{This blog is not affiliated with the VA. Though a Veteran, four yrs. all shore in Navy last year In-Country Vietnam, I don't work for the VA}

The present Veterans Administration is the most pro-active one in my lifetime, lets keep it that way, as it always should have been! The Countries Responsibility is to Fully Fund!


Survey Finds Few Veterans on Congressional Staffs - Group says Congress should set example by hiring more vets

TX-19 Congressional Candidate Neal Marchbanks - Veteran: 28 March 2014 - "Congress controls the budget for the VA and it is the fault of Congress that the VA does not have enough employees and that the facilities are too small."

Congress, in Veteran Marchbanks statement, are the people served and who representatives work for, or are supposed to!

“We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility
{two tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, nor the results of, DeJa-Vu all over again from the previous decades and wars from! Ignore the many issues, by those served, no need to fund!}

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Republicans: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

How We Could Do More For Our Vets: "We need to go into debt to pay our debt to U.S. veterans to make sure they get the care and services we owe them."

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

WHY? GOOD QUESTION THOSE SERVED SHOULD ANSWER!

Presidential Proclamation -- Veterans Day, 2013: "As we pay tribute to our veterans, we are mindful that no ceremony or parade can fully repay that debt." read more>>>


Read about now,
Bush Institute aims to identify best resources for vets' transition ,for it's archived and never to be heard about again!


And more disturbing, under both bushes, in relation to even before and through the early years of the Afghanistan, quickly abandoned missions of, and Iraq occupations, this:

ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 - Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans
"DeLara's case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War."

Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort


The War On Military Records

12/10/2013 - The era of big data has arrived on the battlefield and we need to find new ways to deal with it.

Add in the issues of finally recognizing in War Theater and more Veterans, by this Veterans Administration and the Executive Administrations Cabinet, what the Country choose to ignore from our previous decades and wars of: The devastating effects on Test Vets and from PTS, Agent Orange, Homelessness, more recent the Desert Storm troops Gulf War Illnesses, Gulf War Exposures with the very recent affects from In-Theater Burn Pits and oh so so much more! Tens of Thousands of Veterans' that have been long ignored and maligned by previous VA's and the whole Country and through their representatives!

How does a Country HONOR It's Fallen, by Their Own 'Sacrifice' in Taking Care of the Brothers and Sisters They Served With!!


"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

"To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan" - President Lincoln




Are You Concerned About a Veteran? The Veterans Crisis Line Can Help>>>

For our sisters: National Women Veterans Hotline, call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636) New Hotline now up and running

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Attempting Mass Stolen Valor: Self Described Militia(?) Commander

Militia commander with Fort Bragg ties admits to ID theft
April 15, 2014 - A self-described militia commander from Minnesota who was charged with stealing identification information from members of his former Army unit at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has pleaded guilty to identity theft.

Prosecutors say Keith Michael Novak, of Maplewood, planned to use the stolen information to make fake IDs for members of his militia, the 44th Spatha Libertas. He entered his guilty plea Monday on the single count in federal court in Minneapolis as part of a plea agreement, according to court papers. Judge Patrick Schiltz ordered that he remain in custody. A sentencing date has not been set.

Novak was an active duty soldier and intelligence analyst with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg from 2009 to 2012 and served in Iraq in 2010, according to court documents. He later joined the Minnesota National Guard and served as a human intelligence analyst. read more>>>

Militia's?

These aren't 'militia's', they're no different then the armed gangs found in cities and towns all over. Untrained armed extremists with unlawful agenda's. Many, and members within, are doing exactly the same as any gang. Drug use and trafficking, gun trafficking, unlawful acts to enrich or maintain their extremist ways, reigning terror on any and all in the communities they exist by their actions and speak, even with their own gang colors and patches along with tattoo's today, terror cells called domestic, all hiding behind the flag in attempts to justify and adding their own flags they worship.

Dregs in and on a Civil Society!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Veterans' Administration Top Award for Early Career Scientists

VA Researchers Receive Nation’s Top Award for Early Career Scientists
WASHINGTON — April 15, 2014 - Four Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 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.

“These four VA scientists truly embody the spirit and intent of the PECASE,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “In addition to making important contributions to our understanding of Veterans’ health and provision of treatment, they are also adding to the body of scientific knowledge in their chosen fields of study.”

Joining fellow award recipients from 11 other federal agencies and institutes as well as the intelligence community were VA investigators 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. read more>>>


Us Older Veterans'

Older veterans may be eligible for various benefits
April 14, 2014 - Irene Cain, social work program manager in extended care at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, is fielding more calls, seeing more veterans and handling more cases as veterans from past wars reach their later years. As the number of senior veterans increases, the VA is adding more and diverse programs of care in Houston, at the VA Medical Center and through contracts with local senior caregivers.

