Veterans News & Events | January 24, 2017
Veterans News For Today | January 24, 2017
A Variety of Veterans News from a Variety of Sources
The Washington Times (AP): Charlie Liteky, who gave back his Medal of Honor, dies. Charlie Liteky, an Army chaplain in Vietnam who won the Medal of Honor for rescuing more than 20 wounded men but later gave it back in protest and became a peace activist, has died. Longtime friend Richard Olive said Liteky died Friday night at the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco. He was 85.
Stars and Stripes At Veterans Inaugural Ball, focus was on 34 Medal of Honor recipients. There are 76 living recipients of the Medal of Honor, and 34 of them were together in one room together Friday night for the Veterans Inaugural Ball, an event paying tribute not only to newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump but also to those men who earned the nation’s highest military award.
The Atlantic Welcome to the Trump Presidency. He’s moved to establish his dominance of his party, of Congress, and of the media. Now, he turns to the nation.
Associated Press Trump asks some 50 senior Obama appointees to stay on. President-elect Donald Trump has asked roughly 50 senior Obama administration appointees to remain in their posts after his inauguration to ensure continuity in government, his incoming White House press secretary said Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump’s Presidency: A Look at His Proposed Policy Shifts. Veteran Affairs: A Public-Private Model. Mr. Trump pledged throughout his campaign to change the way veterans access health care, and his nominee to become the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs has indicated a commitment to move the department toward a public-private model.
Washington Examiner (Video): Trump’s inheritance by the numbers. Although he won’t inherit an economy in crisis, as did his predecessor, President-elect Donald Trump will confront a broad range of challenges when he takes the oath of office on Friday. From problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Obama administration’s stonewalling of open records requests, Trump has a number of hurdles to clear in his effort to fulfill his campaign promises.
The Washington Post: Voters share their hopes during Trump’s presidency. As President Trump took the oath of office, and prepared to face a deeply divided and anxious nation, we asked those who came to Washington to celebrate his inauguration, and those who didn’t, about their desires. Not for Trump, or even the country. But for themselves. Washington Post reporters fanned out across the city, asking: “Tell us how you hope your life will improve during Trump’s first term as president.” Here’s what they had to say.
Washington Examiner (Video): Trump pledges to end defense sequester, build missile defense system. In a policy statement posted to the new administration’s White House website, President Trump pledged to end sequestration and called for a “state-of-the-art missile defense system” among his goals for rebuilding the U.S. military and improving services for veterans.
Stars and Stripes Trump: There’s no ‘feud’ with the CIA, promises to enlarge fight against extremists. President Donald Trump Saturday said to employees of the CIA that he supported them, and that he would unleash them to defeat Islamic terrorists after previous presidents had acted with restraint in the nation’s 16-year-old war with extremists.
Stars and Stripes Trump, amid combative start, pledges to rise to moment . After a combative start to his presidency, Donald Trump delivered a more unifying message Sunday and sought to reassure Americans he was up to the daunting task ahead, as he turned to the business of government.
Stars and Stripes Braced for Trump challenge, China signals readiness to cooperate. Confronted by the challenge of Donald Trump’s presidency, China is signaling that it’s ready to work with the new administration and has already taken a few policy steps that may help fend off criticism over access to its markets.
CNN As Donald Trump takes over, a diminished ISIS awaits. It’s been almost 900 days since the US-led war on ISIS began. But as the Trump administration nears — with its promise to bomb “the s*** out of ISIS” — where does the campaign against the militant group stand?
Stars and Stripes Taliban hint at opening with Trump as they seek departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan. The insurgent group posted a statement on its website Sunday calling on Trump to “put an end to the invasion.” But it also asked him to “help countries with their development” rather than with “bloodshed and destruction.”
Reuters Iraq counts on U.S. advisers, mostly out of sight, in war on Islamic State. When Iraqi forces faced a fierce Islamic State counter-attack last month at a hospital in Mosul they had stormed without enough troops to hold it, U.S. advisers behind the front lines shepherded them to safety.
Stars and Stripes New Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives at the Pentagon, gets to work. Newly sworn-in Defense Secretary James N. Mattis quietly arrived at the Pentagon for the first time in his new role Saturday, stepping out of a black sport utility vehicle at noon before entering the building and getting to work.
Military Times In memo, Mattis signals closer ties between the Pentagon, State Department, intelligence agencies. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday signaled that his tenure at the Pentagon will bring closer ties between the military, State Department and America’s intelligence agencies.
Army Times The Army wants to pay for your civilian electrician, mechanic or any other credential. For decades the Army has offered tuition assistance to soldiers who want to earn degrees, and now leadership is looking into how to translate that program to cover civilian credential and certification training for soldiers to study skills both in and out of their specialties.
Stars and Stripes Bergdahl attorneys file motion to dismiss court-martial over Trump comments. In their motion, accused Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s attorneys list more than 25 instances of Donald Trump disparaging Bergdahl during campaign rallies and nationally televised interviews.
Marine Corps Times Cancer scare at Marine Corps housing prompts Navy to issue worldwide ‘guidance’. Concerns about possible cancer-causing contamination at the Laurel Bay family housing near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, has led Marine officials to launch a new public relations effort and led Navy officials to distribute guidance to Navy health care providers worldwide.
Navy Times Navy’s acquisition boss to take over as Trump’s acting Navy secretary on Friday. Sean Stackley, who has been the Navy’s top weapons buyer since 2008, will lead the Department of the Navy on a temporary basis, bringing the Ray Mabus era to an end.
Stars and Stripes Navy struggles to balance maintenance needs, operational requirements . USS George H.W. Bush strike group sailors and their families finally said goodbye on Saturday after an extended maintenance period caused a monthlong postponement of its deployment.
Air Force Times Air Force secretary approves 9 valor award upgrades for 8 airmen. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has approved nine valor award upgrades for eight airmen after a Defense Department-directed review, the Air Force announced Thursday.
Task and Purpose McDonald ‘Stopped The Bleeding’ At The VA, But Was That Enough? McDonald started his tenure during a scandal that continues to dog the agency’s reputation, even as many improvements have taken shape.
The Washington Post: New White House website says VA reform to start with firing ‘corrupt and incompetent executives’. President Trump’s new White House website doubles down on his campaign promise to improve the government’s care for veterans — with an unusual swipe at high-ranking employees he says have not done their jobs.
The Hill: VA nominee Shulkin: A stone of hope for a department in despair. Somewhere between honoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and the inauguration of our 45th president, the future of the Department of Veterans Affairs is waiting to emerge from its present state of despair. As Dr. King famously stated in his “I have a dream” speech in Washington, D.C., over 50 years ago, “out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
Washington Monthly: Trump’s Pick for VA Secretary Could Continue Obama’s Progress. As a veteran who served in Vietnam and then has spent nearly 30 years as a psychologist at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), I am heartened by President Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Dr. David J. Shulkin, who served as undersecretary for health in the VA under Obama, is very different from Trump’s other cabinet picks.
NH1 News (TV-1): Baldasaro tells NH1 News he’s being ‘vetted’ for number two spot at VA. Al Baldasaro says he’s being “vetted” for the number two position at the Veterans Administration. The six term Republican state representative from Londonderry, who spent two decades serving in the U.S. Marines, was a big Trump backer during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump often referred to Baldasaro on the campaign trail as “my favorite vet.”
KFDA (CBS-10, Video): VA Offers New Help Line that is Much Easier. Veteran Affairs operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, and community living centers, while also providing benefits and services that provide financial and other forms of assistance. With more services come more numbers, and currently there are over 1000 phone numbers operated under the VA.
WFLA (NBC-8, Video): Army manual contradicts current VA mindset for Agent Orange benefits. A little-known U.S. Army manual may be key to veterans fighting for Agent Orange benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The field manual for the Tactical Employment of Herbicides warns there should be a 500-meter buffer zone between Agent Orange and anything that is not to be damaged.
The Hill: VA leaving navy Veterans adrift in sea of Agent Orange. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017 (HR 299), a bill to restore the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to those veterans who served in the bays, harbors and territorial seas of Vietnam, was introduced on Jan. 5… HR 299 would correct a Veteran’s Affairs (VA) policy decision implemented in 2002, that unilaterally striped these veterans of the presumption of exposure granted by the Agent Orange Act of 1991.
Duluth News-Tribune: Monument planned for new military cemetery near Duluth pays homage to victims of Agent Orange. Organizers are just a fundraising campaign away from a monument in St. Louis County that will honor Vietnam War veterans afflicted by Agent Orange. “Everybody has been affected by the death of a Vietnam veteran,” John Marshall said. “I think this is really an easy sell.”
The Daily News: Meeting addresses historic Lejeune water contamination. A Community Assistance Panel meeting was the first of three sessions hosted Saturday in Jacksonville about the toxic water aboard Camp Lejeune and government plans for compensating those exposed to it.
Fayetteville Observer: Our View: Lejeune Veterans get aid; VA gets a challenge. It already had enough daunting challenges, but the Department of Veterans Affairs is getting another one anyway. It’s a job it couldn’t refuse. The VA has agreed to pay more than $2 billion in disability benefits over the next few years to veterans who served at Camp Lejeune and suffer from one or more of eight specific diseases.
The Ledger: Editorial: VA steps up for Marines, Sailors, but what about families? After years of lobbying, lawsuits and hearing tales of sickness and untimely deaths by many former U.S. Marines, Navy personnel and their loved ones, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has proclaimed them eligible for cash disability benefits for illnesses related to their service at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Military Times New psychology specialty trains grad students to work with veterans, families. A hospital corpsman assigned to Marine units throughout his wartime career is looking out for his fellow troops as a civilian now, and his new job involves giving more people that same opportunity.
Michigan Daily: Study finds that Opioid Safety Initiative reduced risky prescriptions for Veterans. The number of high-dose opioid painkiller prescriptions written to veterans has declined following the release of a Veterans Health Administration plan to reduce the potentially addictive substance, according to a new study conducted by the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor researchers.
Daily Herald: UVU Veterans Success Center celebrates one-year anniversary. In the year since the official ribbon cutting of the Veteran Success Center at Utah Valley University, “a lot of learning has taken place,” according to the center’s director Sheldon Holgreen. That learning has helped nearly 600 veterans each semester since its opening. Although the ribbon cutting was not held until January 2016, the center actually began some of its operation the previous October.
The Gazette: UCCS now a haven for Vets. Troops and veterans can get personalized help and a free cup of coffee at the new McCord-Herbst Student Veterans Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The center, open since September, was one of the amenities for military students that earned UCCS top honors as a “Gold Level Military Friendly School” from Victory Media, publisher of the GI Jobs magazine.
Batavia Daily News: At VA, students see a path to dedicated service. Karianne Santullo isn’t holding back on her dreams. A Pavilion High School senior, she’s part of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and Genesee Community College Health Career Academy program. “I’ve kind of got it pinpointed where I want to go,” she said Friday.
Times Daily: VA scholarship program cost could impact other higher education funding requests. The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs needs an increase of about $33 million next year for its college scholarship program for disabled veterans’ dependents. Because there will be limited additional money in the 2018 education budget, a significant increase in funding for Veterans Affairs means less new money for other higher education expenses.
News Herald: Bonifay woman pleads guilty to scamming VA. A Bonifay woman pled guilty Friday to theft of government funds after authorities say she was fraudulently awarded almost $400,000 in veteran’s disability payments. Veronica Dale Hahn, 60, entered her plea after a two-day trial. According to court records, Hahn received $394,800.85 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs between November 2001 and February 2016 for 100 percent service-connected blindness in both eyes.
Temple Daily Telegram: Blind double amputee tries to mold other Veterans. It’s difficult to feel much self-pity after meeting Bill Wedekind, a blind double amputee. Wedekind visited the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center on Wednesday, speaking to veterans and staff throughout the day. Wedekind joined the Marine Corps at age 18 in September 1967.
Weekly Challenger (Daily Mail): Oldest living WWII Vet, 110 may lose home he built himself in final days. The man believed to be the oldest living World War II veteran has launched a fundraising appeal so he can live out his final days in his home. Richard Overton, 110, has lived in his Austin, Texas house since he returned from the war in 1945.
Stars and Stripes From Washington to Trump: A look at Inauguration Day. Billionaire businessman Donald Trump will assume the presidency from Barack Obama during the 58th Inauguration Day ceremonies steeped in pomp, pageantry and tradition. Here are some facts about Inauguration Day, the most important date on the American political calendar.
The Hill Pence: NATO mission ‘will go forward’. Vice President-elect Mike Pence said the mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will continue as the incoming administration takes office.
New York Times Trump National Security Team Gets a Slow Start. Less than three days before President Obama turns the keys to the White House, and the nuclear codes, over to President-elect Donald J. Trump, Mr. Trump’s transition staff has barely engaged with the National Security Council below the most senior levels.
Associated Press Congresswoman Gabbard makes unannounced trip to Syria. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has made an unannounced trip to Syria and Lebanon, traveling to the region two months after she sat down with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss foreign policy.
DoDBuzz Boeing CEO, Trump Meet Again to Talk Air Force One, Fighters. The chief executive officer of the world’s largest aerospace company on Tuesday met again with the president-elect to talk about the cost of future Air Force One aircraft and fighter jets.
Stars and Stripes Behind the Hill’s swift reforms of military compensation. Michael Higgins served 20 years in the Air Force as a personnel officer and 23 more as a professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee. There he helped generations of lawmakers set levels of military pay, determine the mix of benefits and bonuses, and grant force-shaping authorities that sustained America’s all-volunteer force.
Army Times This woman will be the first to join the Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment. A female officer has completed the Army’s rigorous selection process for its storied 75th Ranger Regiment and is on her way to joining a unit in the next few months, according to a spokesman for Army Special Operations Command.
The Washington Times: Chelsea Manning to lose military health benefits upon release, Army says. Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning will be cut off from health care benefits currently offered by the Department of Defense as a result of President Obama’s decision this week to commute the majority of the convicted WikiLeaks source’s remaining prison sentence, an Army spokesperson said Wednesday.
Army Times Army to drop out of All-American Bowl sponsorship. Next year’s All-American Bowl, an annual match-up between 90 of the country’s top high school football players, will be the last one put on by the Army, the service announced Wednesday.
Marine Corps Times Marines in Norway will learn to ski, fight and survive in arctic cold. Very few of the 300 Marines who are now deployed to Norway know how to ski, but they are about to learn very soon — on the Arctic slopes near the Russian border.
The Fiscal Times The US Navy’s $13 Billion Answer to China and Russia. The Navy just announced that after delays, the $13 billion supercarrier USS Gerald R. Ford – the most advanced and expensive aircraft carrier every built – will be ready for delivery by April.
Air Force Times Air Force readiness under stress. The readiness of the Air Force to achieve the country’s tactical and strategic goals is at risk and requires sustainable solutions, Gen. Dave Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, said Jan. 18 at an event hosted by American Enterprise Institute.
Stars and Stripes Air Force awards medal upgrades. Air Force Col. Christopher Barnett was awarded two Silver Stars on Thursday for his gallantry in action during two search and rescue missions in Afghanistan in 2009.
FedSmith: Rubio Reintroduces Legislation to Make It easier to Fire VA Employees. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced a slew of bills this week that he had introduced in previous sessions of Congress, one of which would make it easier to fire Department of Veterans Affairs employees for misconduct or poor performance. Rubio said that the legislation, known as the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act (S. 152), would help to modernize the agency.
The Washington Times (AP): The Latest: Vet Affairs Chief of Staff to be interim head. The chief of staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Snyder, will become the agency’s interim leader after Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday. Trump has picked VA undersecretary David Shulkin to head the agency, replacing Bob McDonald. But Shulkin still needs to be confirmed by the Senate and hasn’t had a hearing yet.
Military Times: VA Chief of Staff Snyder to serve as interim department secretary. The Veterans Affairs’ interim chief of staff is getting a temporary promotion to the department’s top job. Robert Snyder, who has overseen day-to-day operations at the department for a year and a day, was announced as the acting VA secretary effective Friday at noon, when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office.
The Street (Video): Inside the Trump White House: David Shulkin, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated David Shulkin to be next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. President-elect Donald Trump has nominated David Shulkin to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Shulkin is an internist and has a medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Believe it or not, Shulkin currently serves under the Obama administration as VA undersecretary. Shulkin has led the enormous veterans’ health system — the country’s largest heath system, with 1,700 clinics and hospitals — for 18 months.
Stars and Stripes: Trump-tapped group presents plan for sweeping VA reforms. As Donald Trump takes the oath of office Friday, a conservative-backed group that has gained more influence since the election is renewing its effort to transfer oversight of Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities to a government-chartered nonprofit. It’s also seeking to expand veterans’ private-sector health care options.
Stars and Stripes: VA approves fertility treatment for Veteran couples. Disabled veterans hoping to start a family received a boost Thursday when the Department of Veterans Affairs began covering the costs of in vitro fertilization. The policy change comes after Democrats in Congress pushed through legislation last year to temporarily lift a two-decade ban on the common treatment, which could now help thousands of veterans and their spouses conceive.
Military Times: VA to start offing IVF services to Veterans this spring. The Department of Veterans Affairs will start offering in vitro fertilization services to injured veterans for the first time in March, under new rules released Thursday. The move comes just a few months after Congress dropped a ban on the procedure for veterans and their spouses, the result of a yearslong push from advocates who called the restrictions unfair to individuals who sacrificed for the country.
The Hill: Airport shooter need for better VA mental health care. We still don’t know the whole story of why a National Guard veteran opened fire in the Fort Lauderdale airport, taking five lives at random. We may never know to our satisfaction. What is clear to me is that since his association with Islamic radicalism appears to be delusional rather than ideological, the news networks and front pages have moved on. Now he’s just “crazy.”
Spectrum News (Video): Support is Key for Those Struggling with Mental Health Issues. Janet Gaskin knows all too well how difficult it can be to get help for a loved one struggling with a mental health issue. Her daughter tried to commit suicide more than three years ago. “My daughter had several different diagnoses so we were constantly bounced around to the point where I had to quit my full time job.
ProPublica: ProPublica Files Lawsuit Seeking VA Correspondence Related to Agent Orange. ProPublica and the Virginian-Pilot filed a lawsuit today in federal court against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, accusing the agency of stonewalling requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The lawsuit, ProPublica’s second against the VA in two months, seeks a preliminary injunction compelling the government to immediately release correspondence about Agent Orange…
KRQE (CBS-13): VA looks to build new National Cemetery near Albuquerque. The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking to buy land near Albuquerque to develop a new National Cemetery. The VA wants to buy at least 200 acres. The cemetery would replace Santa Fe National Cemetery, which is expected to run out of space in the mid 2020’s. It hopes to find the land within a 15 mile radius from the intersection of Interstate 25 and Tramway.
Federal Computer Week: GAO reports billions in savings linked to oversight efforts. GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, touted its return on investment in its report. For fiscal year 2016, GAO documented $63.4 billion in financial benefits from its work. This amounts to “a return of about $112 for every dollar invested in us,” the watchdog agency said. GAO’s FY2016 budget was $555.3 million.
Dayton Daily News (Video): Dayton to become home to National VA History Center. The Dayton VA will become the home of the National VA History Center, the federal agency announced Thursday. Outgoing national VA Secretary Robert McDonald officially designated the Dayton VA as a national archive in one of his final acts prior to leaving office Friday, the VA said. A Trump administration nominee, David Shulkin, the current VA undersecretary of health, is expected to take over the top post.
Task and Purpose The 4th Infantry’s 100 Years Of Warfare Is A History Worth Reading. “To War With The 4th” tells the story of the 4th Infantry Division’s first century of war.
Stars and Stripes Former President George H.W. Bush, wife Barbara hospitalized . Former President George H.W. Bush was admitted Wednesday to the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital with pneumonia, and his wife, Barbara, was hospitalized as a precaution after suffering fatigue and coughing, a spokesman said.
Stars and Stripes Senate Armed Services Committee approves Mattis. The committee voted 26-1 to send retired Marine Gen. James Mattis’ nomination to the full Senate. It could hold a final confirmation vote Friday immediately after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office.
CNN Pentagon readies aggressive ISIS proposals for Trump. The Defense Department is prepared to provide the new administration with military options to accelerate the war against ISIS in Syria that could send additional US troops into direct combat, CNN has learned.
Washington Examiner Government watchdog: Federal debt is ‘unsustainable’ . The mounting federal debt is unsustainable and Congress will have to consider reforming the entire government to bring it under control, a government watchdog agency warned Tuesday. The Government Accountability Office said in a report sent to the president and congressional leaders that the federal government is “highly leveraged in debt by historical norms and on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path caused by a structural imbalance between revenue and spending.” A plan to stabilize the debt is “essential” to meeting the government’s military and social promises, the report concluded, and to prepare for future contingencies such as wars or natural disasters. That plan will also need to include controversial reforms like changes to retirement and other entitlement programs or tax hikes, the watchdog said
DefenseOne A Pledge for More of the Same at the Pentagon. James Mattis has no new ideas for solving America’s most intractable conflicts. Neither does congress.
Task and Purpose McCain Proposes Plan To Completely Reverse Obama’s Defense Sequester. If implemented, McCain’s plan would significantly boost personnel numbers and fleet sizes across the military
Stars and Stripes Under Trump’s spotlight, NATO chiefs see larger counterterrorism role. NATO’s top commander expects the alliance to play a larger role in counter-terrorism efforts, signaling that allies could be prepared to place greater focus on an issue of concern for the incoming Trump administration.
Voice of America Prospect of Warming US-Russia Ties Worries China. President-elect Donald Trump’s hints ties with Moscow could improve after he assumes office has been a source of controversy and heated debate in the United States. And that is unlikely to go away after his inauguration later this week.
Associated Press Lithuania signs agreement with U.S. on troop deployment. Lithuania on Tuesday signed an agreement with the United States formalizing the presence of U.S. troops in the small Baltic country bordering Russia and Belarus.
Defense News Trump and Boeing CEO Look to Downscale Requirements on Air Force One Replacement. Boeing will reduce the cost of the Air Force One replacement program by adhering to scaled-down requirements and using commercial practices, Boeing head Dennis Muilenburg said after a Tuesday meeting with President-elect Donald Trump.
CNN Congressman renews push that could kill Iran jet deals. A bill has been introduced in Congress that could curtail the jetliner deals between Airbus and Boeing and Iran, offering an early test for the incoming administration and the future of the Iran nuclear deal.
The Hill: Army: Manning to lose transgender benefits. The Army says former private Chelsea Manning will lose her military healthcare benefits following President Obama’s commutation of her prison sentence. “If Pvt. Manning is discharged with a dishonorable discharge, she will lose her entitlement to [military] benefits, including gender-transition care at [military] medical treatment facilities,” Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told USA Today Wednesday.
Military Times: VVA to Obama: Why pardon felons and not suffering Vets? A group of veterans advocates wants to know why President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning and other felons but won’t act on a pardon for thousands of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Hill: Vietnam group asks Obama to pardon Veterans. A veterans service organization is asking President Obama to pardon veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who received a less-than-honorable discharge after the president commuted the prison sentence for former Army soldier Chelsea Manning. “As pardons are being issued to people who have been convicted of serious felonies, veterans who served their country in combat wait to be offered the same clemency,” said John Rowan…
Mankato Free Press (Video): Walz: ‘Everything’s on the table’ for VA this year. There’s going to be big changes to the Department of Veterans Affairs this year, according to U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-First District. The Mankato Democrat believes a united U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs combined with a new presidential administration means 2017 will be a crucial year to set the VA’s direction for decades to come.
Washington Examiner (Video): Rubio renews push to speed up VA firings. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced legislation on Tuesday aimed at allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to make faster decisions to fire or demote corrupt or negligent officials. The VA has been under fire for more than two years now, following the 2014 scandal in which the department was found to be systematically covering up long healthcare wait times.
Stars and Stripes: Bob McDonald’s legacy: Trying to fix the VA amid constant conflict. During his two and a half years as the face of the VA, an agency trying to climb its way out of disgrace, McDonald was often criticized. But in his final weeks, he saw an outpouring of support, gaining endorsements from more than 25 veterans organizations to retain his position as VA secretary and continue his transformation initiative, “MyVA.” Many leaders of veterans groups, like Brown’s, praised his receptiveness and hard work.
NPR (Audio): Does Pick of Shulkin As VA Head Indicate Trump’s View Are Evolving? Advocates were surprised that Trump chose top VA official David Shulkin as his pick to run the full department. What concerns them is Trump’s support for increasing the privatization of VA services.
Federal Practitioner: VA Program Rewards Innovators and Best Practices, Diffusion of Excellence Identifies and Spreads Innovative Health Care Programs Across the VA. In December 2016, Federal Practitioner sat down with Shereef M. Elnahal, MD, MBA, VHA chief quality & safety officer, to discuss the VA Diffusion of Excellence (VADOE) program, which seeks to change VA culture and reward employees who have developed innovative programs that increase patient satisfaction…
ATD: Veterans Health Administration: Meeting the Learning Challenge. For the Veterans Health Administration, providing educational opportunities for nearly 300,000 employees at more than 1,700 care sites required it to build a complex, virtual training environment. Meanwhile, the constant evolution of the healthcare industry means that new information and learning must be available on an almost day-to-day basis. Here, VHA Chief Learning Officer Jim Warner talks about what it takes to maintain and deliver learning on such a massive scale.
The Seattle Times: Injured Veterans Will Be Covered for fertility Services. New VA coverage will start Thursday to cover the costs of assisted reproductive technology for veterans who, due to service injuries, are unable to conceive. The federal Department of Veterans Affairs announced Wednesday it will cover the costs of assisted reproductive technology because of service-related injuries.
Leavenworth Times: Veteran says VA saved his life. Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, James Trumble said he always wanted to join the Army. He remembers playing Army as a youngster. “What little kid didn’t play Army?” he said. Trumble enlisted in the Army at the age of 24. In 2007, he was deployed near Baghdad, Iraq. It didn’t take long before he was in the fight.
The Hartsville Vidette: Veterans have new access to PTSD treatment. Amber Russell, the Veterans Service Officer for Trousdale County, is encouraging veterans who may be having trouble with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to seek help through her office. The Department of Veterans Affairs is now offering a residential treatment program for veterans in Middle Tennessee dealing with PTSD or with substance abuse.
Task and Purpose No, Veterans Are Not More Likely To Go On Shooting Sprees. Despite the trope of the broken combat veteran, service members don’t have a propensity for violence
The Washington Times (AP): ‘Candy Man’ agrees to surrender medical license. A former Tomah Veterans Administration Medical Center doctor accused of over prescribing opioids has agreed to surrender his medical license, documents released Wednesday show. David Houlihan signed an agreement with the state Department of Safety and Professional Services on Jan. 10, the documents show. The state Medical Examining Board accepted the agreement on Wednesday, finalizing it.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Fired Tomah VA chief to surrender medical license. The psychiatrist at the center of an opioid scandal at the troubled Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center has agreed to surrender his medical license, under an agreement reached Wednesday with state regulators. Under the deal, David J. Houlihan agreed never to apply for a medical license in the state, in exchange for state regulators dropping their investigation into his actions at Tomah and not seeking reimbursement for the probe.
Task and Purpose Wingsuited Madman Risks His Life for Veterans Charity. One of the most experienced wingsuiters in the world is making a big jump to raise money for veterans
POLITICO Morning Defense for Monday, January 23, 2017. A Daily Briefing from Inside Washington’s National Security.
Your 6:00 am GovConWire – Top News from Executive Mosaic. http://us4.campaign-archive1.
Your 12:00 pm Daily ExecutiveBiz Headlines.
Your 5:00 pm Daily ExecutiveBiz Headlines.
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 January 19 – February 19, 2017.
Schedule of Training Events for Virginia Department of Veterans Services, Virginia Values Veterans V3 Program for the period January 6 – 27, 2017. http://campaign.r20.
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation – List of Job Fairs. Updated every quarter. Sent in by our fellow Veteran, Jorge Cruz, Maryland, DLLR, U.S. Army (Ret).http://www.dllr.maryland.gov/
Updated List of 2016-2017 Job ZONE Job Fairs for DC, MD, VA area. Sent in by our friend Janet Giles, President/CEO, Job ZONE. https://www.jobzoneonline.com/
Updated Federal Business Council (FBC) List of Conferences and Events for Period January through March 2017: Lot of events going on. https://www.fbcinc.com/
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, PTSD Unit, Lyons, NJ Visit to the Vietnam Memorial. Wednesday, January 25, 2017. Please join Chapter 227 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, in welcoming our fellow Veterans to Washington, D.C. and to a visit of the Vietnam Memorial. Their estimated time of arrival is 11:15 AM -11:30 AM, so please assemble at the flagpole by 11:00 AM. Read more……
Marine For Life – Veteran & Employer/Corporate…
Women As Veteran Entrepreneurs (WAVE) Update on the SBA Mentor Protégé Program-WAVE Policy Update Breakfast 2017. January 31, 2017, 8:30 am-11:30 am, The Women’s Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery. Cost $50 pre-registration. Go here for details and to register. https://2017wavepolicyupdate.
National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) Wednesday, February 8, 2017, Washington, D.C. 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/
U.S. Commerce Department’s “Veterans-only” Trade Mission to Vietnam & Singapore scheduled for March 6 through 10, 2017. Please pass along. Thanks to our good friend Colonel Ray Jardine, U.S. Army (Ret) in Hawaii, and amazing Veterans Advocate for getting this word to us. Aloha Ray and thanks! Go here to learn more and to register: https://build.export.gov/main/
Women Veterans Alliance 3-day Spring Unconference “Nourish Your Soul” March 24th-26th, 2017, Sacramento, California. For more information: http://www.
Women Veterans Alliance 3-day Fall Unconference “Nourish Your Soul” October 13th-16th, 2017, City of Industry, California. For more information: http://www.
– See more at: http://hireourheroes.com/blog/35/veterans-news-for-january-24-2017-hire-our-heroes-veteran-job-board/#sthash.RC74uGA6.dpuf
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