Veterans News & Events as of June 8th, 2017 | Hire Our Heroes
(Please Note: The Veterans News compiled and transmitted by Wayne M. Gatewood, Jr., USMC (Ret), does not endorse the views and/or facts presented, or any commercial products that may be advertised or available on external links. The presence of a link to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of that site, or the views or privacy policies contained therein).
Associated Press Pentagon report cites China military buildup around world. China’s construction of a military outpost in Djibouti is just the first of what will likely be an ongoing expansion in friendly foreign ports around the world to support distant deployments, a new Pentagon report concludes, predicting that Pakistan may be another potential location.
Military Times Trump nominates former Ranger for Army Undersecretary. President Donald Trump officially nominated former Army Ranger Ryan McCarthy as Undersecretary of the Army on Tuesday, putting him in line for the service’s second ranking post and a possible temporary promotion to the top job.
Washington Examiner Military chiefs set for budget grilling on Capitol Hill this week. Today begins a string of budget hearings on the Hill, when members of Congress will be grilling Pentagon officials about whether the president’s $575 billion baseline budget is an adequate down payment on rebuilding America’s beleaguered military. This week, it’s the service secretaries and chiefs appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and next week it’s Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, beginning with a rare 7 p.m. hearing of the House Armed Services Committee Monday night, and at least one other daytime appearance later in the week.
Navy Times NAVSEA boss: Mothballed ships not a major factor in fleet buildup. It was a compelling image in 1982: The president of the United States standing in the shadow of the battleship New Jersey’s enormous 16-inch guns, recommissioning the World War II behemoth for a final run in the fleet — the centerpiece of Ronald Reagan’s famed goal of a 600-ship Navy.
The HillSherman Gillums Jr: For VA, Accountability and Risk Make For Strange But Necessary Bedfellows. Tomorrow, the public and Congress will hear VA’s plan to reform healthcare for nearly 9 million veterans that will involve the expansion of non-VA community care. Like the debate that sparked earlier this week over which electronic health record system to adopt, the VA Choice Care debate on pushing more care outside of VA spans years prior to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin’ s leadership. It is a debate that has been colored by controversy as the discussion evolved from a voucher system, to privatization, to Choice Care—all of which are long decried by some as attempts to completely erode VA. Other evidence, however, belies such charges. For instance, the secretary’s recently authorized
Military Times: Senate passes new rule for firing VA employees. As promised, Senate lawmakers on Tuesday passed new accountability rules for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the hopes of putting the legislation on the president’s desk by the end of June. The measure, which passed by a voice vote, eases firing rules for VA employees and allows department leaders to pull back bonuses and other specialty pays from individuals found guilty of wrongdoing.
ABC News (AP): Senate Oks bill to make firing employees easier for VA. The Senate approved broad legislation Tuesday to make firing employees easier for the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs, part of an accountability effort urged by President Donald Trump following years of high-profile problems. The bipartisan measure passed by voice vote. It comes more than three years after a 2014 scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center, where some veterans died while waiting months for appointments.
The Washington Post (PowerPost): Congress clears Trump-backed bill to fast-tracking firing of VA workers. The Senate cleared a path Tuesday evening for the Department of Veterans Affairs to take swift action to fire and discipline problem employees, overhauling long-guaranteed job protections that Republicans would like to change across the federal workforce. Following a voice vote — and action in the House earlier this year — a bipartisan bill is expected to arrive quickly on the desk of President Trump…
The Hill: Senate backs bill making it easier to fire VA employees. The Senate easily approved legislation on Tuesday making it easier to fire Department of Veterans Affairs employees. The bill, which passed by a voice vote, would speed up how quickly VA Secretary David Shulkin could fire senior and rank-and-file employees, and allow the VA to take back bonuses if an employee is convicted of a job-related felony.
The Hill: Curtailing use of ‘official time’ in VA will benefit Veterans care. A recent op-ed in The Hill by Jeff Shapiro, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees’ Veterans Affairs Council, (“A true labor-management partnership at the VA,” June 5) criticizes a legislative proposal that would curtail use of “official time,” paid time off for federal employees to perform union business.
The Forum: Caldwell: VA Act would prevent abuse and neglect of Veterans. A crisis of culture is the only way to describe the steady stream of scandals from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since horrifying reports of veterans dying while awaiting care at the Phoenix VA hospital over three years ago, two presidents and three VA secretaries have pledged to fix problems plaguing the department.
KDFW (FOX-4, Video): New Veterans Administration Secretary Pushes for Changes. Military lawyer Patrick McLain served in the Marines and is a former military judge advocating for vets and active duty personnel. “We have a lot of veterans who are homeless have mental health issues and getting reliable backgrounds from them is not always possible,” McLain said. “You need those medical records to give them proper treatment.”
Politico: Shulkin’s move to dump VistA seen as bold, risky. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ decision Monday to scrap its homegrown electronic health records system in favor of a commercial vendor’s software won praise in Congress but sparked jitters among longtime IT experts who see dangers that the decision could end up damaging the VA health care system.
FOX Business (Video): Department of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin: Modernizing technology a top priority. U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin rolled out a new effort on Monday to overhaul the VA’s Electronic Health Record system to improve coverage for veterans. “Technology is becoming so important to the way we manage all of our decisions, especially health care,” Shulkin said during an appearance on the FOX Business Network.
WFED (AM-1500): Dr. Shulkin Commits VA To Major Surgery. Dr. David Shulkin has either made a dramatic and long-overdue change, or he’s stomped on a hornet’s nest and unleashed furies that’ll eat him alive. The new Veterans Affairs secretary certainly showed he’s a decision-maker by announcing VA will abandon its decades-old Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture, or VistA.
Psychiatry Advisor: Eating Disorders as a Result of Military Sexual Trauma in Veterans. Veterans who experienced military sexual trauma (MST) are at higher risk for post-deployment eating disorders (EDs), according to a new study1 conducted by Rebecca Blais, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, Utah State University in Logan, and colleagues. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) MST affects 25% of female and 1% of male veterans and includes “any sexual activity where a service member is involved against his or her will.”
The Times: LSU Health Chancellor Looks to Deepen Ties to VA. The chancellor of the LSU medical school in Shreveport met Tuesday with the top Veterans Affairs chief to pitch a closer partnership with Overton Brooks VA Medical Center. Dr. G.E. Ghali, med school chancellor, met in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. Also attending was U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana, whose district includes Monroe.
Boston Herald: Error leave Boston Vets shortchanged. Some veterans have been denied the monthly income they deserve for war-related injuries due to high error rates at the troubled Boston VA — a dismal showing advocates blame on sloppy work due to quotas. The local Veterans Administration benefits office was ranked the second-least accurate in the North Atlantic region — with only Baltimore rated lower, according to a Herald review of the latest data available.
Daily KOS: So Now They’re After Disabled Veterans benefits/Pay Too… Almost 2 weeks ago now, the Department of Veterans Affairs/VA Budget was released. In it they’re trying to do away with pay/benefits to Service Connected Severely Disabled Veterans injured from serving our Country, if they are eligible for Social Security, no matter how small the amount from Social Security. Since many veterans are injured at a fairly young age, they don’t have the time/salary to build-up a decent Social Security check…
Los Angeles Times: Advocates denounce VA delays in developing housing for homeless Veterans at West LA site. A week after officials disclosed a 57% rise in Los Angeles’ veteran homelessness, advocates say the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is delaying housing development on its West Los Angeles campus. A report to be released Tuesday from Vets Advocacy, a non-profit group created to oversee the development, accuses the federal agency of stalling development of a model community for 1,200 homeless veterans on its long-neglected 388-acre campus.
KENS (CBS-5, Video): Volunteers needed to keep lonely Veterans company in the hospital. You might remember Jacob Mitchell. He’s an Air Force veteran once alone in the ICU and was soon after reunited with his mother, thanks to the help of Military City USA. As KENS 5 covered his story, we learned his case is not unusual. A lot of veterans find themselves at the hospital for days or even weeks, and they never get visitors.
The Tennessean: Rep. John Duncan among congressmen pushing VA to sell boutique hotel in France. Tennessee Congressman John Duncan is among a cohort of lawmakers that have filed a bill that would force the VA to sell a boutique hotel in France and use the money to maintain cemeteries and memorials. In a release, Duncan said the VA owns Pershing Hall, a boutique hotel in downtown Paris named for General John J. Pershing, the senior U.S. commander in World War I.
Stars and Stripes New National WWII Museum exhibit looks at fight on home front. A rusted fragment of the battleship USS Arizona sunk at Pearl Harbor, a woman’s munitions plant uniform and ration books all tell the complex story of life on the home front in a new exhibit at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans
The Intercept Top-secret NSA report details Russian hacking effort days before 2016 election. Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.
Washington Post Contractor charged in NSA document leak case. A 25-year-old government contractor has been charged with mishandling classified information after authorities say she gave a top-secret National Security Agency document to a news organization.
Stars and Stripes NATO inducts Montenegro as 29th member. The tiny Balkan nation of Montenegro will become NATO’s 29th member state on Monday, joining the 68-year-old military alliance and the mutual defense security umbrella it offers.
Associated Press 75th anniversary of Battle of Midway marked in San Diego. Seven veterans of the Battle of Midway on Monday joined about 1,000 people aboard a retired U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to mark the 75th anniversary of the turning point in World War II’s Pacific Ocean theater.
Defense News New Air Force head calls for end to defense budget caps. During her first speech as the civilian head of the Air Force on Monday, Secretary Heather Wilson reiterated a plea to Congress to remove mandatory budget caps that she argued hampered the service’s plans to boost the structure, improve readiness and modernize its aging aircraft inventory.
Stars and Stripes Air Force announces pilot bonus tiers. Air Force pilots who are eligible will receive an extra $10,000 to $35,000 annually for staying in the service, the Air Force announced Monday.
The Hill: A true labor-management partnership at the VA. In recent weeks Congress has continued to wage war against working Americans and their right to earn a decent living. Legislation that decreases employees’ rights and damages labor and management collaboration not only harms workers, but also weakens the government institutions like Veterans Affairs (VA) that millions of Americans depend on.
Washington Examiner (Video): Senate to vote on bill making it easier to fire Veterans Affairs employees. The full Senate will vote Tuesday on bipartisan legislation to reform civil service protections at the Department of Veterans Affairs, making it easier and faster to fire employees, including executives, and remove them from the payroll should they contest their dismissal. “I am thrilled to see the Senate moving quickly on this important piece of legislation, and I encourage my colleagues to support this measure as we take steps to change the culture…
WFED (AM-1500): VA appoints new HR assistant secretary. The Veterans Affairs Department has a new human resources director. VA appointed Peter Shelby to be the department’s new assistant for human resources and administration. His LinkedIn page indicates that he has been on the job since May. Shelby has a long career in HR, both in the public and private sectors.
ABC News (AP): VA Secretary: New System of Electronic Health Records Underway. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be overhauling its electronic health records, adopting a commercial product used by the Pentagon that he hopes will improve care for veterans and reduce wait times for medical appointments, Secretary David Shulkin said Monday. Shulkin made the announcement at a news conference following a promotional tweet by President Donald Trump that it will “be a big day for our veterans.”
Military Times: VA to use DoD’s electronic medical records system. Veterans Affairs administrators on Monday announced plans to shift veterans’ electronic medical records to the same system used by the Defense Department, potentially ending a decades-old problematic rift in sharing information between the two bureaucracies. VA Secretary David Shulkin announced the decision Monday as a game-changing move, one that will pull his department into the commercial medical record sector and — he hopes — create an easier to navigate system for troops leaving the ranks.
The Wall Street Journal: Veterans Affairs to Adopt Medical-records System Defense Department Uses. The head of the Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday the agency will scrap its current electronic-records system and use the same system as the one now operating at the Defense Department. Dr. David Shulkin, the VA secretary, said the department will transition away from its antiquated electronic-records system and use a system interoperable with that used by the Defense Department…
USA Today: VA taps Cerner for new Veterans medical record system. The secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs says veterans shouldn’t have to wait for a better medical record system, so he’s citing a public interest exception to federal contracting rules and tapping a private company — without competitive bidding — to build a new system. Secretary David Shulkin said Monday the department will use Cerner Corp., the same company modernizing medical record keeping for the Department of Defense.
Charlotte Observer: A fall left a man paralyzed, now a robotic ‘exoskeleton’ lets him walk again. Five years after he fell while building a treehouse, paralyzing him from the waist down, Scot Mills stood from his chair at Carolinas Rehabilitation on Monday and took a stroll outdoors. He did it while strapped to a robotic “exoskeleton,” a device named after the rigid outer covers that in nature supports and protects insects, spiders and shellfish.
Psych Central: Deployment Stress May Impact Male, Female Veterans Differently. “Our study illustrates the complex interplay between specific military exposures, mental health, and subsequent post deployment well-being between the genders,” said lead author Brian Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and research psychologist in the Women’s Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System.
The Washington Post (PowerPost): Will VA Chief be voice of reason on climate change and medical marijuana in Trump administration? After Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin delivered his “State of VA” speech, his problem-plagued department was, unexpectedly, connected to two highly contentious political issues – climate change and medical marijuana. Shulkin didn’t mention either controversy during his prepared remarks, delivered in the White House briefing room Wednesday for increased exposure, but they were raised in back-to-back questions from reporters.
The Hill: VA appeals reform bill strips due process from Veterans. With a burgeoning Veterans Affairs (VA) appeal backlog Congress and the VA, as well as a few Veterans Service Organizations, have been trying to develop a proposal to streamline the process and attack the appeals backlog. Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (HR 2288) that recently passed the House was the result.
Stars and Stripes Soldier whose stolen-valor scam began in Iraq will end in prison. After lying about a rocket in Iraq, post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury; after bilking 16 agencies out of more than $600,000; and after copping to two counts of fraud last year, former National Guard soldier Darryl Lee Wright is going to prison, a Washington state U.S. attorney’s office said.
Stars and Stripes Unsealed 75 years after the Battle of Midway: New details of an alarming WWII press leak. “Jap Fleet Smashed by U.S.; 2 Carriers Sunk at Midway: 13 to 15 Nippon Ships Hit; Pacific Battle Rages,” the front-page headlines read. And in the center of the page, an intriguing side story: “Navy Had Word of Jap Plan to Strike at Sea.” It was a fascinating, and detailed, description of much of what American intelligence knew beforehand of the enemy’s fleet and plans. Indeed, it was too detailed.
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 June 8 – 22, 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.
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!
Corporate Gray Military-Friendly Job Fair – June 22, 2017, Springfield, VA. You are invited to attend the June 22, 2017, Corporate Gray Military-Friendly Job Fair and meet face-to-face with representatives from Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton, CSRA, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Leidos, MillerCoors, New York Life, AECOM, PenFed, Fulcrum IT, YRCI, LMI, and more! For more information and to register for the event, visit www.corporategray.com/jobfairs/385. By pre-registering and uploading your resume, you’ll receive the job fair employer directory in advance, and give the participating companies early access to your credentials. Also, so Flyer here…
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…
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: