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Just a few seat left! Reserve your Seat Yet? National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) is now enrolling for the VIP GROW Program, June 20-22, 2017. Folks, this amazing program is offered at no cost to Veterans. Like so many others throughout our Veterans small business community, I personally endorse this Program as it is 100% about service to our Veterans. Sign up now while seats are still available. Please know that this one of a kind Program has had a very positive impact on the Veterans that have taken the course and successfully completed it. VIP GROW is a 3-day, 27-hour comprehensive certification program designed for Veteran owned small businesses to increase their ability to win government contracts. Facilitated by subject matter experts, participants receive hands-on market-based instruction that helps establish best business practices for Federal government contracting. Since the program launched in 2009, 678 Veteran-Owned Small Businesses have graduated from VIP GROW. Click here for a recap of the December 2016 VIP GROW Session! For more information and to enroll, go here: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Spread-the-Word-to-Veteran-Owned-Small-Businesses—Apply-to-VIP-GROW-Class—June-20-22–2017.html?soid=1101128334983&aid=2V61VIVWPBc
A Variety of Veterans News from a Variety of Sources
7th Annual VA2K Walk & Roll: Take the first step toward better health by joining in on the 7th Annual VA2K Walk & Roll on Wednesday, May 17. The 1.2-mile walk encourages people to step up their fitness level while also supporting homeless Veterans with donated food and clothing items. The VA2K is held at VA locations across the country. Veterans, families and community members are welcome to participate with VA employees. Learn more about VA2K at http://www.publichealth.va.gov/va2k/.
Military Times 100 days of commander in chief Trump. President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters and toughest critics each have acknowledged that 100 days is a brief window to assess the commander in chief.
The Washington Post (Video): President Trump: In my first 100 days, I kept my promise to Americans. One hundred days ago, I took the oath of office and made a pledge: We are not merely going to transfer political power from one party to another, but instead are going to transfer that power from Washington, D.C., and give it back to the people… Those newly enacted laws include Veterans’ Choice legislation — which became law while at the same time we’ve increased by 42 percent the number of veterans approved to see the doctor of their choosing.
FOX News (Video): Trump’s first 100 days – by the numbers. President Trump hit his 100th day in office on Saturday, with the White House claiming they’ve accomplished more in the opening stretch than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fox News took a look at the stats, and broke down the first 100 days by the numbers. From meetings with foreign leaders to golf outings to a flurry of executive orders, here’s what Trump has done in his first 100 days.
Associated Press Philippines says Trump called Duterte to affirm alliance. U.S. President Donald Trump has called Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte and expressed Washington’s commitment to their treaty alliance and his interest in developing “a warm, working relationship,” a Filipino official said Sunday.
Associated Press Trump warns North Korea’s missiles will get better. President Donald Trump said after North Korea’s latest failed rocket launch that communist leader Kim Jong-Un will eventually develop better missiles, and “we can’t allow it to happen.”
Military Times Jim Mattis has ordered the Pentagon to cut wait times for combat valor awards. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in one of his first directives while heading the Pentagon, subtly ordered military leaders to accelerate internal procedures for initiating, vetting and approving combat valor awards, Military Times has learned, a significant policy shift meant to ensure America’s war heroes are recognized with minimal delay.
Stars and Stripes Among Trump aides, Mattis emerges as a key voice on national security issues. Jim Mattis’ strong standing in Trump’s Cabinet makes the top Pentagon position more powerful than it has been in recent years, helping to steer the administration toward more traditional foreign policy positions while allocating greater authority and resources to the military at a time of complex and myriad global threats.
Marine Corps Times Possible courts-martial in Marines United cases. More than 30 Marines could face punishments ranging from administrative action to courts-martial in connection with investigations into the Marines United scandal, Corps officials said.
Stars and Stripes Marines take over advising mission in Helmand. For the first time since the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in late 2014, U.S. Marines returned to Helmand province en masse Saturday as the 300-person Task Force Southwest took over the training and advising mission there.