In many instances, older veterans may be widowed with no family close by.

"Depending on the needs of that veteran who is virtually alone, and they live within a 50-mile radius of the VA Medical Center or one of our outpatient clinics in Beaumont and Lufkin, we can usually see them at home," Cain said. "We will conduct an assessment of the veteran's needs, look for any safety issues in their home and talk with their caregiver.

"If there is no caregiver, we will provide services of a physician, nurse, dietician, psychologist, any needed therapy and a social worker," Cain said. "We also, based on the veteran's needs, will send a homemaker/home health aide."

The VA also contracts with six adult day-care facilities around greater Houston. read more>>>


Wars’ Toll on Female Veterans'

The wars’ toll on female Iraq and Afghanistan veterans
April 14 2014 - Female veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have returned from war facing heightened family and emotional strains compared with their male counterparts. A report by The Washington Post’s Stephanie McCrummen about of a military sexual assault case highlights one of the unique challenges facing some female military service members, including family problems and worsened emotional health due to war.

Nearly a quarter of women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan reported a sexual assault, according to a study from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Female veterans have mixed views of whether the military is or is not doing enough to prevent sexual assault, by 50 to 48 percent. Men on the other hand, are more apt to say enough is being done by a 55 to 40 percent margin, according to a poll of Iraq and Afghanistan military service members conducted by The Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Women are suffering more than men when it comes to family problems and emotional health. Fifty-six percent of female service members say they have often or sometimes experienced relationship problems with their spouse as a result of their military service, compared with 44 percent of men. read more>>>


Veterans' Administration: Making a better leg

WillowWood, OSU improve prosthetic limbs for returning troops, other amputees
March 27, 2014 - Kevin Johnson navigated high school on crutches instead of bothering with the soreness and bleeding that came with wearing his first prosthetic leg.

But that’s changed. The right leg he gets around on today just two-stepped through Daytona Beach’s Bike Week.

When he waits on a red light, it stays on the brake of his custom Harley-Davidson without slipping to the ground. And the leg safely allows him to jump to the ground when he lands the helicopter he pilots.

It’s also proven handy for roping cattle, racing cars and operating bulldozers. (That last part is what he does for a paycheck.)

Johnson, who lives southeast of Chillicothe, lost much of his leg at 14 when a combine in a field of soybeans on the family farm snagged his shoestring. That was in 1979.

More than three decades makes a big difference, as has a recent study to improve prosthetic limbs for returning troops and other amputees.

WillowWood, a prosthetic-maker in Mount Sterling, is collaborating with wound experts at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center to improve prosthetics for those who’ve lost a leg above the knee.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gave $3.7 million for the work. The team is about 18 months into a 26-month project, said Jim Colvin, director of research and development at WillowWood.

So far, there have been 20 participants. read more>>>


Monday, April 14, 2014

Veterans' Job Training Grants Available

$6M in job training grants available to assist an estimated 2,000 veterans announced by US Labor Department
WASHINGTON — 04/14/2014 - U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today announces 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.

"Every day, our service members — and their families — make tremendous sacrifices for their country. Yet too many veterans are homeless," said Secretary Perez. "The programs funded through this grant will work to help homeless veterans find good jobs and provide them with opportunities for a brighter future."

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. Successful applicants will design a program that addresses the multitude of challenges associated with homeless veterans. read more>>>


Iraq Veteran: 'I was instructed to go to the burn pits'


Airman: 'I was instructed to go to the burn pits'

April 8, 2014 — U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Daniel Meyer was exposed to the fumes of burning trash pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he’s confined to his home and needs an oxygen tank to breathe.

Iraq and Afghanistan - Burn Pits


In The Country That 'Talks the Talk' But Doesn't 'Walk the Walk'

That talk fed by the hired Representatives, especially on the Federal level, not doing what they were hired to do but leading the country in finding anything, speak and symbols, to show their 'patriotism' and 'support' with the media outlets feeding those oh so patriot meme's, any oh so 'patriotic' headlines instead of delving in real journalism from the reality of any issue! And way too many Military and Veterans follow the same leads, bash the VA and not their reps. they helped hire, especially Veterans who are civilians now, easier and cheaper to attack the VA and civil servants of, leaving their brothers and sisters on the battle fields across the homeland!

TX-19 Congressional Candidate Neal Marchbanks - Veteran: 28 March 2014 - "Congress controls the budget for the VA and it is the fault of Congress that the VA does not have enough employees and that the facilities are too small."
Congress, in Veteran Marchbanks statement, are the people served and who representatives work for, or are supposed to!

