Veterans Report - Week of March 10, 2014

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Veterans Report - Week of March 10, 2014

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:01 pm

Veterans Report - Week of March 10, 2014

Army Woman's Foundation Hall of Fame Awards
The Army Woman's Foundation 6th Annual Hall of Fame Awards takes place this month. ( Find out who is being honored.

Claims Backlog Working Group Issues Report
The March 2014 report of the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) Claims Backlog Working Group was released during today's press conference in Washington conducted by Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Bob Casey, D-Pa. The working group, put together in July 2013 by Heller and Casey, proposed several improvements to VA's claims process that could help to ensure more accurate and timely decision-making, thereby reducing the claims backlog. For more details, see ( ... eport.html) this article.

Legion to Train Women Veteran Entrepreneurs
The American Legion will conduct a two-day entrepreneurial course, "For Her Entrepreneurship -- Resources, Opportunities, Experiences & Support (For HEROES)," in conjunction with its annual Washington Conference in the nation's capital. The course is free, and is specifically designed for women military veterans and military spouses. The two-day session intensive entrepreneurship course was created by the Legion in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. After completing this free course, participants will have the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan and launch their enterprise. For more details, see ( ... neurs.html) this article.
For more veteran job news, job postings and transition advice, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Video: DoD's 2015 Budget Proposal Reviewed
Experts from MOAA,, IAVA, #KeepYourPromise and Coalition to Save Our Military Benefits were on hand to answer questions and address concerns about the proposed defense budget. In case you didn't get a chance to participate, you can see what happened ( on MOAA's website. Can Help
The ( website connects visitors to thousands of resources across 10 categories, including benefits, employment and housing. Whether you want to learn more about self-advocacy, transitioning from school to work or where you can look for a job, there is information that can help you and your loved ones live life to the fullest. Want to participate? is seeking participants for its second No Boundaries photo project. Learn more. For more information, visit the ( ... o-project/) blog.
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

Password Protected: Who Can Remember it All?
By now you've probably heard about the viral appeal from a father who longed to see his deceased son's memory video created by Facebook for the company's 10-year anniversary. Unfortunately, he couldn't see the video because ( ... he didn't have his son's passwords and his account had been locked.

DoD Plans to Overhaul TRICARE
The proposed 2015 defense budget seeks to overhaul the current TRICARE system and create a new "Consolidated" system -- essentially eliminating the three current programs (Prime, Extra and Standard), replacing them with a single system which would more closely resemble the Standard POS offering, but with some additional fees and premiums. According to the DoD's budget overview, the system would "leverage proven utilization management controls by building a shared commitment to health care while offering beneficiaries more flexibility and choices." A simpler system that would provide beneficiaries with "open access to providers and less complexity in their health plan."
( ... -overhaul/) Get the details on the Military Advantage Blog

Hearings on Military Pay
The top Air Force senior enlisted adviser recently testified during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran's Affairs in Washington, D.C. Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody, as well as the other services' senior enlisted advisers answered questions from the committee and provided updates on quality of life issues within their respective service. The testimony focused on compensation and benefits and their impact on recruiting and retention. Written copies of testimonies presented at the hearing are available on the ( ... tID=370045) U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations website.
For more on military pay, visit the ( Pay section.

Career Path Seminar
Hire our Heroes is partnering with Boulder Crest Retreat and JP Morgan Chase to offer unemployed veterans the chance to attend the Boulder Crest Retreat Veterans Career Path Seminar. The seminar is a comprehensive, one-day program to help veterans navigate their transition to the civilian workforce. Current and transitioning veterans can register for this free seminar that will cover topics including conducting a successful employment search, effective translation of military skills for civilian employers, training for tough interview questions, navigating the web for the right job opportunities, and effectively using LinkedIn and social media in job searches. The seminar will be held on Saturday, March 15th from 8:00 a.m. ? 8:00 p.m. at Boulder Crest Retreat for Military & Veteran Wellness in Bluemont, Virginia. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided. Get more information at the ( ... r2xfV.dpbs) Hire Our Heroes website.
For more veteran job news, job postings and transition advice, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

New Veteran Job Newsletter
The American Legion's Career Center Newsletter aims to help veteran job-seekers who are either looking for employment or just testing the job market. Mailing out at the beginning of each month, the newsletter provides subscribers with a listing of veterans career fairs that are coming to every area of the country. The Career Center Newsletter also provides general job-search help with feature articles written by hiring experts. Subjects include resume-writing tips, ways to research an employer before an interview and nailing the ever-important "elevator pitch." For more details, see ( ... u-find-job) this article.
For more veteran job news, job postings and transition advice, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Featured Discount: 10% off games for Xbox, PS3 and more
10% off video games for veterans, active duty, retirees, military spouses and immediate family members. ( Includes games for PC, Mac, Xbox, PS3 and PS4.

Survey to Help Vets Get Jobs
Monster and invite you to share your transition and job search experience. If you have recently left the military or plan to transition in the next year, please take 10 minutes to complete this survey. Your answers will be kept anonymous and used in aggregate to facilitate a better understanding of the veteran employment landscape. For your convenience, access to the survey will be available until Midnight Monday, March 10, 2014. Click here to participate in the ( ... ng2014.htm) Veteran Employment Survey.
Survey results will be widely shared with Veterans, Employers and the media. If you would like to see the results, please visit ( after May 21, 2014.

New Logo for Naval Heritage Command
The U.S. Navy's Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) has revealed the command's new logo, designed to represent its multifaceted mission. The new design incorporates elements of logos submitted to the command through its summer-long logo contest. NHHC's mission is to collect, preserve, protect, and make available the artifacts, documents, and art that embody our naval history and heritage for future generations. A drawing of the new NHHC logo is available on the ( U.S. Navy website. For information on the NHHC, visit the ( Naval History and Heritage Command website.
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Bastogne War Museum to Reopen
After a major renovation, the Bastogne War Museum is on track to reopen on March 22. The Belgium museum has details of what has been done and what is to come on its ( website. The website includes a brochure laying out the improvements.

$300k Family Protection: Only $21 a Month
Protection for less. Get $300,000 in coverage from only $21 a month. ( ... Can you family afford their lifestyle if something happened to you?

Service Member Consumer Complaints
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released a ( ... embers.pdf) snapshot of complaints received from service members, veterans, and their families, which includes the types and trends of military consumer complaints that the CFPB has handled since opening its doors in July 2011. The bureau has received complaints from all 50 states and from all branches and ranks of the military. Mortgages continue to top the cumulative volume of complaints handled to date. For more details, and to submit your own complaints and seek advice, see ( ... aints.html) this article.

DynCorp International Committed to Hiring Veterans
Start your civilian career with a company that can provide endless opportunity and a career path that lets you choose where you want to be. ( ... Read More. Benefits Podcast: TRICARE
The Benefits Podcast gives you the lowdown on changes in military benefits and how they affect your life. In this week's episode, benefits expert Terry Howell takes a closer look at the proposed 2015 TRICARE budget, which introduces some sweeping changes to the system. For more, see the ( ... anges.html) Benefits Podcast page.

Sailors Encouraged to Use TA
The Center for Personal and Professional Development is asking Sailors to go ahead and submit their Navy Tuition Assistance requests. The expenditure rate for TA funding is currently below normal levels, which means there is more funding available than usual at this time of the year. The biggest reason for disapproval of TA requests is they are not received from the Sailor's command approver prior to the course start date, as required by DoD instruction. Also, often a Sailor may be missing some of the TA prerequisites such as current education counseling by a Navy College Office (NCO) or Virtual Education Center counselor, or an individual education plan or degree plan on file, or missing a grade from a past course.
( Find a school that offers a degree program that fits your needs.

Vet Success Benefits Employers and Vets
The Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program provides eligible veterans with the opportunity to obtain training and practical hands-on experience concurrently through the Special Employer Incentives program. The SEI program is for eligible veterans who face challenges in obtaining employment. Employers who hire veterans receive reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the veteran's salary during the SEI program, which typically lasts up to six months. For more information about the program, visit VA's Veterans Opportunity to Work webpage at ( or the Vet Success website at ( To speak to a vocational rehabilitation and employment representative, visit your local VA regional office.
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

VA Caregiver Support Line
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) Caregiver Support Line facilitates monthly telephone education groups for family caregivers of Veterans with a theme of "Care for the Caregiver." A different topic is presented every month with the goal of helping Caregivers develop tools and strategies to help balance the demands of caregiving, while also focusing on the importance of self-care. These groups are available to any family caregiver currently caring for a Veteran enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare who are caring for a loved one at home are also eligible to participate. For more information or to register for a group, please contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator. To find your local Caregiver Support Coordinator or for more information, tips, and tools to support you in your role as the family caregiver of a Veteran, visit VA's website dedicated to Caregivers at (
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

VA Budget Proposal for 2015
The Department of Veterans Affairs is asking Congress to approve a $163.9 billion budget in fiscal 2015, an increase of about $10.1 billion over the department's fiscal 2014 funding. The 2015 budget would provide $68.4 billion in discretionary funding, which includes $56 billion for VA medical care, about $1.6 billion to help end veterans' homelessness, and $1 billion to create the Veterans Job Corps. The budget also includes $95.6 billion for VA's mandatory programs, including disability compensation and pensions for veterans. For more details, see ( ... posal.html) this article.

D-Day Anniversary Plans
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, located on the cliff overlooking Omaha Beach in the town of Colleville sur Mer, France, is administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). The ABMC is planning a bilateral commemorative ceremony with the French on June 6, 2014. The ceremony will be open to the general public, and reservations or entry passes will not be needed. Reserved seating will be available for World War II veterans and family members accompanying them. If you are a World War II veteran, you can send your request to: Normandy American Cemetery, Unit 9200, Box 1030, Omaha Beach, DPO AE 09777 14710 Colleville Sur Mer, France or email: ( Those seeking information on D-Day ceremonies can find the most recent updates on some of the websites listed on the ( ... nniversary) American Legion website.
For more on D-Day, visit the ( ... =dday_main) D-Day section.

Emergency Fund for Displaced Veterans
When natural disasters like tornadoes, floods or wildfires strike, The American Legion's National Emergency Fund swiftly delivers needed money to veterans in their communities. Legionnaires and Sons of The American Legion members (up to $1,500) Legion Posts (up to $5,000) are eligible for funds to meet immediate needs only such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc. Applicant must have been displaced from their primary residence due to a declared natural disaster and provide proof of out-of-pocket expenses. For more information, visit the American Legion National Emergency Fund website at (
For more family support resources, see this ( ... vices.html) Family Center.

Never Pay PMI and $0 Down Payment
Now is the time to use your VA Loan. You don't have to pay PMI or have a large down payment. Plus you can get financing up to $417,000. ( ... Use your VA Loan Benefit today.
( Want more info on your VA Loan Benefit?

Sponsored Discount: Start a Framily Plan
Plus, Federal employees get $100 bill credit per eligible new line switched. (;279821604;106810664;g) Restrictions apply.

VA Moves to Reduce Opioid Use
The Department of Veterans Affairs has initiated a multi-faceted approach to reduce the use of opioids (Morphine, Oxycodone, Tramadol, etc), among America's Veterans using VA health care. Launched in 2013, the Opioid Safety Initiative (OSI) is a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of Veterans suffering from chronic pain. OSI is already demonstrating success in lowering dependency on this class of drugs. At eight sites of care in Minnesota, OSI practices have decreased high-dose opioid use by more than 50 percent. OSI incorporates the team approach with the goal of reducing opioid use by alleviating a Veterans' pain using non-prescription methods. To learn more about VA health care, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website at (
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

VA Responds to Allegations
You may have seen recent news coverage alleging the mishandling of patient records by a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility in 2008. Some media reports on this issue have been inaccurate. VA did not destroy patients' personal medical records in VA's electronic health record system, which has been in place since the 1990s. For more information, read VA's ( ... llegation/) VAntage Point Blog.
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

Tax Return Preparation Help
If you need help preparing your tax return, learn about the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs: (1)the VITA Program: If you make $52,000 or less, IRS-certified volunteers can inform you about tax credits for which you may qualify, and prepare a basic tax return with electronic filing; and (2) the TCE Program: If you are 60 years of age or older, you may qualify for free tax help from IRS-certified volunteers who specialize in issues unique to seniors. Here are thousands of locations across the United States where you can get free tax help through the VITA and TCE programs. For more information, visit the ( ... Volunteers) Internal Revenue Service website.
For more guides and tips for tax season, and other tax filing options, visit the ( Tax Center.

DoD Mulls Military Retirement Changes
The Department of Defense is considering adopting a 401(k)-like retirement plan and other financial incentives for those who serve less than 20 years. The changes would largely preserve the existing system's pension-style, fixed-income pay, but at a reduced level. To offset the lowered lifetime value, the DoD would offer troops cash payments earlier in their careers, including a 401(k)-style benefit at six years of service, a retention bonus at 12 years of service, and a possible lump-sum "transition" bonus at 20 years of service. ( ... plans.html) Read the full article on

Navy Unveils Nimitz's Diary
The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) recently unveiled the public online digitization project of Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz's 4,000 page operational diary, known as The Nimitz Graybook. Covering activities and correspondence of the Pacific Command from Dec. 7, 1941 to Aug. 31, 1945, the Graybook is a historical record of operations and planning in the Pacific during World War II and serves as a window into Nimitz's decision making process during the war. The Nimitz Graybook is available at (
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.
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