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1,600 Museums Offer Military Families Free Tickets

By Brett Zongker, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- More than 1,600 museums across the country will offer free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families this summer in a program that has more than doubled in size since 2010.

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

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 Joins Veterans Affairs and Other Military Services in Standardizing PTSD Diagnosis and Treatment

USNavySeals.com

The Army, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other military services, is standardizing the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, otherwise known as post-traumatic stress disorder, in an attempt to increase the soldiers’ level of trust and fairness in the system.

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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

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

From War To Work: Why And How Companies Should Hire Post-9/11 Veterans

Marine turned entrepreneur and filmmaker Zach Iscol on an extraordinary and undervalued talent pool.

By Zachary Iscol

Retired Master Sergeant Ken Holman was confused when Scott Miller and Paul Cotter approached him about applying for a job at Microsoft.

On Feb. 21, 2002, his vehicle flipped over during a training exercise. His seatbelt broke, flinging him against the windshield. He broke his neck in three places and shattered his lower vertebrae, leaving him partially paralyzed. He had to relearn how to talk, walk, read, and write.

He'd served 26 years in the Marines specializing in bulk fuel and later in acquisitions. Though he had run a 2:35 marathon, served as a drill instructor and as a Marine recruiter, he had zero IT background.

So why were they interested in hiring him?

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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

Hackers Get Personal Data From Navy Website

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
September 21, 2012

By Mike Hixenbaugh, The Virginian-Pilot

Hackers accessed personal information of more than 200,000 service members earlier this year and posted a sampling of the data online.

The information came from the Smart Web Move system, an online application run by the Navy and used by all branches of the military to arrange household moves.

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

Homeless Rural Vets Find A Place To Call Home

All Things Considered (NPR), 4:10 PM

MELISSA BLOCK: You're listening to All Things Considered from NPR News.

This month, more than a dozen homeless veterans in Connecticut will finally have a place to call their own, thanks to the American Legion. They'll stay at the legion's post in the small town of Jewett City. Lucy Nalpathanchil from member station WNPR reports.

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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

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

Navy Veteran Killed In Colorado Shooting Remembered At Funeral

RENO, Nev.--A Navy veteran who died after throwing himself in front of a friend during the Colorado movie theater shooting was remembered Friday for his fearlessness and optimism.

Some mourners at the funeral for 26-year-old Jonathan Blunk also said they've been told by officials that there are indications he may have tried to stand up to the heavily armed gunman and stop him during the July 20 attack in Aurora, Colorado.

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Posted in Veterans News

Navy, US Nuclear Companies Sign Workforce Deal

Yahoo.com
August 23, 2012

ATLANTA (AP) -- The U.S. Navy and members of the nuclear power industry have signed a deal meant to help Navy veterans with specialized training find civilian jobs.

A trade group says the civilian power industry needs to fill 25,000 positions over the next four years. Utility companies need to replace those retiring from an aging workforce and find new workers to staff plants now under construction in the southeast.

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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

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

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

Preserving Old Ships Is Dear To U.S. Veterans, Costly For Museums

By Harriet McLeod, Reuters

MOUNT PLEASANT, South Carolina--The Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, a popular tourist spot in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor, is facing the same challenge as other U.S. Navy ship museums: keeping retired, once-storied warships afloat.

Its World War Two destroyer, the USS Laffey, just had a nearly $13 million restoration. The almost 70-year-old World War Two aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown, will need eventual repairs at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

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

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

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

Transitioning Sailors to Get Assistance

Transition benefits available to Sailors affected by the Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) are proving to be a valuable resource. About a third of ERB separating Sailors have connected with the outplacement consulting firm of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc. (CGC) since January.

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

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

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

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

Wounded Soldiers Get Lesson In Resiliency

By Greg Barnes, Staff writer

Kyle Maynard implored Fort Bragg's wounded soldiers to set impossible goals for themselves and then strive to reach them.

When he had finished speaking, about 300 strong from Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Battalion responded with a standing ovation.

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

Mesothelioma Group Free VA Claims Assistance

GET FREE VA CLAIMS ASSISTANCE

If you've been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you're entitled to benefits and compensation from the VA. This compensation can pay for your treatment and improve your quality of life. Our free Veterans Guide will help you navigate the VA claims process and get the benefits you deserve.

Posted in Health

Marine Corps League

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The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. It takes equal pride in its Federal Charter, approved by An Act of the Seventy-Fifth Congress of the United States of America and signed and approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937.

The League is the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country. Since its earliest days, the Marine Corps League has enjoyed the support and encouragement of the active duty and Reserve establishments of the U. S. Marine Corps. Today, the League boasts a membership of more than 76,000 men and women, officer and enlisted, active duty, Reserve Marines, honorably discharged Marine Veterans and qualified Navy FMF Corpsmen and is one of the few Veterans Organizations that experiences increases in its membership each year.

Posted in US Marine Corps

Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors

image for Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors

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 Farm and Adam Burke - 5 Hour Energy

image for Veterans Farm and Adam Burke - 5 Hour Energy
Adam Burke served a 16-month tour in Iraq and was injured in a mortar attack two weeks before coming home. "It really broke me down and it took years to recover from this injury," remembers Adam. The army vet currently suffers from PTSD and from migraines caused by a traumatic brain injury. He found farming helped him.

After running into a young homeless veteran at a mall, Adam decided there needed to be more programs out there to help vets reintegrate back into society.

In April 2010 he started Veterans Farm in Jacksonville, Florida.

The farm trains veterans during six to nine month fellowships and gets them back on their feet. Fellow Shawn Rankin came to farm from Michigan after no one would employ him due to injuries sustained serving in the Navy. He was homeless and now has a house and is starting a farm.

The Pentagon Used to Hook Everything To The Internet.

image for The Pentagon Used to Hook Everything To The Internet.

Once upon a time, very smart people in the Pentagon believed that connecting sensitive networks, expensive equipment, and powerful weapons to the open Internet was a swell idea. This ubiquitous connectivity among devices and objects — what we now call the Internet of Things — would allow them to collect performance data to help design new weapons, monitor equipment remotely, and realize myriad other benefits. The risks were less assiduously catalogued.

That strategy has spread huge vulnerabilities across the Defense Department, its networks, and much of what the defense industry has spent the last several decades creating.

“We are trying to overcome decades of a thought process…where we assumed that the development of our weapon systems that external interfaces, if you will, with the outside world were not something to be overly concerned with,” Adm. Michael Rogers, the commander of Cyber Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee today. “They represented opportunity for us to remotely monitor activity, to generate data as to how aircraft, for example, or ships' hulls were doing in different sea states around the world. [These are] all positives if you're trying to develop the next generation of cruiser [or] destroyer for the Navy.”

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Posted in Veterans News

Radio - Armed Forces Talk Radio

image for Radio - Armed Forces Talk Radio

Armed Forces Talk Radio is dedicated to all members of the United States Armed Forces, past and present. The show airs every week for an hour, on Thursday's at 10 AM Pacific Time. Armed Forces Talk Radio will cover issues important to Veterans and Military personnel, with information concerning all Branches of the Military and issues facing their Families. We’ll also bring you interesting Guests from a wide variety of organizations with an interest in Veterans and the Military!

About The Host: Introducing your host - Scott Langhoff is a Navy Veteran with many years of experience in Veterans Service.

Show Contact Info: 888-327-0061, VETRADIO@COX.NET

TUNE INTO "Armed Forces Talk Radio" Thursday 1pm Eastern 10am Pacific on wsRadio.com

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Posted in Veterans Radio