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May 15, 2017, Veterans Affairs Media Summary and News Clips. Read here…
Department of Veterans Affairs List of Vacant and Underutilized Buildings.Read here…
A Variety of Veterans News from a Variety of Sources
PTSD: This year’s National VA Research Week.http://www.research.va.gov/researchweek/default.cfm), May 15–19, marks 92 years of high-quality research focused on Veterans. The program began in 1925, with studies on malaria and other issues affecting World War I Veterans. It continues strong in 2017, with leading-edge research on traumatic brain injury, PTSD, chronic disease, and other health problems common among today’s Veterans. A 2016 study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26324104) by researchers at VA’s National Center for PTSD, the VA Boston Healthcare System, and the Boston University Healthcare System identified a gene, SKA2, that could potentially be used as a biomarker to help predict, before deployments, which service members may be more at risk to develop severe PTSD as the result of a high lifetime burden of stress and subsequent combat exposures. Researchers examined MRI brain scans and blood samples from 200 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. They found a chemical change had switched off the function of the SKA2 gene in some of the Veterans. The change in brain chemistry correlated with greater PTSD severity. While more research is needed, the study suggests that in the future it may be possible to use genetic blood tests to help assess the susceptibility of service members for combat-related PTSD. To learn more about VA research: http://www.research.va.gov/.
Stars and Stripes Trump says it’s possible he could pick FBI head by next week. President Donald Trump said Saturday that “we can make a fast decision” on a new FBI director, possibly by late next week, before he leaves on his first foreign trip since taking office.
Associated Press Mattis makes clear US commitment to protecting Turkey. Pentagon chief Jim Mattis on Thursday made clear that America is committed to protecting Turkey, a NATO ally upset the Trump administration has agreed to arm anti-Islamic State fighters in Syria that Turkey considers terrorists.
South China Morning Post North Korea ‘seizes moment’ to test missile. North Korea tested a ballistic missile early on Sunday, casting a shadow over China’s biggest diplomatic event of the year and disrupting momentum towards a resumption of talks over its weapons programme.
Stars and Stripes UN Security Council to hold urgent consultations on North Korea missile test. The U.N. Security Council will hold urgent consultations on North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea.
Federal Times Enterprise View: How Army HQ is going paperless in under a year. When the new Army Chief of Staff wanted the mountains of paper off his desk, it was up to Lt. Col. (P) Michael Gilligan and his team to find a way to automate headquarters’ systems. Little more than a year later, the project is now its own office – Army Enterprise Staff Management Systems, or AESMS – with plans to have all of Army HQ paperless by July.
Stars and Stripes US military doubles number of recognized religions to 221. Last month, the Department of Defense released a complete list of the religions it recognizes, including some that hadn’t been recognized by all branches in the past. On the list are heathenry, humanism, paganism, Wicca and more.
ABC News (AP): AP Explains: How lawmakers get their healthcare. Republican Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot who at 80 has had several health setbacks, gets his coverage from the Department of Veterans Affairs. House leaders, like Speaker Paul Ryan, get their coverage through the Affordable Care Act, as do many members of Congress.
The Hill: Congress must act to better the healthcare of America’s Veterans. It’s been three years since crisis and controversy rocked the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. Decisions about how to strengthen and reform VA healthcare must be made this year, as the only response enacted by Congress, the troubled Choice Act, is set to expire once funding runs out.
Washington Examiner: Trump nominates four administration officials, including VA, EPA. President Trump nominated four additional members to his administration, including a top official at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the White House announced Friday evening. Trump promoted current Veterans Affairs senior adviser Brooks Tucker to assistant secretary of congressional and legislative affairs.
Military Times: Trump’s promised hotline for Veterans remain unfilled. Nearly four months into his presidency, Donald Trump’s White House has not set up a promised hotline for veterans’ complaints that he vowed would speed up reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The idea was part of candidate Trump’s 10-point plan to help veterans unveiled last July. Most of the other promises are also unfulfilled, although several will require cooperation from Congress regarding additional funding or new legal authorities.
The Washington Post: Efforts for fast-track rules on firing VA workers gains bipartisan momentum. Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill have reached a bipartisan deal on legislation to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to take swift action to fire employees, an overhaul of long-guaranteed civil service protections that President Trump promised he would enact to bring accountability to the troubled agency.
Times Leader: Local union members rally against proposed law they say will hurt workers. The head of a union local for U.S. government employees says the federal workforce is angry. “We have done what we are supposed to do throughout our lives, followed the rule of law, stayed in school, some of have even went on to higher education,” John Walton Jr. said Saturday at a rally in Kirby Park.
The Washington Post: Nation needs due process for feds that Comey didn’t get. On the same day President Trump plunged the nation into crisis by sacking the FBI director, a court ruling demonstrated the importance of due process for federal employees being fired. As a political appointee, James B. Comey didn’t have the same protection as civil servants. If some in Congress get their way, those regular working folks, particularly in the Department of Veterans Affairs, would be almost as defenseless as he was.
Stars and Stripes: ’Shark Tank’-style competition aims to help solve problems in the VA. The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking to its employees for new ideas to combat its oldest and biggest challenges, and it will screen potential solutions in a competition similar to the ABC reality show “Shark Tank.”
ABC News (AP): 2 new initiatives for US Veterans’ care coming to Colorado. Two civilian initiatives are coming to Colorado to help veterans and their families deal with traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress and other problems, the University of Colorado said Friday. A five-year, $38 million gift from the Marcus Foundation will create the Marcus Institute for Brain Health at the university’s Anschutz Medical Campus in the Denver suburb of Aurora, helping veterans manage the lingering effects of service-related concussions.
Patient Engagement HIT: VA Deal Drives Patient Education on Mental Health Treatment. The VA and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US (VFW) have partnered with Walgreens to improve patient education about mental healthcare access, suicide prevention, and opioid abuse. The partnership will support overcoming mental and behavioral health and addiction obstacles by offering stronger patient education materials and more ample access to support systems.
The Augusta Chronicle: Veterans get creative through museum-hospital partnership. When Christine Maher heard about a self-portrait class at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center’s Uptown Division, she knew exactly how she wanted to paint herself. “I’m bi-polar so I want to cut the face in half to show the different sides of my character,” said Maher, an inpatient receiving treatment at the hospital.
Military Times: VA officials still searching for fixes to caregiver stipend program. Veterans Affairs officials planned three-week review of the department caregiver program will now stretch into late June, to “provide clarity” on enrollment rules for the program. Last month, VA Secretary David Shulkin announced the program review — and a halt to any new dismissals from the program — after an NPR report that dozens of regional medical centers were cutting back on the number of families receiving caregiver benefits, possibly against VA rules.
Health Data Management: VA digitizing old paper records to speed Veteran disability claims. The Department of Veterans Affairs is undertaking a major modernization effort to digitize millions of old inactive paper records with the goal of reducing processing times for disability claims. Among its compensation programs, the Veterans Benefits Administration provides direct payments to veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.
Truthout: For-Profit Colleges Are Reinventing Themselves to Profit Off Low-Income Students. Veterans are a particularly receptive and lucrative target. Will Hubbard, vice president at the Washington, DC-based Student Veterans of America says that his group tries to educate service members about proprietary programs. “There is a cottage industry that creates lists of supposedly military-friendly schools. These lists are largely inaccurate,” he says.
WINK (CBS-11, Video): First-of-its-kind food truck to feed hungry Veterans. A first-of-its-kind food truck aims to help feed hungry veterans. The Community Cooperative’s food truck made its first delivery to more than 100 veterans and their families on Friday to the Lee County Veterans Affairs Healthcare Center in Cape Coral.
Journal-News: Veteran guilty of $20,000 in fraudulent travel expenses. An area veteran pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to submitting fraudulent claims for the miles he said he drove to get treatment at the Dayton Veterans Administration Medical Center. Troy J. Miller, 33, allegedly submitted travel voucher expenses of $19,974.59 from August 2014 through August 2015, saying that he had been driving to the VAMC from Lima when he actually was traveling from places within Dayton, according to a bill of information.
Inside Edition (Video): World’s Oldest Living World War II Veteran and Whiskey Fan Turns 111. Richard Overton, the world’s oldest living World War II veteran, has turned 111 years old. The Austin, Texas, resident, who served in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, was treated like a king as he turned another year older on Thursday — and even got a street named after him.
The Washington Times (AP): One of the Nation’s oldest Veterans honored on 111th birthday. One of the nation’s oldest veterans has been celebrated by his Texas hometown on his 111th birthday. Austin Mayor Steve Adler declared Thursday Richard Overton Day in the city and also gave the street he has lived on for the past 45 years the honorary name of Richard Overton Avenue.
Federal Asian Pacific American Council – 32nd National Leadership Training Program. May 15 – 18, 2017, with Veteran-specific Panels slated for May 17, 2017. Location: Rockville Hilton, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-1699. For additional information and to register: https://fapac.org/nltp2017/ Following is the May 17 Agenda with information on the Veteran Panels:
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 email@example.com 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.firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective Rally Point (ORP). Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 7:15 AM – 9:00 AM, Army-Navy Country Club, 1700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. You are invited to join us for our monthly Veteran networking breakfast on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. ORP is a forum for military Veterans in business and those who support them, or wish to team with them, to meet and connect. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to network with other Veterans committed to success in business. Although the focus of ORP is on the connections made between and with Veterans, we do have a presentation each month. This month we have MG Richard Sherlock (USA Ret.) as our guest speaker. MG Sherlock will discuss applying leadership lessons learned in the military to civilian life. It isn’t enough that military service has given Veterans leadership ability if those skills cannot be translated into the civilian market. MG Sherlock will also discuss his experience transitioning to leading two large non-profits and provide insight into what to look for when supporting a Veteran focused non-profit. Cost is $35.00. For more information and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/objective-rally-point-may-2017-tickets-34359887348
Veterans History Project Panel Discussion: VHP and National Institute of Corrections Explore – The Effects of PTSD on Crime and Recidivism. At Noon on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, a panel will speak on the effects of PTSD on veterans and how the Veterans Treatment Courts (VTC) support those who have run afoul of the law by proving appropriate treatment. The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress will host a panel discussion on the effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the veteran community. For details and to register, go here…..
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…
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: