Veterans Report - Week of March 30, 2015

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Veterans Report - Week of March 30, 2015

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:58 am

Veterans Report - Week of March 30, 2015

American Legion Survey on Choice Card
The American Legion recently contacted veterans and its own service officers across the country to gauge the success of the Department of Veterans Affairs Choice Card program. Feedback indicated serious problems with access and eligibility. So far, the Choice Card program has been underutilized since its rollout last November, with only 27,000 veterans making appointments. VA announced it had changed its 40-mile criteria for determining Choice Card eligibility. Veterans still need to be more than 40 miles from a VA facility to get the card, but the measure is now in actual driving miles. Read the American Legion's written testimony on the American Legion website at ( ... e-criteria) ... e-criteria.
For more on veteran programs, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Tips for Starting a Technology Business
Here are some tips for veterans starting a technology business: (1) focus on execution; take advantage of every opportunity to speak about your concept with others, especially those who can add value and assist in putting your idea in motion; (2) seek out mentors who have diverse business and technology expertise in areas such as engineering, product management, marketing and finance; (3) grow your network by attending local meetup groups, hackathons, startup weekends, technology incubators and boot camps; (4) surround yourself with experts; and (5) focus on the steps needed to get started today. The next Patriot Boot Camp takes place in April, 2015. For more information, visit the Patriot Boot Camp website at (
For more veteran job news, listings and resources, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Don't Waste Your VA Loan: $0 Down & No PMI
Now is the time to use your VA Loan. Rates are near historic lows and 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 information about this great benefit?

Find a Career at A+E Networks
A+E Networks, LLC. is an award-winning global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television networks to websites, to home videos/DVDs to gaming and educational software. A+E Networks strongly supports the hiring of our servicemen and women as they transition back into civilian life or seek career changes. ( ... Learn more.

Deal of the Week: 15% Off at LifeLock
LifeLock is offering service members, guard, retirees, veterans and their families 15% off Standard Membership with 3 Layers of Protection. Live freely knowing every day LifeLock is searching for potential threats. ( ... ilitarycom) Learn more and save 15%.

Video: 5 Things You Don't Know About Abrams Tanks
Tanks have served as the backbone of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps' armored forces for more than 30 years. But how much do you really know about the M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams tank. ( ... 762508001/) Watch and learn.

The Great Divide Over Benefit Reforms
The powerful Military Coalition -- which is made up of more than 30 military associations and veterans' service organizations in support of, or opposition to, legislation impacting military folks and veterans -- is now fractured over whether to support key recommendations of the ( ... icare.html) Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. Some of these groups are turning thumbs up, others thumbs down and most still want to see more analysis on proposals to replace triple-option TRICARE and to phase in a new retirement system. ( ... n-reforms/) Read this Military Update post to learn more.

Veterans Asked to Share Their Stories
The nonprofit organization Historical Outreach Foundation has launched the Legacies Project, which is a database dedicated to the preservation and sharing of our veterans' stories. Any active duty, veteran or family member is encouraged to help to tell these stories. The goal is to ensure that future generations never forget these incredible histories. There is no charge to participate. To start preserving history or to donate, visit the Veterans Legacies website at ( ( ... -veterans/) Read more about the Legacies Project.

Sound Off: Should We Ditch Veteran Preference and Military Discounts?
A recent piece in the ( ... -families/) Washington Post asserts that, when military folks ask for discounts, they're damaging civilian-veteran relations. The author, retired Army lieutenant colonel Dave Duffy, argues that military service, or being a member of the same family as someone who served, should not warrant special treatment in the civilian world. SpouseBuzz editor Amy Bushatz ( ... ounts.html) weighed in with a counter to Duffy: Most veteran and military discounts are usually offered for business reasons, not entirely as a benevolent gesture. She suggests that a simple, polite inquiry about veteran discounts is okay. Where do you stand on the issue? Let your opinion be known on ( ... discounts/) this post.

Oldest Female Veteran Dies
The nation's oldest female military veteran died at the age of 108. Lucy Coffey served with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War Two. A native of Indiana, she served in Japan, New Guinea and the Philippines. For more information about Lucy Coffey, visit VA's ( ... -soldiers/) VAntage Point Blog and the ( ... o-1.335590) Stars and Stripes article. For a feature on other famous female veterans, see ( ... erans.html) this article.

$200,000 Coverage as Low as $14 a Month
Protection for less. Get $200,000 Coverage from only $14 a Month. ( ... Could your family survive if something happened to you?

National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic
Co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and DAV (Disabled American Veterans), the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is a world-leader in adaptive winter sports instruction for U.S. military veterans, and active duty servicemen and women with disabilities. ( ... Read more.

Timeless Transition Advice
The Military Officers Association of America has a team of advisors who focus career transition. The MOAA transition team was privileged to have recently attended a graduate business school event sponsored by a well-known university and featuring hiring managers, serial entrepreneurs and human resources team leaders. Together they provided excellent counsel for professionals in transition. To read the highlights of the discussion go to (

How Proposed Benefit Changes Affect You
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) breaks down the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) recommendations on pay and retirement, health care, and quality of life. The second in this series focuses on health care. To read more go to: (

Veterans Fellowship Program in Iowa
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced Tuesday an extended deadline, now April 15, for a new fellowship program in his state offices for Iowans with recent military service. Veterans are encouraged to apply for the program. Grassley would like to have two fellows in his Veterans Fellowship Program, one in Des Moines and one in Cedar Rapids. The candidates can expect to meet with veterans and service organizations on Grassley's behalf. The fellows also will have the opportunity to learn more about working in Grassley's state offices, as they will assist with constituent correspondence and casework. An application is available on Senator Grassley's website at (
For more veteran job news, listings and resources, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

AF Taking Applications for Summer Work
The Air Force is currently hiring hundreds of students and others through the summer hire program. Participation in the program varies from base to base, but all listings are posted at ( The summer hire program will end Sept. 25. Clerical, lifeguard, recreation aid, computer clerk, general laborer positions and more are available. Most summer hire positions are open to people eligible for the Pathways Summer Intern Program, but some may be open to Veteran Recruitment Appointment, 30 percent or more disabled veterans, reinstatement, military spouse and disability-eligible applicants, or to the general public. Job seekers should call 800-525-0102 (if hearing impaired, call TTY/TTD 800-382-0893) for more information. For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit ( myPers.
For more Air Force news, visit the ( News Center.

House Hearing on Veterans Choice Act
The U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs recently held a hearing on the distance criteria under the Veterans Choice Act. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently changed it 40-mile criteria for determining Choice Card eligibility. The measure is now in actual driving miles. A video of the hearing and testimonies to be downloaded are available on the ( ... eria032415) U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs website.
For more on veteran programs, visit the ( Benefits Center.

VA Requires Standardized Forms
The Department of Veterans Affairs now requires veterans seeking disability benefits to use standardized claim and appeal forms. The easiest and fastest way for a Veteran to submit an application for compensation is online through the eBenefits ( ( portal. VA encourages veterans to work with representatives of Veterans Service Organization (VSO), or their state or county representatives, who can assist with filing electronically or in paper form. Veterans may also notify VA of their intent to file a claim in order to establish the earliest possible effective date for benefits if they are determined eligible. Veterans will have up to one year from the date they submit their intent to file a claim to complete the required application form.
For more on veteran programs, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Bergdahl Could Get Life
The Army charged Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with "desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty" under Article 85 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and "misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place" under Article 99. In addition to losing as much as $300,000 in back pay and benefits (including VA benefits like health care and the ( GI Bill) Bergdahl could get life in prison if he is found guilty. ( ... tence.html) Read the full article on

Marine Corps Scholarships Available
The northern VA-based Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides need-based scholarships to military children. With over 90,000 scholarships awarded, the Foundation aims to supply the front lines of America's future with honor, courage and commitment. To qualify, an applicant should be the child of an active duty or reserve U.S. Marine, a veteran U.S. Marine who has received an honorable discharge or who was killed while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, an active duty or reserve U.S. Navy Corpsman who is serving or has served with a U.S. Marine unit, or a veteran U.S. Navy Corpsman who served with a U.S. Marine unit and has received an honorable discharge, or was killed while serving in the U.S. Navy as a Corpsman attached to a Marine unit. For more details on the program and scholarships available, visit the ( Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation website.

Updated GI Bill Transfer Instructions
The U.S. Navy has announced an update to the instruction governing the Post-9/11 GI Bill Educational Assistance Program that outlines specific steps for Sailors to follow to properly transfer their benefits to family members. Qualified active duty and Reserve Sailors may elect to transfer benefits to a spouse or children, with some or all benefits allocated to those named. The instruction includes the Transfer of Benefits (TEB) steps in order to create a simple checklist that Sailors can follow to ensure they successfully complete the process. The updated instruction is available at (
For more on the GI Bill and other military education benefits, visit the ( Education section.

Sponsored Discount: GovX: Up to 65% off Products & Tickets
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VA to Expand Veterans Choice Eligibility
In order to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it will change the calculation used to determine the distance between a Veteran's residence and the nearest VA medical facility from a straight line distance to driving distance. The change is expected to roughly double the number of eligible Veterans. Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program should call 1-866-606-8198 to confirm their eligibility and to schedule an appointment. A fact sheet on the 40-mile-rule change is available ( ... tsheet.pdf) online. For more information, visit the Veterans Choice Program webpage at ( ... etails.asp) and the VA Progress Report ( ... -Sheet.PDF) online.
For more on veteran programs, visit the ( Benefits Center.
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