Chillicothe Gazette: HUD Secretary Ben Carson visits, talks partnerships. Offsetting some of the proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in President Donald Trump’s budget plan may rest with expanding public-private partnerships, according to HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Carson spent an hour in Chillicothe Friday morning touring the relatively new 60-unit Freedom’s Path complex, located on the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center campus but not directly affiliated with the VA.
PBS (Video): Watch: Trump signs order creating accountability officer at VA. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday creating an accountability and whistleblower protection office at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Trump, who made improving veterans’ care a prominent issue as he campaigned for office, was to issue the order while visiting the VA. It will create a new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection within the department. The eventual head of the office will report directly to VA Secretary David Shulkin.
FOX News Insider (Video): Trump: ‘We are Making Tremendous Progress With the VA’. On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Donald Trump doubled down on his promise to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. Speaking on Friday at the 2017 annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Atlanta, Georgia, Trump said his team is doing a “top job” at reforming the VA, and it’s just the beginning.
The Washington Post (PowerPost): Trump’s new VA office to help fire feds faster also could hurt, not protect, whistleblowers. President Trump is correct to hold federal employees accountable, even as he and his folks make every effort to squirm away from a steady flow of ethical quandaries. His executive order on “Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protections” would create an office in the Department of Veterans Affairs to identify barriers to bouncing bad workers from an agency whose ethical reputation was shredded during a scandal over the cover-up of long patient wait times.
KDKA (CBS-2, Video): Veterans Affairs Secretary With Roots In Pittsburgh Pledges to Get It Right. Pennsylvania has over 900,000 veterans, many right here in Pittsburgh, so when KDKA political editor Jon Delano went to the White House this week to meet members of the President’s Cabinet, he asked to meet the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Dr. David Shulkin, President Trump’s choice, is no stranger to Pittsburgh. Delano: “You really have a lot of Pittsburgh roots.”
North State Journal: VA Secretary visits Durham to focus on patient care. President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs visited a local VA Hospital in North Carolina this morning as part of a nationwide effort to improve patient care and seek solutions to problems that have riddled veteran healthcare for years. WRAL (NBC-5, Video):
VA Secretary focuses on suicide prevention during Durham speech. Saturday marks President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office, and to highlight the progress made during that time for veterans, Dr. David Shulkin, the secretary for veterans affairs, spoke at the Durham VA Medical Center. Shulkin said one of his focuses is on suicide prevention and called it a top priority for VA hospitals nationwide.
The Hill: Dem senator blasts VA for outsourcing Veterans suicide line. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for outsourcing its suicide line. In an interview broadcast Sunday on AM 970 in New York, Blumenthal said he is demanding accountability from the VA on veterans’ suicides and the care offered to members of the U.S. military.
Stars and Stripes: Veterans to disclose experiences at VA hospital in DC following scandal. The American Legion is attempting to expose veterans’ issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ flagship hospital in Washington, D.C., following a watchdog report earlier this month that found the facility could have endangered the well-being of patients. The American Legion, which represents more than 2 million veterans nationwide, will host a town hall-style meeting Wednesday.
WTVF (CBS-5, Video): Equipment Problems Force Nashville VA to Cut half Of Surgeries, Some Veterans Must Get Operations Done Elsewhere. Thousands of veterans in Middle Tennessee rely on the Veterans Administration health system for their medical care. But NewsChannel 5 Investigates has discovered equipment problems at the Nashville VA Hospital has forced the facility to cut way back on the surgeries it’s performing. While Tennessee has one of the fastest-growing veteran populations in the country, the VA hospital here is having trouble handling all that growth…
Omaha World-Herald: VA Keeps On Delivering Great Health Care. I want to once again recognize our Omaha VA Medical Center for great health care services. My most recent visit to the VA was full of compassion and professionalism, starting with the yellow clinic case manager, Nurse Tammy. These professionals are good, caring people and outstanding medical providers.
