Veterans Report - Week of August 06, 2012

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Veterans Report - Week of August 06, 2012

#1 Postby boardman » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:22 pm

Veterans Report - Week of August 06, 2012

State Voting Systems Vulnerable
Stars and Stripes reports that a new state-by-state report has found that states trying to make it easier for troops overseas to vote have set up voting systems that are vulnerable to hacking when they allow voters to return ballots online, via email, or Internet fax. ( ... es2012.pdf) The report, Counting Votes 2012, says all states should require overseas ballots to be mailed because even faxed ballots cannot be independently audited. The report is available on the ( ... es2012.pdf) website.
To keep up with legislation and laws that affect servicemembers and veterans, and make your voice heard with politicians, visit the ( Legislation Center.

VA Looking for Vets to Help in Illinois
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there are more than 500,000 military veterans in Illinois, but only 63,000 are receiving any of the government benefits they are due for serving their county. The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Illinois Lost Veterans Project. is trying to find those 'lost veterans.' It is a VA pilot program aimed at the veterans in the state's 91 most rural counties. If successful in Illinois, the program may be duplicated in other states. Initiated in April, the program has a website, toll-free hotline and face-to-face outreach program. For more information, visit the Illinois Lost Veterans Project website at ( or call the toll-free hotline at 855-455-VETS (8387).
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Sears 'Heroes at Home'
The Sears 'Heroes at Home' Program was created five years ago in partnership with Rebuilding Together in response to an urgent need to assist military families facing hardship. Since 2007, Sears has raised $16 million dollars to rebuild veterans' homes and completed 1100 homes to date with 40% of the homes benefit veterans wounded in combat. The program currently has 150 veteran home rebuilding projects currently underway. Sears intends to double the current numbers in the next 5 years and put more emphasis on the military family. Sears is also committed to hiring 3500 more veterans by the end of 2012. For more information, visit the ( Sears Heroes at Home webpage and the ( Rebuilding Together website.
For nation-wide job listings and job search guides, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

VA Admits Possible Cuts
At a recent joint hearing of the House Veterans' Affairs and Armed Services Committees, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, confirmed that under sequestration, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would face cuts, possibly affecting the administration of veterans' benefits and services. Wait times for the Integrated Disability Evaluation System are already at record highs, the disability claims backlog has tripled in the past four years, and a majority of veterans seeking mental health evaluations wait an average of two months for an appointment. A webcast of the hearing along with statements and submissions is available on the ( ... turning-to) House Committee on Veterans' Affairs website.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

VA Loan Eligibility Details
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. Eligibility for the Certificate is based on an individual's (or a spouse's) military service. Congress establishes eligibility with strict guidelines. ( ... See the five common categories of those who normally qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility.
( ... Next Step: Connect with lenders who can help you use your VA Loan Benefit.

Vet Transition Story: Parker Hannifin
Navy veteran Eric Romero on his military transition: "One month prior to my discharge in 2002 I created and posted my resume on I was sure to mention all experience and training that I received from the military. I heavily utilized the career description dictated from the job description from the Navy for an Aviation electrician. I received a call from a staffing agency and they wanted to set up an interview for a position in their Qualification Lab. The position required a hydraulics background; however, they stated that there were electronics in the future and that my avionics and military discipline was something Parker was very interested in." Read the full story, along with tips for transitioning servicemembers, on ( ...
( ... Visit the Parker Hannifin Veteran Talent Portal

New PTSD Assistance App
The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have released a free Apple and Android smartphone mobile application for use with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. The app is called PE Coach; PE stands for "prolonged exposure." Patients install PE Coach on their smartphones and can record therapy sessions for playback between the sessions. The app also provides an explanation of exposure therapy, assignments, and explanations of PTSD and its symptoms. The Defense Department and VA released a similar mobile application last year called PTSD Coach. For more information, visit the ( National Center for Telehealth and Technology website.
For more on PTSD and military family support resources, visit the ( Family Channel.

Services Sued Over Paperwork Mistakes
Stars and Stripes reports that some combat-injured sailors and Marines may have been cheated out of millions in veterans disability payments because of paperwork mistakes made by the services, according to a class-action complaint recently brought against the military. Officials from the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) filed the lawsuit on behalf of three combat veterans who lost about $20,000 in disability benefits each because service officials failed to note their injuries were combat-related. Veterans medically-separated from the Navy or Marine Corps after January, 2008 who believe they might have lost out on disability payments because of similar problems can inquire about joining the lawsuit by calling NVLSP at 1-877-345-8387. A copy of the class-action complaint is available on the ( ... _Final.pdf) NVLSP website.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Veterans' Employment and Training Service
If you are a veteran looking for assistance in transitioning into civilian life, finding a job or getting the training needed to get a job, then you need to learn more about the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) program. VETS is an independent agency within the Department of Labor create specifically to assist veterans in making the transition from military to civilian life, train for and find good jobs, and to protect the employment and reemployment rights of veterans, Reservists and National Guard Members. ( ... Get more information on

New Tax Credit in Delaware
Delaware Governor Jack Markell has signed a bill giving tax credits to those who hire veterans. The new Veteran's Tax Credit in Delaware will be 10 percent of a qualified veteran's wages, up to a maximum of $1,500. Employers may take the credit the year a veteran is hired and the two subsequent tax years. According to the new law, a "qualified veteran" is anyone who has served in a hostile environment such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
For nation-wide job listings and job search guides, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Featured Employer: KCI Hiring Veterans
KCI is hiring veterans and transitioning servicemembers. ( ... Visit the KCI Veteran Talent Portal to apply for jobs, read success stories, and learn more about a career with KCI.
KCI offers the excitement and challenges of a growing and innovative company in the medical device marketplace of advanced wounded care solutions -- helping to heal patients, restoring them to active, and productive lives. At KCI, we refer to our employees as "Team Members" because we work together to provide the best products, service and outcomes to our customers. Diversity and prior-servicemembers are central to our hiring efforts and we believe success hinges on integrity, motivation and leadership found in U.S. military veterans. ( ... Visit the KCI Veteran Talent Portal Now.

Get Hired at the Vets Virtual Career Fair Aug 21 and Monster are hosting a Veterans Virtual Career Fair on August 21st. It's free to join and you'll be able to communicate and engage with exhibitors and attendees in a collaborative virtual environment. Fast Track Your Military Experience to a Civilian Career. ( ... Get more details and register for the event now.
( View a full calendar of Military Career Expos.
( Visit the Veteran Career Center to search for jobs and get tips on your career and job search.
( ... Translate your military skills, experience and training to find career opportunities that best align with your capabilities.

New Transition Program Announced
The President recently announced the launch of a revamped transition assistance program. The new program, known as Transition GPS, will help our separating servicemembers successfully transition to the civilian workforce, start a business, or pursue training or higher education. The extended 5-7 day transition program will strengthen, standardize, and expand counseling and guidance for service members before leaving the military. In addition, Transition GPS will transform the military's approach to education, training, and credentialing for service members. The new Transition GPS program will be fully implemented throughout the Armed Forces by the end of 2013.
( ... rview.html) Read the full article on

VGLI Too Much? $400k Protection for Less
Is VGLI too much? Find an affordable alternative to VGLI starting at less than $2 a Day. ( Get Coverage Now.

OK State University Helps Disabled Vets
Oklahoma State University is accepting applications for its annual program helping disabled veterans launch and grow their own businesses. The Veterans with Disabilities Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) is an entrepreneurial training program designed to empower veterans by providing them critical resources to turn their business ideas into workable business models, helping them create companies. The VEP is presented each year by the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. Applications for the 2012-13 VEP are available online at ( National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program website. Applications are due by Oct. 1.
For nation-wide job listings and job search guides, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Goodyear to Hire Veterans
Goodyear plans to hire 1,000 veterans in the next three years as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes program. The goal of the program is to find work for half a million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014. Goodyear is the U.S. Military's top supplier of tires. For more information on the program, visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes webpage at (
For nation-wide job listings and job search guides, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Get Your Military Benefit Guide
The 2012 Military Advantage Benefit Guide Book is packed with updated benefit information. Find answers to all your benefit questions -- Pay, TRICARE, VA Loans, GI Bill, Tuition Assistance, Transition, Family Benefits and More. ( ... 1591143934) Get a copy today.

Deal of the Week: School Apparel
Back to School is around the corner! Shop millions of t-shirts, hoodies, bags, and more for nearly every school and college at Prep Sportswear, a shopping partner. ( ... Get 10% savings off your purchase.
( See all Military Discounts -- travel, clothing, jewelry, auto and more.

Assistance for Veterans' Dependents
The Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA) (also known as the Chapter 35 benefit program) provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. Under the program, the dependent can receive up to 45 months of educational benefits, which may be used for degree or certificate programs, apprenticeship, or on-the-job training. Also included under the program are correspondence courses for the spouse of the veteran. For more information, visit VA's ( ... s/dea.html) Survivor and Dependents Assistance (DEA) webpage.
For more on military education programs and benefits, visit the ( Education Center.

New AF Civilian Hiring Tool
The U.S. Air Force recently finished full-implementation of its USA Staffing Onboarding Manager (OM) tool ahead of schedule. The OM tool helps reduce the average amount of time it takes to process new civilians before they enter on duty. For more information about civilian hiring reform initiatives and other personnel issues, visit the myPers ( website. For more information about Air Force civilian career opportunities, visit the Air Force Civil Service website at (
For nation-wide job listings and job search guides, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Vet Crisis Line Usage Up 62%
Recently released Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data shows that the online chat service of the Department of Veterans Affairs' national crisis hot line has experienced a 62 percent increase over last year. The online chat feature was introduced in 2009 when the Veterans Crisis Line was still called the National Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline. The name was changed last year to broaden the reasons veterans and their family members can call for help. If you are a veteran in need of help, call the Veterans Crisis Line at: (800) 273-8255. You can also send a text to 838255 or start an online chat at the Veterans Crisis Line website at (
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Gulf War Vets Sought for Study
Dr. William Meggs, an East Carolina University medical toxicologist and professor of emergency medicine, is leading a team of biomedical scientists in a study of new medicines to treat Gulf War Illness. Dr. Meggs hopes to recruit 60 veterans who developed Gulf War Illness to participate in the study, which will research of generic drugs that control inflammation in the brain that may have been triggered by neurotoxin exposures. Gulf War veterans interested in the study can contact Dr. Meggs at (252) 744-5568.
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Horses & Warriors
Horses & Warriors an equestrian program near Atlanta, Georgia that helps veterans overcome daily emotional and physical obstacles. The sessions typically run in 12-week courses, twice a year. Participants are referred by their doctors, but they are not charged for any services. The Horses & Warriors program is run primarily by volunteers and focuses on the physical, social, cognitive, and emotional well-being of the veterans partaking in the program. Participants include wounded veterans with amputations, spinal injuries, and other mobility impairments as well as those with psychological impairments such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more information, visit the ( ... heroes.php) Horses & Warriors webpage or call Sara Reams at (678) 438-3116.
For more military family support resources, visit the ( Family Channel.

State Veteran's Benefits Overview
Many states offer veterans benefits. These benefits may include educational grants and scholarships, special exemptions or discounts on fees and taxes, home loans, veteran's homes, free hunting and fishing privileges, and more. Each state manages its own benefit programs. Visit for a list of links to the websites for each of the individual states that offer veterans benefits. Be sure to take advantage of the benefits you have earned by clicking on the ( ... link to your State Department of Veterans Affairs.

'Stolen Valor' Website Debuts
The Department of Defense has launched a new website to try to reduce the number of Americans fraudulently claiming to have been awarded medals by the military. The Department of Defense's new ( U.S. Military Awards for Valor--Top 3 website is a response to the June ruling by the Supreme Court that the "Stolen Valor" law was unconstitutional. The new website compiles information about those who have received the military's two highest awards for valor -- Medals of Honor and Service Crosses -- since Sept. 11, 2001. The Defense Department is also trying to compile information on Silver Star recipients, but no timetable has been given on when that might be completed.
For more military news, visit the ( News Center.

New Licensing Law Helps Vets in NC
North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue has signed a new law that gives military spouses and veterans professionally licensed in other states the opportunity to apply for their North Carolina license without having to re-license. Regardless of occupational specialty, all military or out-of-state qualifications must meet or exceed North Carolina's licensure standards. A licensing board will determine eligibility to qualify for licensing and certification based on training, experience and competency requirements. There are more than a 100 different occupational licensing agencies in North Carolina, and each licensing board will be required to implement the new statute within one year from the date the act becomes law.
For more articles and advice on military spouse employment, visit the ( Spouse Center.

VA Prostate Cancer Treatment Study
A major federal study led by the Department of Veterans Affairs has found no difference in survival between men with early-stage prostate cancer who had their prostate surgically removed and those who were simply watched by their doctors with treatment only as needed to address symptoms if they occurred. Known as the Prostate Cancer Intervention Versus Observation Trial, or PIVOT, the randomized trial involved 731 men and took place at 44 VA sites and eight academic medical centers nationwide. The report is available in the ( New England Journal of Medicine. For more information on VA research overall, visit the Veterans Health Administration Research and Development website at (
For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.
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