Veterans News | January 10, 2017
Veterans News & Events as of January 10, 2017
Military Times – Early Bird Brief for Monday, January 9, 2017.
Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) – “The Evening CSIS” – Presented by H. Andrew Schwartz, CSIS Chief Communication Officer http://us11.campaign-archive1.
Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) Advocate Newsletter for January 9, 2017. https://www.votervoice.net/
Reserve Officers Association (ROA) SmartBrief for Monday, January 9, 2017. http://www2.smartbrief.com/
Washington Technology Daily for January 9, 2017 – Compliments of 1105 Government Information Group.
FCW Daily for January 9, 2017 – Compliments of 1105 Government Information Group
DOD Contracts Awarded on Monday, January 9, 2017.
VFW and SVA Announce 2017 Student Veteran Fellowship Class. Legislative fellowship to bring 10 student veteran leaders to Washington……Read more
From VA – Applications to be accepted for 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games. Event Takes Place in Biloxi, MS, May 7-11, 2017……Read More
Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 227 Newsletter
Regulations Alert USTR 301 Committee Hearing – Submitted by our good friend Major Clark, SBA Office of Advocacy.
Office of the United States Trade Representative-The European Union/the United States Beef Matter. On Wednesday, December 28, 2016, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice for “Public Comments and Hearing Regarding a Request to Reinstate Action Taken in Connection with the European’s Union’s Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products.” The EU bans the import of beef and beef products produced from animals in which six hormones have been administered for growth-production. The effect of the EU ban is to prohibit the import of all but specially-produced U.S. beef and beef products. The entire Federal Register Notice may be read at: https://www.federalregister.
A Variety of Veterans News from a Variety of Sources
Secretary McDonald released his Exit Memo. VA’s memo, available online, covers the past 8 years of serving Veterans, the progress of the MyVA transformation, and a vision for the future.
Military Times More U.S. troops are being wounded in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon quietly acknowledges. At least 14 American military personnel have been wounded in combat since the start of October while battling Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, according to Defense Department data reviewed by Military Times.
Defense News In Exit Memo, Carter Trumpets Pentagon Changes. The Obama administration has made tough choices to reform the Pentagon that have left the Department of Defense positioned to meet the challenges of the future, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter argued in a new essay summing up the last eight years for the department.
Stars and Stripes Defense secretary choice once opposed expanding Israeli settlements. Retired Gen. James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of defense, has condemned expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, repeatedly said the U.S. must find a way for a two-state solution in the region and praised Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal as “valiant.”
Army Times New Army regulations OK dreadlocks for female soldiers. The Army released a sweeping update to grooming and appearance regulations on Tuesday that, in addition to authorizing religious beards and head coverings, also opened the door for female soldiers to wear their hair in dreadlocks.
Army Times New Army policy OKs soldiers to wear hijabs, turbans and religious beards. Observant Sikhs and conservative Muslim women are now able to wear religious head coverings, thanks to a directive issued Tuesday that updates the Army’s grooming and appearance regulation.
Vice News Only 8% of Marines are women — and the Marine Corps is struggling to change that. The Marine Corps has always been a boys’ club, and it’s still the branch of the military with the lowest percentage of women, by far. The secretary of defense made the Marines open combat and infantry roles to females a year ago, but recruiting women into the force is still challenging.
Associated Press Navy gives U.S. Sen. Angus King its highest civilian honor. The U.S. Navy says it has presented U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine with its highest civilian honor.
Air Force Times AMC fears its own pilot shortfall will expand. The Air Force isn’t just running short on fighter pilots. Air Mobility Command is concerned that a shortfall of mobility pilots is likely to grow over the next few years, further stressing the force.
Military Times: New rules block benefits for some Reserve deployments. Thousands of reservists who deployed over the past two years, thinking they were entitled to the benefits that mobilized and deployed reservists have typically received for years, have been bitterly disappointed upon their return.
Stars and Stripes Report: Merchant Marine Academy needs anti-harassment plan. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy has a culture of fear marked by a sense of victimhood and “us vs. them” mindset, according to a study commissioned by the federal agency that operates the New York military academy following concerns about sexual assault and harassment.
Stars and Stripes Eyeing the new boss, federal workers prepare for deep cuts under Trump. Federal workers across the nation are bracing for reductions in head counts, civil service protections and even salaries when President-elect Donald Trump and Congress turn their attention to government spending later this year
Government Executive: At-Will Employment, Workforce Cuts and Other Bills From Congress’ First Week. Lawmakers have wasted no time introducing measures to overhaul the civil service and adjust the size of the federal workforce, putting forward several pieces of legislation in the first week of the 115th Congress to make wide-ranging reforms. Perhaps most notably, Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., laid out his plan to reintroduce the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency Act to turn all new federal workers into at-will employees.
WFED (AM-1500): How federal employee groups hope to change negative view of the workforce. If the first week of the 115th Congress is any indication, federal employee unions and associations will have a busy year ahead of them. What they’re lobbying for — higher pay raises for federal employees, more resources for agency leadership development and personnel system reforms that don’t compromise due process rights or retirement benefits — aren’t necessarily new requests.
Stars and Stripes: Report: VA employees received millions of dollars in unjustified incentives. The Department of Veterans Affairs handed out more than $30 million in employee incentives in one year without justification, and it will continue to overspend if changes aren’t made, according to a report released Thursday by the agency’s internal watchdog.
The Wall Street Journal: Make the VA Great, or Help Veterans Elsewhere, The VA should focus on combat-wounded Veterans first. Regarding Tiffany Smiley’s “Make the VA Great Again” (op-ed, Dec. 28): While we honor all who have served our nation in uniform, our highest responsibility as a nation is to do all we can to serve those who, like Capt. Scotty Smiley, were wounded or injured in combat areas. They are the reason the Department of Veterans Affairs exists and should get first priority for both world-class health care and disability compensation claims processing.
New York Post: Marvel executive set to join Trump’s Veterans Affairs Staff. Who says Hollywood is all liberals? Marvel Entertainment billionaire Ike Perlmutter is set to become a key aide on veterans affairs in the Trump administration, sources told On the Money. The comic book king, who parlayed his ownership of Marvel into a large independent stake in Disney, is best known for being a recluse.
Florida Today: Bondi Waiting to hear on White House Post. Jeff Miller used to be considered a favorite to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs under Donald Trump but his name hardly gets mentioned any more. And unlike others rumored for the cabinet post, the former Republican congressman from the Pensacola area who chaired the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, hasn’t even been summoned to Trump Tower for a meeting with the president-elect.
Military Times: Top Trump administration spots remain unfilled with just two weeks to go. With just two weeks left before Inauguration Day, President-elect Donald Trump still hasn’t signaled who he’ll choose to run the Department of Veterans Affairs and a number of key Defense Department posts, prompting concern among transition team members hoping for swift reforms. Top Trump officials haven’t offered any updates on the VA secretary search this week, except for general comments about ongoing work by transition teams.
KPCC (NPR-89.3, Audio): Current VA Secretary McDonald: I’d ‘undoubtedly’ stay if Trump asked. President-elect Donald Trump has yet to choose a replacement to run one the biggest bureaucracies in the world: The Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s one of his last cabinet positions left to fill, though not for lack of trying. The current secretary, Robert McDonald, was installed by President Obama in 2014 to fix a department riddled with scandal.
Rapid City Journal (Hot Springs Star): VA Sec. McDonald decision announced, Hot Spring VA to lose services. In the rotunda of Hot Springs’ Battle Mountain Sanitarium, a National Historic Landmark where, for more than a century, veterans have been received to get health care, VA/BHHCS Director Sandra Horsman announced that VA Secretary Robert McDonald had decided to follow the VA’s preferred alternative, essentially shuttering the Hot Springs’ facility.
USA Today (Video): Fla. Shooting raises question about Vets’ mental-health care. The deadly shooting spree by a military veteran who dealt with mental health problems has reignited debate about services for vets with post-traumatic stress disorder. Esteban Santiago, 26, who is suspected of killing five people at Fort Lauderdaule-Hollywood International Airport on Friday, told FBI agents in November that the Islamic State terrorist group had gained control of his mind and commanded him to commit acts of violence on its behalf, the FBI said Friday.
ABC News (AP): Brother of Airport Shooting Suspect Says US Gov’t Failed Him. The brother of a man accused of killing five people at a Florida airport questioned Saturday why his brother was allowed to keep his gun after U.S. authorities knew he’d become increasingly paranoid and was hearing voices. Esteban Santiago, 26, had trouble controlling his anger after serving in Iraq and told his brother that he felt he was being chased and controlled by the CIA through secret online messages.
The New York Times: Experts Hesitate to Link Florida Airport Attack to PTSD. Family members say that Esteban Santiago, the suspect in the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting in which five people were killed, seemed troubled when he came back from military service in Iraq. His brother described him as “more furious” after his deployment in 2010 with a Puerto Rico National Guard unit. His aunt said that after coming home, Mr. Santiago “lost his mind.”
USA Today: Be carful labeling shooter as terrorist: Your Say, Readers react to the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport. If you label a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder a “terrorist,” will you label all veterans with PTSD as “potential terrorists”? The problem lies with the government failing to adequately care for the mental health needs of its veterans. If you have the motivation and money to wage wars on foreign nations, you should damn well be able to find the money to treat those servicemembers when they return.
The Washington Times (AP): Fort Hood therapy helps solidiers deal with stress disorders. Sean Brack knew he needed to get help after he came home from his third deployment to Iraq. In late 2010, he walked into a Fort Hood clinic seeking relief from the bursts of anger, nightmares and flashes of suicidal thoughts. The Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/2hRoTeQ ) reports Fort Hood was in the midst of an unfolding suicide crisis. The next year, a record 22 soldiers would kill themselves.
NBC News (Video): ‘We Have To Do More;: Defense Secretary Carter on PTSD in Wake of Airport Shooting. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Sunday said the U.S. hasn’t done enough to help veterans deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental issues, following an airport shooting in which the attacker was a veteran that may have suffered from the illness.
Commercial-News: Pardons sought for Veterans with PTSD. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Staff Sgt. Tyson Manker was among the Marines on the front lines. During the next three-and-a-half years, he would face gruesome scenes including dismembered bodies — some of whom he’d killed. He cleaned up the brains and blood of a friend. He dreamt often of his death. One fateful night changed his life.
The Wall Street Journal: A Psychiatrist’s Quest to Understand PTSD. Charles Marmar, a gregarious 71-year-old psychiatrist in New York, has spent his career studying post-traumatic stress disorder, which has symptoms such as sleep disruption and vivid flashbacks of the traumatic experience. PTSD is often associated with war: Between 11% and 20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have the disorder in a given year, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD.
Columbia Daily Tribune: VA hospital uniquely suited to mission. It was just a small, simple, green address book that my mom had pre-populated with addresses of family and close friends. At 4 in the morning, I didn’t think much of it when my dad handed it to me. He told me my mother had filled it with people I should write to while I was away. Of course, I didn’t have to be at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) until 5 a.m., but my dad, being a Marine himself almost two decades earlier, was never late to anything.
The Daily News: Combat Vets to receive taxes taken by computer glitch. Combat injured veterans should hear from the Department of Veterans Affairs soon about money they are owed following a computer glitch. The Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016, put into law Dec. 16, requires the DoD to identify each veteran whose severance pay was wrongfully taxed.
The Daily Item: Complex issue needs response. Veterans groups hope to influence President Barack Obama in his final few weeks or incoming executive Donald Trump to offer what they view as a necessary opportunity to “heal some festering wounds of war” for thousands of American veterans who received less-than-honorable discharges following indiscretions while serving.
Stars and Stripes: Veterans try again for popular but expensive Agent Orange bill. After a stinging legislative defeat, about 90,000 sailors who served in Vietnam have another shot this year at getting coverage for Agent Orange-related health problems. A bill extending the health benefits to crewmembers aboard Navy aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers and other ships along Vietnam’s coast was reintroduced this week in the House.
The Denver Post (Updated): Eviction threat lifted on homeless Veterans’ center in Five Points. Matthews Center owner Barbara Matthews confirmed the sale, and said the agreement to back away from any eviction was brokered Thursday. She did not elaborate on the terms, but said the VA indicated it would leave at the end of January.
KENS Rent hike forcing veterans to relocate from assisted living facility. Veterans at an assisted living facility in Kerrville are struggling to figure out where to live next. Their rent just doubled and they now have less than four weeks to either pay up or move out.
Military Times Veterans online shopping benefit ‘still under consideration’. A proposal to expand online military exchange shopping benefits to all honorably discharged veterans is in the final stages of the decision-making process at the Pentagon, sources said.
POLITICO Morning Defense for Monday, January 9, 2017. A Daily Briefing from Inside Washington’s National Security. http://www.politico.com/
Your 6:00 am GovConWire – Top News from Executive Mosaic.
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 5 – 31, 2017 http://www.legionpost328.org/
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/
National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) Wednesday, January 11, 2017, DC Metro Chapter Dinner Meeting. From 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM, Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA. For more information and to register please go here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/
“Thank You for Your Service” film at Angelika Mosaic Cinema – January 24, 2017, 7:30 PM. A screening of the documentary film, Thank You For Your Service, hosted by Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 227, will take place at the Angelika Film Center on Tuesday, January 24, 7:30 PM. Dealing with the mental health issues confronting many recently returning veterans, this is described as one of the best films of the year. For more information, see the movie trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Marine For Life – Veteran & Employer/Corporate…
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.
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