Veterans Report - Week of April 28, 2014

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Veterans Report - Week of April 28, 2014

#1 Postby boardman » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:44 am

Veterans Report - Week of April 28, 2014

Survey Looks at Patient Care
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an independent customer service survey, ranks the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) customer satisfaction among veteran patients among the best in the nation and equal to or better than ratings for private sector hospitals. The 2013 ACSI report assessed satisfaction among veterans who have recently been patients of VA's Veterans Health Administration (VHA) inpatient and outpatient services. ACSI is the nation's only cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction, providing benchmarking between the public and private sectors. The ACSI-Inpatient Survey is available ( online. The ACSI-Outpatient Survey is available ( online.
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

Gen. Franks Youth Leadership Program
The deadline for applications to the General Tommy Franks' ( Four-Star Leadership Institute (4SL) is May 9. The leadership program enables high school students to meet with authors, politicians and global thought leaders, and participate in leadership training, policy debate and speech competition. Students will receive free travel, room, and board to the July 13-19 program. $400,000 in scholarships will also be available to the students. Three participants will receive full-tuition scholarships to the University of Texas - Arlington. Any of the 50 4SL participants who choose to attend Oklahoma Christian University will also receive a $1,000 per year scholarship for up to four years. To apply, visit the ( Four Star Leadership website.
For more family support resources, ( ... vices.html) see this article in's Spouse Channel.

Putting Together the Right Vet Job Resume
In this week's Military Benefits Podcast,'s Terry Howell returns to talk about the jump from military service to a civilian career, and how to construct a resume that best fits the companies and industries you're interested in. To listen to the podcast, visit the ( ... esume.html) Podcast Center.

Grant to Help Vets Start Small Business
Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families will receive $9 million through the Small Business Administration to continue a program that helps transitioning servicemembers become successful entrepreneurs. The ( Boots to Business (B2B) program provides training for veterans to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local small business resources, and launch their small business. The program is run by Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). Over the past year, IVMF staff have trained facilitators to deliver related two-day training on military installations across the U.S. The grant will enable this pilot program to now expand to all U.S. Military installations worldwide. For more information, visit the Boots to Business webpage at (
For more veteran job news, job postings and transition advice, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Equipment Guides: Weapons, Vehicles, and More
Find past and present aircraft, weapons, electronics, and more with the Equipment Guide. ( Read More.

2015 VA Budget Request
On March 4, 2014, the White House released the 2015 President's Budget. The Budget includes $163.9 billion for VA in 2015. The submitted budget is available on the ( VA website.
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

Legion: VA Secret List 'Abhorrent'
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center in Phoenix has been keeping a secret list of patients with long-delayed appointments, a practice which has been linked to the deaths of at least 40 veterans, according to an April 23 report by CNN. The secret list kept by the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System was part of a cover-up created by VA managers to hide the fact that more than 1,400 veterans were forced to wait many months to see a doctor, according to CNN's interview with a retired VA doctor, Sam Foote, who worked at the facility for 24 years. American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said if the allegations are true, the secret list in Phoenix "is one of the most abhorrent acts ever committed in VA history." For more, see ( ... rrent.html) this article.

An MOAA Spouse Says "Don't Fear Advocacy"
There has been a lot of attention placed on the recent on-the-record ( statement by a senior service member at a ( ... l-programs) Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing. Deeply concerned by these statements, some spouses are using ( ... p-barrett/) their voice to express their heartfelt thoughts. They are putting into words, what many were thinking, wondering or afraid to ask. No one, especially military families should ever be afraid of respectful discourse. Had this senior official's comment been made at a party, in a private home, or taken out of context from a closed meeting that would have been a different story. These comments are on-the-record and stand as an official position. See more at: (

DoL Grant Competition Announced
The Department of Labor has announced a grant competition that will award an estimated 24 or more ( Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program grants totaling approximately $6 million to provide an estimated 2,000 veterans with occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance, to help them succeed in the civilian labor market. Funds are being awarded on a competitive basis to: state and local workforce investment boards; local public agencies; tribal governments and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations. The solicitation for grant applications (SGA 14-02) will be available on the website at ( For more information on the Department of Labor's programs for veterans, visit the Department of Labor VETS website at ( For questions about this grant announcement please contact Cassandra Mitchell at 202-693-4589.

$400k ASMBA Protection: As Low As $29 a Month
Protection for less. Get $400,000 in coverage from only $29 a month. ( ... Because tomorrow is never guaranteed!

Navy Sea Pay Increases Coming
The increase to Career Sea Pay (CSP) and Career Sea Pay Premium (CSP-P), will be implemented May 1, and eligible Sailors will see the increase in their mid-month paycheck. CSP rates are based upon a member's pay grade and cumulative years of sea duty. All pay grades with at least three years of cumulative sea duty will receive a 25 percent increase in regular CSP, while servicemembers who exceed 36 months of consecutive sea duty will receive an increase in CSP-P from $100 to $200 per month. Consistent with current policy, in lieu of receiving CSP-P, Sailors and Marines in grades E5-E9 with eight years of cumulative sea duty receive a higher CSP rate. The new CSP table is available on the ( ... a-pay.html) Career Sea Pay page.

'Heartbleed' Security Vulnerability
The 'Heartbleed' Security Vulnerability has attracted media attention after affecting encryption software (Open SSL) found on many websites, email databases, instant messaging platforms, and virtual private networks. This vulnerability can enable an attacker to expose sensitive data, including user authentication credentials, passwords, and credit card information. This vulnerability should be treated as a serious risk. If a site that you visit has been affected, you should consider changing your password, and review ( Vulnerability Note VU#720951 from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team for mitigation details for users and administrators.
For more military news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Help for Michigan Homeowners Event
The U.S. Department of the Treasury, along with their national partners Hope Now, NeighborWorks America, and HUD is hosting a free mortgage help event to provide a supportive space for homeowners to discuss their mortgage challenges and to identify possible solutions. Participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their mortgage company to see if they are eligible for the federal Making Home Affordable (MHA) program or another mortgage solution. Participants may also meet with HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The event will be held on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EDT at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River, Novi, MI. For more information, contact Eric Hagen at ( or 202-622-1168.
For more on homebuying and homebuying tips, visit the ( Home section.

CNH Industrial Committed to Hiring Veterans
Start your civilian career with CNH. As a business solutions leader they can provide endless opportunity and a career path that lets you choose where you want to be. ( Read More.

What's Your Opinion on Military Pay? has launched a survey to better understand how troops and military families feel about the Defense Department's proposed changes to pay and benefits. Readers can fill out the short, 10-question survey by clicking on ( this link. The first five questions deal with specific proposals in the Pentagon's fiscal 2015 budget request that would curb military pay and benefits. The last five questions seek basic demographic information. By participating in this survey, readers will help us better communicate their concerns about the budget proposals to the department's uniformed and civilian leadership.

Join the Veterans Employment Summit: April 29 & 30th.
In the Arlington or DC area? Join the National Veterans Employment Summit and talk with employers that value your military service. ( ... 1075871229) Register Now.

DeCA Cuts Could KO Commissaries
In the recent Military Update post, Tom Philpott reports that the former director of the Defense Commissary Agency, retired Army Major Gen. Richard E. Beale Jr., thinks the planned reductions in commissary subsidies will put the whole DeCA system at risk. According to the article, the current 30 percent average shoppers save on groceries will be cut to 10 percent if the DoD is allowed to proceed with their planned budget cuts. This reduction is likely to result in lower sales as retirees, guardsman, and active duty patrons stop shopping on base. ( ... le-system/) Read the full article on the Military Advantage blog.

Online VA Grant Resource
Veterans and organizations serving veterans can now find information on VA grant programs all in one place, on the Department of Veterans Affairs' new ( VA grants webpage. This new, more user-friendly page provides information on grant programs such as VA's homeless program and Veterans cemetery grants services, and opportunities with federal partner agencies. For more information, read VA's VAntage Point Blog at ( ... w-webpage/) ... w-webpage/.
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

PCSing? Ready for a New Home? Use Your VA Loan
If you are PCSing or just ready to move, now is the time to see how much financing you can get with your VA Loan Benefit. You don't have to pay PMI or have a large down payment. ( ... Use your VA Loan Benefit today.
Want more info on your VA Loan Benefit? ( Read More.

Veteran Job Summit in Washington DC This Week
Monster and invite veterans to the National Veteran Employment Summit, which will be held on April 30, 2014. The Summit brings together leaders in business, government and education to share ideas and effective veteran employment and retention strategies. The agenda will cover employment from the veterans and spouse perspectives, the view from Capitol Hill, frank discussion around what some employers quietly wonder about hiring veterans, what some organizations are doing to put commitments into action, and innovative regional efforts to spur veteran employment. Registration for the summit is complimentary and includes admission to all of the activities of the summit. For more information and how to register, see ( ... ID=1505650) this page.

VA Vocational Rehab Program
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program. The program assists veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find and keep suitable jobs. For veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, the program offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. Veterans are eligible if they have received, or will receive, a discharge that is other than dishonorable, and have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent, or a memorandum rating of 20 percent or more from the VA. For more information, contact your local veterans' services officer and visit the ( ... yment.html) website.

VA Researchers Receive Award
Four Department of Veterans Affairs researchers were among the 102 recipients of the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) honored at a ceremony held April 14th. The PECASE is the highest honor conferred by the U.S. Government on federal researchers in the early stages of their careers. Recipients are Dr. Karunesh Ganguly, San Francisco VA Medical Center; Dr. Brian P. Head, VA San Diego Healthcare System; Dr.Katherine M. Iverson, VA Boston Healthcare System; and Dr.Hardeep Singh, Michael E. Debakey (Houston) VA Medical Center. VA has one of the largest medical research programs in the country. For more information on VA Research, visit VA Office of Research and Development website at (, or follow VA Research at ( and on Twitter @VAResearch.
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