Military Times (Video): Opinion: Why PSD is no joking matter. It doesn’t take long for Americans to turn a mental health condition into a punchline. If we keep our desks too neat, we joke that we have obsessive-compulsive disorder. If we space out during a meeting, we lament that we have attention deficit disorder. And, increasingly, if we had a bad experience somewhere, we joke that it gave us post-traumatic stress disorder.
FEDweek: Expanding Use of telemedicine by VA Proposed. Newly offered bipartisan bills (HR-2123 and S-925) seek to expand the VA’s use of telemedicine, a strategy already in some use that sponsors say has the potential to reduce patient waiting times and enable the VA to make more use of its available medical personnel. The VA continues to experience difficulties in filling medical care positions, and at a recent House hearing more use of telemedicine was singled out as one potential response.
The Washington Times (AP): Michigan to start major revamp of Veterans nursing homes. A GOP-backed privatization of 170 jobs at the Grand Rapids facility has been panned. And though the state is getting more per-diem reimbursements from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, they are not offsetting declining resident income – meaning the state’s general fund spending is higher.
The Guam Daily Post: Vet links cancer to Agent Orange exposure in Guam. Over the past year, Air Force veteran Harold Crabtree’s health has rapidly deteriorated after developing a cancer he believes is connected to his years patrolling an Agent Orange-ridden Andersen Air Force Base in the mid-1970s. But U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs still contends that the United States did not use dioxins in Guam – and has yet to compensate the 63-year-old Crabtree.
The Washington Times (AP, Greeley Tribune): Pride, fear, lack of info keep Veterans from seeking help. Veterans Affairs found him a place to stay in Denver – he thinks it was an apartment of some sort. But it didn’t allow dogs, and Cash was the only link he still had to his old life with his partner. He refused to say goodbye. “You give up your son, then I’ll give up my dog,” he said.
My Edmonds News: Edmonds Military Wire: U.S. Veterans Affairs project aims to provide help at community level. In a continued effort to better serve veterans and their families, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Innovation (VACI) joined forces in early April 2017 with Syracuse University and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) for a national pilot. The project is aimed at demonstrating the merits of a community-based health care and services coordinated referral system within the Institute’s AmericaServes initiative.
Panama City News Herald: Women sentenced for defrauding VA. A woman who feigned blindness to receive veterans’ benefits has been sentenced to serve nine months in prison and repay hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Veronica Dale Hahn, 60, was sentenced Friday in the Panama City federal court. She pleaded guilty during her jury trial on charges of defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration…
The Progress-Index: Poplar Grove National Cemetery restored to former glory. After more than a year of hard restoration work, Poplar Grove National Cemetery, the final resting place for thousands of Union soldiers, was reopened with a special rededication ceremony on Saturday. Guests from near and far came out on a hot spring afternoon to honor the men who are buried at the cemetery, and to admire the newly renovated cemetery grounds.
WTOP (ABC-103.5): Memorial Day flowers honor fallen service members at Arlington National Cemetery. “We gave out 10,000 roses that first year at Memorial Day, and it’s grown from there to 60,000 the next year and last year, about 140,000,” said Ramiro Penaherrera, one of the organizers behind the Memorial Day Flowers event. The foundation works with the Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration, and they’re expecting 200,000 flowers total throughout national and veterans cemeteries across the country.
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
Upcoming Veteran Events
American Legion Post 328, Southfield, Michigan Listing of Current Events in and around the Metro Detroit Area for and about Veterans, for the period April 27 – May 13, 2017. http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html Sent in by our fellow Veteran Tim Wirkus. Thanks Tim!
Federal Business Council, Inc. (FBC) List of remaining Industry Outreach Events for CY 2017.
5th Annual NOVA B2G Matchmaking Conference & Small Business Expo –May 3, 2017, 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM. POC: Ashleigh Dorfman (703) 707-9045. Location: Hilton-Washington Dulles Airport, 13869 Park Center Road , Herndon VA 20171. To Register go here: http://web.restonchamber.org/events/5th-Annual-NoVA-B2G-Matchmaking-Conference-Small-Business-EXPO-3363/details For additional information, see Event Flyer here…..
The Officers and Members of Chapter XI, Special Forces Association Cordially invite you to attend the Regimental Birthday Reception, Dinner and Dance Honoring Veterans of Project Hotfoot and Operation White Star Laos 1958. Friday evening, May 5, 2017. For details and to register…..
National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) Wednesday, May 10, 2017, DC Metro Chapter Dinner Meeting. From 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM, Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA. For more information and to register please go here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-veteran-small-business-coalition-10-may-2017-dc-metro-chapter-dinner-meeting-tickets-33903728966 Register NOW to hear inspirational speaker Jan Scruggs – Vietnam veteran, founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and the driving force behind the construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “the Wall”. Jan will share his perspectives in a memorable evening speaking on the topic of: Confidence, Commitment and The Can Do Spirit. Jan Craig Scruggs is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. In 1979 he decided that America’s Veterans deserved national recognition. Three years later the Memorial was built. He sparred with Congress, the media and powerful people determined to end plans for the Memorial. Jan has delighted audiences nationwide for decades as a professional speaker. He has a powerful message to help others overcome adversity with courage, teamwork and creative solutions. Scruggs has appeared on CBS Sixty Minutes, the Today Show, and other national shows.
PTAP (VPTAP) & Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Small Business Subcontracting Training and Networking Outreach Event – May 18, 2017. For more information please go here…… If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Myra Morgan, Defense Logistics Agency, Office of Small Business Programs (DB)at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-767-3653.
NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON, Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor Inaugural Scocial, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD, May 23, 2017. For details please go here…. For additional information, please contact Mr. Gary Simpson, USMC (Ret), Transition Care Coordinator, United States Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor, Walter Reed national Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD 301-400-0576, Gary.J.Simpson.email@example.com
GOVCONECTX Doing Business with DoD Spring Showcase – Thursday May 25, 2017, 6633 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church VA, 22042 at the Best Western. There is a Cost. This particular event is Military intensive. Meet with key representatives from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and DOD. Keynote Speaker: VADM Lou Crenshaw USN (Ret.), Crenshaw Consulting Associates. For Veterans, use the Coupon Code “Vet” and take $100.00 off the cost. For additional details and to sign up, go here….
National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) VETS-17, June 12 – 14, 2017, Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk VA. A great Business Development Conference created by Veterans for Veterans. Early Bird registration is now through March 31st. Pay now, save now! The Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, Virginia always sells out quickly. NSSBC does not have other hotels contracted, so if you want the convenience of staying at the Riverside Marriott, please consider booking ASAP. Go here for more scoop and to register: http://www.veterantrainingsymposium.com/Hope to see you folks there!
2017 Virginia Women Veterans Summit, June 22 – 23, 2017, Chesapeake, VA. This event brings together Veterans, employers, community leaders and government agencies from federal, state, and local levels to raise awareness about the services and benefits offered specifically for women veterans through expert presenters, panel discussion and exhibits. The conference will feature speakers such as Dorothy McAuliffe, First Lady of Virginia (Invited) and Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016, U.S. Army Reserve Captain and more! The Virginia Department of Veterans Services encourages women veterans who have, currently are, or will be transitioning into civilian life to register for this event. If you do not meet this qualification, kindly respect those who do by not registering for this event. Registration for this event is required. For details and to sign up, go here…
Mount Vernon Celebrates Purple Heart Day – Monday, August 7, 2017. You are cordially invited to celebrate National Purple Heart Day at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. It is our honor to have you join us as we commemorate the oldest military decoration in the United States at the beloved home of its founder. Here is information you might find helpful in planning your visit. http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2313d2141f19dbc004908589e&id=04795fbcf8&e=
14th Annual Elite SDVOB National Conference, August 16 – 18, 2017, Orlando, FL. Convention website here: http://www.sdvobconference.com/ Go here for Hotel Information and Reservations: