Veterans Report - Week of July 02, 2012

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Veterans Report - Week of July 02, 2012

#1 Postby boardman » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:29 am

Veterans Report - Week of July 02, 2012

Committee Holds Hearing on VBA Claims

The U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs recently held an oversight hearing entitled "Reclaiming the Process: Examining the VBA Claims Transformation Plan as a Means to Effectively Serve Our Veterans." At the hearing, the Committee learned that Department of Veterans Affairs has yet to completely implement a comprehensive transformation plan to provide veterans with a paperless disability claims process that relies on accuracy the first time a claim is submitted. Statements and a webcast of the hearing are available on the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs website at (

For updates on veteran benefits, follow's ( Military Advantage Blog.

VGLI Isn't Enough: Get $100k Coverage for $11 a Month

Get a lower price alternative to VGLI or get additional coverage for your family. Compare Military friendly partners that can meet your individual needs. ( Get $100k coverage for as little as $11.00 a month.

90-Year-Old Veteran Gets Job

Stars and Stripes reports that World War II veteran Arnold Levinstein, 90, has been working in sales his entire life and sees no reason to stop now. So, the Boca Raton, Florida resident placed a job advertisement in the Sun Sentinel newspaper saying he is "in excellent health... and not interested in climbing the corporate ladder". He received 14 phone calls and three potential job opportunities. Broward, County Florida seniors can find job-search help at ( Workforce One, Palm Beach County's employment center ( Workforce Alliance, AARP work-search programs at 954-563-2559 or 561-471-9828; and Experience Works at 727-376-2427.

For job listings across the nation and civilian job guides and tips, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Technology Identifies Gulf War Illness

A discovery by a Minneapolis medical researcher may lead to a new test to help identify Gulf War Illness (GWI). Using sophisticated brain mapping equipment and techniques called magnetoencephalography (MEG), Dr. Aposotolos Georgopolous of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center has found a unique visual signature of a "core" brain abnormality in Gulf War Illness. Dr. Georgopolous's MEG findings provide further evidence that GWI is a distinctly separate disease entity rooted in damage to and dysfunction of the brain. The findings were recently presented before the Congressionally-chartered Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses ( ( RAC-GWVI) in public meetings in Boston, Mass.

For updates on veteran benefits, follow's ( Military Advantage Blog.

Study Looks at TBI Symptoms

A new study of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan has found lingering symptoms from combat-related traumatic brain injuries -- even "mild" cases -- may persist for years. Researchers found that veterans were still battling headaches, depression, dizziness and other symptoms up to eight years after their head injury occurred. The study looked at 500 veterans who underwent general health and depression screenings between 2008 and 2011 at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center. For more information on combat-related traumatic brain injury (TBI), visit the ( Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center website.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

VA Loan Eligibility Explained

In order to obtain a VA home loan, you must first fill out VA Form 26-1880, the request for your Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate is issued only through the Veterans Administration, and is the first step towards applying for your loan. Veterans, active duty, guard or reserve, and military spouses potentially qualify for this certificate. Keep in mind that the Certificate of Eligibility, while necessary, only allows an eligible individual to apply for a home loan; it does not guarantee a loan approval. ( ... Get more information on

( ... Next Step: Find lenders ready to help you use your VA Loan.

Court Shoots Down Stolen Valor Act

A Texas man who helped lead the charge for Congress to pass a law against so-called military "fakers" was disappointed last week by the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Stolen Valor Act. The ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, stated that the act was too broad for seeking to "control and suppress all false statements on this one subject in almost limitless times and settings without regard to whether the lie was made for the purpose of material gain. "For the court to decide that lying about military service and decorations was a criminal offense would essentially endorse the government compiling "a list of subjects about which false statements are punishable. That governmental power has no clear limiting principle," he wrote. Read the full ( ... r-act.html) 'Stolen Valor Act' Shot Down by High Court article.

For more military news, visit the ( News Center.

Survey Request: We Need Your Help

Your opinion matters. Take a quick survey to help ASMBA improve their product offerings and better serve the military community. ( Take the survey now.

Lifetime Advantages of the VA Loan

A VA Guaranteed Home Loan has many advantages over a convention loan -- requires no down payment, no lender fees, no mortgage insurance, and refinance without an appraisal or income verification. ( ... Read the full story on

Removing the Stigma of PTSD

On June 20, the American Legion hosted a meeting to discuss the implications of changing the medical classification of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to post-traumatic stress (PTS). Attendees included representatives from the National Association for Uniformed Services, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Vietnam Veterans of America.

( ... a-of-ptsd/) Learn more about removing the stigma of PTSD.

Grants to Aid Homeless Veterans

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the award of 64 grants totaling more than $15 million that are aimed at providing approximately 8,600 homeless veterans nationwide with job training to help them succeed in civilian careers. The grants are being awarded under the U.S. Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. A list of grantees is available on the ( ... 121260.htm) U.S. Department of Labor website. For more information on the Department of Labor's unemployment and re-employment programs, Visit the ( U.S. Department of Labor VETS website.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

New Veterans Initiative in Kentucky

Kentucky ( ... 1339788218) Gov. Steve Beshear has announced a statewide effort to connect returning members of the National Guard, Reserve and other veterans with job openings in Kentucky. Beshear unveiled the Hiring Kentucky Heroes partnership, which will bring together expertise and resources from each government agency to focus on a statewide strategy to assist veterans and employers to accomplish their employment goals. For more information, visit the ( ... fault.aspx) Hiring Kentucky Heroes webpage.

For updates on veteran benefits, follow's ( Military Advantage Blog.

New Promising Treatment for Parkinson's

Patients with Parkinson's disease who undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) -- a treatment in which a pacemaker-like device sends pulses to electrodes implanted in the brain -- can expect stable improvement in muscle symptoms for at least three years, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs study. An abstract of the study is available in the June 12, 2012 edition of the journal ( Neurology. Previous results from the study appeared in 2009 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010. The new report is based on 36 months of follow-up on 159 patients from the original group. It extends the previous findings: DBS produced marked improvements in motor (movement-related) function. The gains lasted over three years and did not differ by brain site. VA cares for some 40,000 Veterans with the condition.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

VA Continues PTSD Outreach

In observance of June as PTSD Awareness Month, the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has begun a new online initiative, AboutFace, which focuses on helping Veterans recognize PTSD symptoms and motivating them to seek treatment. For more information, visit the National Center for PTSD's ( AboutFace website. For more information on PTSD, visit the ( National Center for PTSD website to find educational materials including courses for providers on the best practices in PTSD treatment and the award-winning VA/DoD PTSD Coach Mobile App for electronic devices, which provides symptom management strategies.

For more on PTSD and links to support resources, visit the ( Spouse and Family Center.

New Nursing Homes in North Carolina

The North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs will open two skilled nursing facilities for veterans in the next several months. The new homes, each with 100 beds, will be in Kinston and Black Mountain. Other skilled nursing facilities for veterans are located in Salisbury, Fayetteville and Durham. Each of the homes has from 100 to 120 beds. For more information, visit the ( North Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs website.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

VA Offers Telehealth Consultations

In a continuing effort to increase veterans' access to mental health care, the Department of Veterans Affairs has set a goal to conduct more than 200,000 clinic-based, telemental health consultations for all mental health specialties in fiscal year 2012. The clinic-based telehealth program involves the more than 800 VA community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) where many veterans receive primary care. If the CBOCs do not have a mental health care provider available, secure video teleconferencing technology is used to connect the Veteran to a provider within VA's nationwide system of care. For more information, on VA's telemental health, visit the ( VHA Office of Telehealth Services website.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Study: Troops Paid More Than Most Civilians

According to the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation report released last week, military pay has climbed steadily as private sector salaries flattened over the last decade. The rate has increased so much that by 2009 pay and allowances for enlisted members exceeded the pay of 90 percent of private sector workers of similar age and education level. According to the QMRC Director, the military pay advantage, which had been a worrisome gap in 1999, is larger now than it has ever been.

(,15240,246954,00.html) Read the full article on

Coaching Into Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) "Coaching Into Care" is a telephone service that provides assistance to family members and friends trying to encourage their Veteran to seek health care for possible readjustment and mental health issues. The service offers free coaching to callers with the goal of connecting a Veteran with VA care in his or her community with the help and encouragement of family members or friends. The service is available toll-free at 1-888-823-7458, 8 a.m. -- 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, and ( online. If a veteran is experiencing an acute crisis, callers should contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 for immediate help.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Featured Employer: Chenega Hiring Veterans

Chenega Corporation is hiring veterans and transitioning servicemembers. ( ... Visit the Chenega Veteran Talent portal to apply for jobs, translate your military skills, and learn more about a career with Chenega Corporation.

Chenega is a premier Government and Commercial services provider to the security, healthcare, IT, environmental, military operations, construction, and tourism industries. Rated #68 of Top 100 Government Contractors. ( ... Visit the Veteran Talent Portal Now.

Vet Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses Sought

According to an AP report, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) plans to introduce legislation to grant benefits for same-sex spouses of veterans and service members. Smith says spouses of service members should not be barred from receiving benefits because they are in same-sex marriages. ( ... x-spouses/) Read the Military Advantage Blog to learn more.

Entire Army to Go MultiCam

After years of testing, Army uniform officials are planning to recommend that MultiCam replace today's pixilated design as the official camouflage pattern the service issues to all soldiers, Made by Crye Precision LLC of Brooklyn, N.Y., MultiCam is the pattern that outperformed the service's Universal Camouflage Pattern, or UCP, to become the Army's pattern for soldiers deploying to Afghanistan. UCP was nonetheless adopted in 2004, but came under congressional scrutiny when soldiers complained about its poor performance in Afghanistan.

( ... force.html) Read the full article on The Army's MultiCam Decision.

New DoT Jobs Initiative

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) and the Department of Veterans Affairs have launched the Veterans Transportation Career Center, where former members of the armed forces can enter their specific military work experience and see how it translates to jobs in the civilian working world. The site guides veterans to jobs in five categories: aviation pilot, aviation maintenance technician, air traffic controller, commercial motor vehicle driver and emergency medical services. Job seekers can find what training and certification is needed for civilian jobs, determine what career fits best with their background, and search for available jobs in their field. The portal is available at the Veterans Transportation Career Center at ( .

For job listings across the nation and civilian job guides and tips, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

VA Completing Agent Orange Claims

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that nearly all of the 230,000 disability claims related to Agent Orange presumptions have been completed. Over $3.6 billion has been paid to Vietnam veterans and their survivors as a result of Agent Orange exposure. For more information, read VA's ( ... ge-claims/) VAntage Point Blog. VA has established its Agent Orange Fast Track Claims Processing System website at ( to assist veterans in filing claims for the three new conditions related to the effects of Agent Orange exposure. It guides Veterans through automated, program-assisted menus to capture the information and medical evidence needed for faster claims decision.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

View the 4th of July Slideshow

Visit the ( Independence Day Center to view the 4th of July Slideshow, watch a tribute video, get fun facts about the 4th of July and more.
Boardman 8)
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