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A Variety of Veterans News from a Variety of Sources
Veterans Share their Advice for Coping With TBI: There are many causes of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as car accidents, playing sports, or the impact of a nearby blast during military service.
Roll Call Trump Huddles With GOP Senators as McConnell Issues Warning. President Donald Trump summoned Senate Republicans to the White House on Tuesday to discuss differences that are holding up a GOP leadership crafted health bill, declaring talks are “very close” to producing a deal and that it would be “OK” if the effort fails.The Republican senators boarded busses outside the Capitol and made the short trek down Pennsylvania Avenue shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced a vote on a still-evolving health overhaul measure would be delayed until after next week’s July Fourth recess. The move offered Trump, who held a Rose Garden victory celebration after the House passed its version in May, an opportunity to again cast himself as the dealmaker in chief.
US News and World ReportMajor Veterans’ Group Voice Concern Over Senate Health Bill. Major veterans’ organizations are voicing concerns about a Senate GOP bill to repeal the nation’s health care law, fearing the impact of rising insurance costs and worried the underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs won’t be able to fill the coverage gap. While there are more than 21 million veterans in the U.S., only about 8 million receive health care from the VA. The others rely on Medicaid, purchase insurance on state or federal exchanges, have employer-provided insurance or have no coverage at all.
ABC News (AP): Major Veterans’ group state their concerns over Senate Health Bill. Major veterans’ organizations are voicing concerns about a Senate GOP bill to repeal the nation’s health care law, fearing the impact of rising insurance costs and worried the underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs won’t be able to fill the coverage gap.
ABC News (AP): The Latest: McConnell Says Good Progress made On Health Bill. Major veterans’ organizations are voicing concerns about a Senate Republican bill to repeal the nation’s health care law. They fear the impact of rising insurance costs and are worried the underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs won’t be able to fill the coverage gap.
Stars and Stripes New cyberattack wallops Europe; spreads more slowly in US. A new and highly virulent outbreak of data-scrambling software caused disruption across the world Tuesday. Following a similar attack in May , the fresh assault paralyzed some hospitals, government offices and major multinational corporations in a dramatic demonstration of how easily malicious programs can bring daily life to a halt.
New York Times U.S. Has Seen Chemical Weapons Activity in Syria, Pentagon Says. American officials have seen chemical weapons activity at a Syrian air base that was used in the spring nerve gas attack on rebel-held territory, the Defense Department said on Tuesday, scrambling to explain what prompted a White House statement a day earlier that Syria would “pay a heavy price” if it carried out another one.
Defense News Thornberry wins pledge to grow DoD budgets, but will it stick? House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry confirmed Tuesday he secured a commitment from House GOP leaders for 15 percent defense budget growth over three years as part of an emerging budget deal.
Stars and Stripes House members want taxpayer money to hire personal security. House of Representatives lawmakers want $25,000 each to hire private security right away to protect them in their home districts, an unusually quick, bipartisan response to the shooting of a Republican House leader and others at a baseball practice.
Navy Times Navy Times’ Sailor of the Year is a combat vet and an all-star volunteer. The high point of Information Systems Technician 1st Class (IW/EXW) Justin Sullivan’s Navy career was a four-year tour with Navy Special Warfare Group Two’s mobile communication team, deploying alongside the elite SEALs all over the world — including Afghanistan, where he served two combat tours at remote operating bases.
Navy Times Navy Times Coast Guardsman of the Year spearheads nonprofit in Honduras. Electrician’s Mate 1st Class William Gore gets the job done on the ship — supervisors agree he’s one of the hardest working and effective guys they have. But its what Gore does off the clock that earns him the title of Military Times’ 2017 Coast Guard Service Member of the Year.
Nextgov: White House Office of American Innovation Lays Out Priorities. The White House Office of American Innovation announced in March has been an object of fascination among the government community. Led by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the collection of White House talent has been described as a “SWAT team of internal consultants” and a liaison between federal bureaucracies and Silicon Valley innovation.
The Fiscal Times: How a No-Show Worker Scammed the VA out of $100,000. For years, the federal government has been wracked by problems of employees failing to show up at the office or abusing teleworking arrangements. A classic example occurred during the Obama administration when at least 19 paralegals at the Commerce Department’s Patent and Trademark Office were allowed to work from home.
FOX News (Video): Trump’s breakthrough for Veterans. One of President Trump’s most important promises throughout the campaign was to ensure that American veterans receive the respect and care they deserve. Just months into his presidency, this is a promise on which he has delivered. First, the president’s decision to nominate Dr. David Shulkin as secretary of Veterans Affairs was critical.
Federal Times: New VA law to be a blueprint for whole-of-government reform? Ever since the 2014 scandal that wracked the Department of Veteran Affairs, the problem of how to hold federal employees accountable has been on everyone’s mind. On Friday, President Trump sought to put an end to the constant questions and arguments by signing a new law reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Hill: VA accountability should matter to everyone – especially animal lovers. Last Friday, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 was signed into law. Chances are, if you are a veteran, family member of a veteran, or veterans’ advocate, you are well-versed in the need for VA accountability. However, if you’re not a veteran yourself or aren’t directly related to one, you may not know why issues relating to VA accountability should matter to you.
Military Times: VA to open emergency rooms to ‘bad paper’ Vets on July 5. Veterans with other-than-honorable discharges will be able to access Veterans Affairs emergency rooms for urgent mental health care starting July 5, under new rules outlined by department leaders on Tuesday.
Stars and Stripes: As the VA starts mental health care for ‘bad paper’ Veterans, critics say it’s not enough. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Thursday that it would begin offering emergency mental health services starting July 5 to veterans with other-than-honorable discharges – following through on a departmental change that VA Secretary David Shulkin promised in March.
Military Times: Would GI Bill changes affect military recruitment? Changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other education benefits may have little impact on military recruitment and retention, a new study suggests. That’s because many new recruits and service members don’t have a good grasp on how they work, according to a RAND Corporation report evaluating military education benefits.
Healthcare IT News: Senate demands timeline on Cerner HER project for VA, DoD. Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, are calling on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to prepare a timeline for the Cerner installation, in a letter released Thursday.
WLOX (ABC-13, Video): Final wish: Vietnam Vet granted motorcycle escort. A terminally ill Vietnam veteran received his final request Monday, as dozens of bikers from all over the Southeast escorted him to the Biloxi VA hospital from Gulfport Memorial. Hancock County resident Teresa Ladner said she and her family have taken in Army veteran Martin deBie as their own for the past several years.
Stars and Stripes Shining more light on the heroism of black Civil War soldiers. Blacks volunteered and organized for service from the start of the war in 1861. But it was only after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, that they were officially “received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.”
Stars and Stripes Alaska lauds black soldiers’ work on famed WWII highway. Leonard Larkins and nearly 4,000 other segregated black soldiers helped build a highway across Alaska and Canada during World War II, a contribution largely ignored for decades but drawing attention as the 75th anniversary approaches.
Associated Press Trump travel ban partly reinstated; fall court arguments set. The Supreme Court is allowing President Donald Trump to forge ahead with a limited version of his ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to the U.S. Trump hailed the decision as a “victory for national security,” but it’s likely to set off a new round of court disputes over anti-terror efforts and religious discrimination.
Stars and Stripes Supreme Court partly reinstates Trump’s travel ban; fall arguments set. The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go forward with a limited version of its ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries, a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.
Stars and Stripes Marines rekindling old Afghan relations in Helmand Province. In Afghanistan’s turbulent Helmand province, U.S. Marines are rekindling old relationships and identifying weaknesses in the Afghan forces that the Trump administration hopes to address with a new strategy and the targeted infusion of several thousand American forces.
Navy Times Fitzgerald crew ignored warning signs, report says. The captain of the cargo ship that collided with the U.S. destroyer Fitzgerald earlier this month said in a report that the U.S. warship failed to respond to warning signals or take other evasive maneuvers, Reuters reported Monday.
Stars and Stripes CBO audit says Senate health care bill would leave 22 million more uninsured. The Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured in 2026 than under President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday.
Washington Examiner: Finally, the VA has solid, reform-minded leadership. With today’s political polarization, it’s worthwhile to pause and focus on what’s going right in Washington. Let’s start by commending the new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin, for his steady and decisive leadership in the last several months.
Washington Examiner: Obama holdover: Trump style ‘quicker, more decisive’. Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin is a rare bird in the Trump administration, having been a top Obama pick when he was the department’s undersecretary for health through the 2016 election. So, we asked him how things have changed under Trump, and he said it is all for the good.
KATV (ABC-7): Nurses picket at VA hospital to highlight staffing concerns. Around two-dozen nurses gathered to picket outside the Little Rock VA Hospital Monday morning—working to get the attention of commuters, patients, and the VA administration. This following a complaint filed with multiple government agencies alleging understaffing is causing safety concerns. Today, protestors chanted, “safe staffing now.”
The Wall Street Journal: Don’t Extend VA Drug Pricing, Formulary. There is an understandable temptation to compare one government program to another. Walid Gellad does as much in “Medicare Could Learn a Thing or Two From the VA” (op-ed, June 15), in which he argues Medicare should adopt a prescription-drug system specifically tailored for the Department of Veterans Affairs. His piece illustrates the difficulty with those comparisons.
Healthcare IT News: GAO: VA clinical quality measures are flawed, data incomplete. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ clinical quality measures are incomplete and provide an inaccurate reflection of clinical measures, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
EHR Intelligence: Shulkin Details Planned 2018 VA HER Modernization Activities. VA Secretary David Shulkin recently released a statement delving into the specifics of a VA budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2018 and the department’s EHR modernization plans and other health IT investments. The FY 2018 budget submission includes legislative requests proposed to increase financial flexibility at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).
Federal Computer Week: Senators urge VA to lean on DoD in health record push. The chairmen of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Armed Services committees hope the Department of Veterans Affairs will learn from the Pentagon’s commercial health record deal. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin recently announced plans to buy from Cerner, the commercial software provider used by the Department of Defense in its MHS Genesis system, on a sole-source basis.
WUNC (NPR-91.5, The American Homefront Project, Audio): Can Service Dogs help Veterans with PSD? The VA IS Skeptical. A growing number of veterans are acquiring service dogs to help cope with PTSD. But the VA won’t pay for them and says their effectiveness hasn’t been scientifically proven. Some nights, Army veteran Russel Keyser has nightmares that he says are as terrifying as horror movies — vivid dreams that take him back to the savage violence he saw in Kosovo.
WMAR (ABC-2, Video): Maryland VA turning Vets in Peer Support Specialists, Program tackling homelessness, drug abuse, suicide. Many veterans face the biggest fight of their lives after returning home. At the Maryland VA, some of those vets are becoming Peer Support Specialists to help others dealing with issues like homelessness, substance abuse and mental illness. “Having someone to talk to who’s kind of navigated that gives them an idea that, ‘This is a person I can trust,'” said veteran and Peer Specialist Gary Yingling.
The Washington Post: Justices Gorsuch and Sotomayor, in support of Veterans’ disability claims. Here’s Justice Neil M. Gorsuch’s dissent yesterday from denial of certiorari in Mathis v. Shulkin: Lower courts often presume that Department of Veterans Affairs medical examiners are competent to render expert opinions against veterans seeking compensation for disabilities they have suffered during military service. The VA appears to apply the same presumption in its own administrative proceedings.
Associated Press Soldiers in forestry program gain after-service job skills. Sally Gorrill’s career as an engineer in the U.S. Army has taken her to such places as Panama and the Dominican Republic, where she’s built medical clinics. Now, she’s interested in applying her skills toward a new field: forestry.
Non Commissioned Officers Association Annual Conference – July 11 -14, 2017. The Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, NV. Go here for more information and to register for this event: https://www.ncoaconference.org/
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: