Veterans Report - Week of April 09, 2012

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Veterans Report - Week of April 09, 2012

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:26 pm

Veterans Report - Week of April 09, 2012

Play Military Trivia, Win an iPod
Think you know military history and trivia? Test your knowledge with the Military.com Trivia Challenge. Here's how you win: For each question you answer correctly you'll receive one point, and for each point you'll earn an electronic raffle ticket. At the end of the month we'll have a random drawing of all the tickets and pull out one to determine the winner. Play as little or as much as you'd like during the month, but the more questions you answer correctly, the greater your chances of winning. (http://www.military.com/Trivia/Home?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Play Now.


VA Overpaid for Prosthetic Limbs
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is trying to recover millions of dollars from prosthetic limb manufacturers that have been overcharging for the artificial arms and legs used by veterans. A VA Inspector General's audit released recently found the agency was overpaying some manufacturers in part because contracting officers did not negotiate costs or use pricing guidelines. VA says it is going over the data uncovered by the Inspector General and will have VHA's finance office take action to recover the overpayments by the end of the current fiscal year. (http://www.military.com/news/article/va ... -legs.html) Read the full article on Military.com.


Survey Looks at Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America recently released its 2012 annual survey of its members. The survey found that employment, mental health, disability benefits, health care, education (including the G.I. Bill), suicide and families -- in that order -- were the top concerns of the more than 4,200 members who responded. The survey is available on the (http://iava.org/sth2012/get-educated) Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America website.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


Grant Renovate Wisconsin Vets Home
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded nearly $800,000 to renovate the heating, ventilation and air conditions systems at Fairchild and Shermanske halls at the Wisconsin Veterans home in Union Grove. The grant will cover approximately 65 percent of the project's cost. Information about the Wisconsin state Veterans homes at Chippewa Falls, King and Union Grove can be obtained from the (http://dva.state.wi.us/homes.asp) Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs website or by calling (715) 258-5586.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


Top 10 Technology Jobs
The Chicago Tribune, based on industry growth projections from ComputerWorld, has assembled a top-10 list of fast-growing tech jobs which include: network architect, application developer, software engineer, web developer, information security specialist, database administrator, information systems manager, computer support specialist, and computer programmer. (http://jobsforveterans.military.com/506 ... RC=mrvr.nl) Get full job descriptions with average salaries for each of these professions.
For more guides and tips on tech occupations, plus veteran-friendly listings for jobs, visit (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Military.com Veteran Job Search.


Deal of the Week: Roofs for Troops
Get money back from GAF when you install a new Lifetime Roofing System. Protect your home and your family for a lifetime with (http://www.gaf.com/military) quality GAF products.


Labor Department Vet Job Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of $15 million in grants through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program to provide job training services to help homeless veterans succeed in civilian careers. The department anticipates awarding at least 50 grants to serve approximately 9,000 veterans. Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations. For more information, visit the (http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/hvrp/main2012.htm) U.S. Department of Labor VETS website.
For job listings across the nation and civilian job guides and tips, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs) Military.com Veteran Jobs Center.


Beware of Scam Letter!
A letter is making the circuit purporting to be from the Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) asking military member's fianc? to register in the system entitling them to benefits in the event of the member's death. All for only a $350 fee. This is not a genuine DFAS letter -- it is a scam. The letter is a typical scam phishers use to try and obtain your personal information and, in this case, money. DFAS will never send unsolicited e-mail messages with attachments.
For more on scams and financial issues to watch out for, visit the (http://www.military.com/money/personal- ... management) Military.com Credit and Debt Management Center.


Featured Employer: Chevron Hiring Vets
Chevron is hiring veterans and transitioning servicemembers. (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employe ... RC=mrvr.nl) Visit the Chevron Veteran Talent Portal to apply for jobs, translate your military skills and network with other veterans.
The Chevron team has the technology to take on big challenges, the integrity to do it responsibly and the drive to keep moving forward. Right now we?re hiring Facility Engineers, Petroleum Engineers, Drilling and Completion Engineers, Pipeline Operator / Maintenance, Production Operations and More. (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employe ... RC=mrvr.nl) Visit the Chevron Talent Portal Now.


