

The concussive booms sound like Iraq.

The 26-year-old Army veteran from Racine, Wis., didn't have trouble when he returned from the war. But gradually fireworks displays began to affect him.

This Fourth of July, many combat veterans like Sabin will try to stay far away from fireworks displays. Fireworks take them back to combat, when the sound of explosions meant death and injury, not colorful rockets lighting the sky on a peaceful, happy holiday.

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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

From Forward Operating Base To Boardroom

Over the next five years, more than one million military service members will return from active duty.

By Stan McChrystal

'Wanted for hire: Enterprising, reliable self-starter. Must work well in teams. Technological literacy and leadership experience a plus."

This notice could be posted by many businesses today as they look for employees to help them survive, and thrive, in difficult economic times.

Posted in Veterans News

Hampton job fair aimed for military veterans, spouses

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA -

The "Hiring Our Heroes - Hampton Roads" job fair will go from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, 1610 Coliseum Drive, in Hampton, VA. This job fair is open to veterans, active-duty military personnel, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and military spouses.

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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

Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair in Utica, NY for military veterans, spouses

Utica, NY - The "Hiring Our Heroes" job fair will go from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Utica National Guard Armory, 1700 Parkway East, Utica, NY  13501. This job fair is open to veterans, active-duty military personnel, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and military spouses.

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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

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

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

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

OPM Chief Demands Job Safeguards For Veterans

By Steve Vogel

The White House's personnel chief is calling on senior federal executives to ensure that National Guard and Reserve troops returning to their civilian federal jobs are not penalized for their military service.

Posted in Veterans News

PRESS RELEASE: Goodyear to Hire 1,000 Veterans

Recognized for Support of Employees Serving in the National Guard and Reserve

AKRON, Ohio, July 27, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- James Rebholz, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) National Chairman joined Steve McClellan, President of Goodyear's North American tire unit, today at an event in Akron, Ohio, supporting Veteran and Reservist employment at Goodyear. During the event, McClellan announced Goodyear's intent to hire 1,000 veterans over the next three years through its partnership with the United States Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes program and signed a statement of support for the Guard and Reserve on behalf of Goodyear.

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Posted in Veterans News

PTSD Study Halfway Finished

Largest research project in U.S. military history, started in 2001, follows 187K service members for 21 years

The largest research project in U.S. military history aimed at studying the long-term effects of post-traumatic stress disorder has now passed the halfway point.

The Millennium Cohort Study, run out of the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, is a 21-year study that is comprehensively following the lives and habits of 187,000 service members. Researchers began accumulating data 11 years ago, in 2001. The project is scheduled to run another decade, until 2022.

Researchers hope the massive amount of data they collect will help them pinpoint who gets PTSD and why.

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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

Spots dwindling for veteran education assistance program

Fewer than 9,000 spots remain open in a government program that pays for unemployed veterans to get retraining in high-demand jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Part of the federal VOW to Hire Heroes Act passed in 2011, the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program offers 12 months of assistance to 45,000 participants who sign up between July 1 and Sept. 30.

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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

U.S. Sues Home Depot Over Veteran's Firing

By Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Justice Department sued Home Depot on Thursday, alleging that the Atlanta-based home-improvement retailer broke the law by firing an Iraq war veteran and National Guard reservist from a northern Arizona store.

Posted in Veterans News

Veterans find jobs at Chicago job fair

According to Greg Rivara, Communications Manager for Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the 100,000 Jobs Mission job fair held Thursday was a big success.

The event was held at UIC Forum and was attended by over 1,300 veterans and more than 60 companies. The 100,000 Jobs Mission is a collaboration of the IDES, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), JP Morgan Chase, Joining Forces, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), American Legion, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Student Veterans of America, U.S. Department of Labor – VETS, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Since the program’s launch in 2011, the group has collectively hired more than 12,000 veterans, and has a goal of 100,000 hired by 2020.

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Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Wait Longer For Disability Evaluations

By Steve Vogel

Injured servicemembers wait on average over a year to receive an official government disability evaluation, and the wait time increased significantly in 2011 for the third consecutive year, according to testimony released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office.

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

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

Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families

Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families provides help from a professional tutor anytime you need it.

Posted in Education

VA Careers

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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 Law Project

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The Veterans Law Project provides help for veterans and families of veterans by providing Pro bono Legal Resources for Veterans and Military Families.

Transitioning from the battlefield to civilian life is wrought with legal issues for many returning soldiers, sailors, guardsman and marines. Divorce, child custody, bankruptcy, foreclosures, employment, Social Security and issues related to service and post traumatic stress are just a few of the conflicts commonly faced by our veterans and military families.

Air Force Association

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Air Force Association (AFA) is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

We promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. To accomplish this, we:

  • EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unmatched aerospace power and a technically superior workforce to ensure U.S. national security.
  • ADVOCATE for aerospace power and STEM education.
  • SUPPORT the total Air Force family, and promote aerospace education.
Posted in US Air Force

Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) for Air Force Veteran Information

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The Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) is a field operating agency of Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel.

AIR FORCE VETERAN INFORMATION

The following information is provided for individuals who have served in the United States Air Force and have retired or separated from service. 

Posted in US Air Force

Army Soldier Records Branch Article

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How to Access or Request Your Official Military Personnel File Documents

Accessing or Requesting Your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) Documents

There are two ways to obtain copies of specific document(s) or your entire OMPF:

  1. Accessing your OMPF electronically.
  2. Submitting a request to the appropriate Location of Military Personnel Records.

You may be able to access your OMPF electronically at no charge. Electronic access is an easy, fast, 24/7 way to view your OMPF, and it gives you the flexibility to print specific document(s) or download your entire OMPF.

Posted in US Army

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA)

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Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) is the official relief society of the U.S. Coast Guard. CGMA is a non-profit charitable organization established to provide financial aid to the entire Coast Guard family. While CGMA works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, it is an independent corporation. Its mission is to promote the financial stability and general well being of Coast Guard people through interest-free loans, grants, and financial counseling.

Posted in US Coast Guard

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

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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Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors

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Veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a broad range of benefits and services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Some of these benefits may be utilized while on active duty. These benefits are codified in Title 38 of the United States Code. This booklet contains a summary of these benefits effective Jan. 1, 2014. For additional information, visit www. va.gov/.

Veterans Benefits Links by Military OneSource

Get to know your benefits with these links from Military OneSource.