Louisiana National Cemetery Dedicated
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently held a dedication ceremony in Zachary, La., for the Louisiana National Cemetery, which is expected to open for burial this summer. The nearby Port Hudson National Cemetery will close to casketed burials in July 2012, although it will stay active with casketed interments of those with family members already buried there. Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from VA's (http://www.cem.va.gov) Burial and Memorial Benefits webpage or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. Additional information about the Louisiana National Cemetery is available by calling the Port Hudson National Cemetery office at 225-654-3767.
For more on memorial benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/burial-and-memorial) Military Memorial Benefits page.


$400k Coverage: As Little as $1.50 a Day
How much are you paying for your VGLI? ASMBA offers veterans a better alternative to VGLI for less. You could provide $400k coverage for your loved ones for as low as $1.50 a day. Or customize your own coverage for less. (http://www.military.com/insurance/asmba?ESRC=vr.nl) Get a free quote now.


New Wounded Warriors App
A new smartphone app has been released for iPhone and Android devices that provides wounded warriors with a comprehensive mobile resource guide. Based on "The Wounded, Ill and Injured Compensation and Benefits Handbook" that was released November by the Department of Defense, the free app gives wounded and ill servicemembers and their families access to information they may need during recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration, and answers many of the questions that servicemembers may have. The app also lists toll free numbers for TRICARE regional contractors, behavioral healthcare providers and other TRICARE programs (dental, pharmacy, etc.). The app can be downloaded for free on the Android Market and iTunes Store.
For more Army news, visit the (http://www.military.com/news) Military.com News Center.


GI Benefit Watchdog Bill Introduced
U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, recently joined with Senators Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Mark Begich (D-AK) to introduce in the U.S. Senate the GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act of 2012. The bill will give servicemembers and veterans using the GI Bill and other VA education benefits access to information that would help them make informed decisions about the schools they attend so they get the most out of the benefit. (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... eness-act/) Highlights of the bill are available on the Military Advantage Blog.


VA Study Looks at Diabetes
African American Veterans with hard-to-control diabetes made significant gains in keeping their blood sugar under control after working with "mentors" with similar health problems, according to a recent study by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). About one in five Veterans who receives care from VA has diabetes. The study by the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Center included 118 African American Veterans, all of whom were having trouble controlling their diabetes. An abstract of the study is available on the (http://www.annals.org/content/156/6/416 ... 780608ba3d) Annals of Internal Medicine (http://www.annals.org/content/156/6/416 ... 780608ba3d) website.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


Civilian Employment for Wounded Warriors
Wounded warriors may explore new opportunities to serve through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Civil Service Employment Program. The program helps all combat or hostile-related ill, injured and medically separated Airmen transition into Air Force federal civilian employment. Once the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) receives notification of a wounded warrior's desire to enter federal service, program managers contact local CPOs to try to match them with current or pending vacancies. Airman and family readiness center officials also provide general guidance on how to transition from the military to a civilian career. For more information about the Air Force Wounded Warrior Civil Service Employment Program, call 800-581-9437, or visit the (https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil) Air Force Personnel Services (AFPERS) website. For general information on Air Force civilian careers, visit the Air Force Civilian Careers website at (http://www.afciviliancareers.com/) www.afciviliancareers.com.
For job listings across the nation and civilian job guides and tips, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs) Military.com Veteran Jobs Center.


Post 9/11 GI Bill Changes Now in Effect
Most of the GI Bill 2.0 changes went into effect August 1, 2011. Many veterans, servicemembers, and eligible family saw significant changes. A New Online Housing Allowance is payable to students enrolled 100% in online classes. The housing allowance is half the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents. National Guard Eligibility has been expanded -- certain National Guard members mobilized on Title 32 orders on-or-after Sept. 11th are now eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
There are several more changes -- (http://www.military.com/education/conte ... RC=mrvr.nl) see them all listed on Military.com.
Next Step: (http://edu.military.com/gibill/?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Compare schools with VA-approved programs to find the one that meets your specific needs and requirements.


Military Sexual Trauma and the VA
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Military sexual trauma (MST) is defined as a sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred during military service. MST can affect veterans' physical and mental health for many years afterwards. VA offers a variety of services designed to assist veterans who have experienced MST. Treatment for physical and mental health conditions related to MST is available at every VA facility and is provided to veterans free of charge, regardless of service-connection status. For more information, contact your VA facility's MST Coordinator or visit the VA's (http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/mil ... eneral.asp) MST Resource homepage.
For more military family resources and support programs, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Spouse and Family Center.


Women's Health Care Roundtable
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently sponsored a roundtable discussion on VA research that attempts to improve the health and health care of women veterans. VA women Veteran's health research focuses on: (1) returning combat women Veterans; (2) understanding barriers and improving access to VA health care for women Veterans; (3) long-term health outcomes of women who served during the Vietnam era; (4) 3xpanding mental health research; and (5) basic research (biomedical) on breast cancer including hormones, regulation, genetic factors, as well as autoimmune diseases. For more information about this and other roundtables, visit the Media Roundable webpage at (http://www.research.va.gov/media_roundtable) www.research.va.gov/media_roundtable. For more information on VA Research, visit the Veterans Health Administration Research and Development website at (http://www.research.va.gov/) www.research.va.gov.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


What Does Military Friendly Mean?
A recent (http://www.military.com/news/article/mi ... cerns.html) Associated Press article by Justin Pope addressed this issue of military friendliness and the proposed legislation which would force schools that wish to participate in the GI Bill to follow much tighter veteran friendly policies. Unfortunately, most veterans have no way of knowing exactly what the phrase really means. But, in the loosest interpretation it means that veterans are welcome and the school has programs which have been approved by the VA for using the GI Bill (and by the DoD for tuition assistance). The fact is, for a school to be truly "Military Friendly" they need to do a lot more than that.
Read the full article on (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... ndly-mean/) The Military Advantage blog.


Reconnect with Military Buddies
Check out the Military.com Buddy Finder, with over 20 million searchable military records -- search by name, pay grade, job code, age or installation. (http://www.military.com/buddy-finder/?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Find old friends and reconnect today.


Hearings Held on Disability Claims
The Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs recently held a hearing to review the progress made by the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) in implementing the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES). A servicemember is referred to IDES when their active duty status is questioned through either physical or mental injuries incurred on active duty. Testimony and a webcast of the hearing are available on the (http://veterans.house.gov/hearing/re-ev ... mitment-to) House Committee on Veterans' Affairs website.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


VA Loan Limits Change for 2012
In 2012, the VA loan limits are calculated with a new method, which caused a decrease in limits in certain areas. New VA loan limits range from $417,000 to $625,500 in the 48 contiguous states. In Hawaii, Guam, Alaska and U.S. Virgin Islands, VA loan limits range from $625,500 to $938,250. VA loan limits are calculated based on the median home price per county. Some U.S. counties are seeing significant decreases in their conforming loan limits. For instance, Nantucket was once a place where a VA-guaranteed loan of up to $1,094,625 could be obtained by a qualified veteran for zero money down. Today, the VA will still back 25% of each veteran's loan in Nantucket, but only for loans up to $625,500. (http://www.military.com/money/partner/h ... ESRC=vr.nl) See the full story on Military.com.


Last-minute Tax Season Tips
All military personnel have to file taxes, but there are several rules and provisions that military personnel should consider at tax time. Here are five last-minute tax tips to consider. First, be sure to File by the appropriate deadline. Although you may have a different deadline depending on your service status, you do need to make sure to file by the appropriate deadline. File an extension if you have to, but don't miss any deadlines or you'll make your situation worse. For four other important tax season tips, see (http://www.military.com/money/partner/p ... -tips.html) this Military.com article.


Free Job Seeker Boot Camp Seminar
VA for Vets is sponsoring a free event for Veterans, Servicemembers and Spouses. The 3-hour Job Seeker Boot Camp seminar will help you to: create your best resume, develop key job searching strategies, utilize your network, develop a social media presence, make a strong first impression and deliver a stand out interview. You'll leave the seminar with an action plan, electronic resources and a renewed enthusiasm for your job search.
The Job Seeker Boot Camp is held in two locations from 9am to noon. The first event is in Cherry Hill, NJ on April 17 at the Crown Plaza Cherry Hill and the second event is held in Baltimore, MD on April 19th at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore.
Register today for (http://www.bit.ly/VAforVets_CherryHill) Cherry Hill or (http://www.bit.ly/VAforVets_Baltimore) Baltimore. Space is limited.
Boardman 8)
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