It's not with Obama they should plead, but should have been demanding, it's with their elected representatives!! This Executive Administration, entire including the whole Cabinet, are the only ones doing for Military personal, their Families and Veterans!

White House Turned Down Request from Victims of First Ft. Hood Attack for a Meeting with Obama

Add in the issues, since entering office what the previous didn't do for these present veterans of the two long rubber stamped wars and occupations and previous administrations and congresses of finally recognizing in War Theater and more Veterans what the Country chooses to ignore from our previous decades and wars of: The devastating effects on Test Vets and from PTS, Agent Orange, Homelessness, more recent the Desert Storm troops Gulf War Illnesses, Gulf War Exposures with the very recent affects from In-Theater Burn Pits and oh so so much more! Tens of Thousands of Veterans' that have been long ignored and maligned by previous VA's and the whole Country and through their representatives!

Apr. 13, 2014 - During last week's memorial service for victims of April 2 Fort Hood shooting, President Barack Obama spoke about the lingering hurt from the previous attack on the base in 2009. "Part of what makes this so painful is that we've been here before," Obama said. "This tragedy tears at wounds still raw from five years ago. Once more soldiers who survived foreign war zones were struck down here at home, where they're supposed to be safe." Yet, when victims of the first Fort Hood shooting invited the president to see those wounds up close, he refused, without explaining why.

The morning of the memorial, retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot seven times during the 2009 Fort Hood rampage, requested that Obama meet briefly with victims and their families while he was on base. Lunsford's letter, which was addressed to the president's Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, also described survivors' disappointment with how they had been treated: read more>>>

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility' {two tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, nor the results of, DeJa-Vu all over again from the previous decades and wars from! Ignore the many issues, by those served, no need to fund!}

Really disappointed in Mother Jones, MoJo, in carrying this piece, follows what we expect from the FOX speak media and followers of, and not carrying the reality further in pointing out the Countries, through their hired Representatives, failures in not upholding their end of the contracts made with the extremely few who serve them, especially in our wars!

A Senator with no political party affiliation made the statement that but a very few, party or no, have made over all the years:

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Republicans: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

And just as few with the population served have made, with some creating organizations and volunteering to help in the shortfall of the long under funded agency charged with fulfilling the promises. mostly broken, to those who've served:

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013


Automating Veterans’ Family Requests

New technology automates Veterans’ requests to update family member status
April 10, 2014 - When I started working at the Veterans Benefits Administration, I started on a project called Rules Based Processing System (RBPS), a feature in eBenefits that automates the processing of changes to a disabled Veteran’s family member status. At the time, my daughter was 6-months old and my husband and I were still waiting for VA to process our request to add her to our compensation benefits. Needless to say, this system hit close to home.

From my own experience, I could see firsthand how this new technology could not only change things for some Veterans, but for our organization. As the program grew from an employee’s idea to a pilot program in testing, I could not wait for VA to implement it nationally so it would be available for everyone. In October 2012, we soft-launched the system while we continued to enhance the system to allow it to work for as many Veterans as possible. Today, as we continue making enhancements, I am convinced it will have the effect I first thought it would.

Requests for changes to family member status are, for the most part, black and white – when you add a dependent, you get an added amount to your monthly compensation payment. read more>>>


Sunday, April 13, 2014

VA is largest employer of mental health peer specialists

Peer Specialists Held in High Regard by Veterans
April 10, 2014 - Recovery from mental illness is often possible. That’s the goal of VA’s peer specialist mental health program—to have Veterans who have recovered from mental illness serve as role models for other Veterans. The concept is simple: Veterans will connect better with those who have experienced the same things.

A recent survey conducted by VA researchers in Syracuse, N.Y., and Pittsburgh, along with colleagues at the RAND Corporation, showed the achievements, and difficulties, of hiring Veterans with serious mental illnesses. The findings, published in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, pointed to widespread success and some room for improvement.

A has employed peer specialists for mental health since 2005 and is, in fact, their largest single employer in the world. The program expanded dramatically when President Obama signed an order in 2012 to improve mental health care for Veterans. That led to VA hiring more than 900 peer specialists nationwide to help treat Veterans with mental illness. read more>>>


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Continuing Urging Support for Military Caregivers

First, Second Ladies Urge Support for Military Caregivers
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2014 – First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, urged Americans to support the nationwide work of military caregivers in an opinion piece published this morning on the website of Military Spouse Magazine.

In their op-ed, Obama and Biden announced that the Department of Defense is creating in-person caregiver peer forums at every military installation that serves wounded warriors and their caregivers around the world. They will also be creating online tools, so that caregivers who aren’t able to attend an in-person forum can connect to their peers as well.

And, the op-ed said, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and many other organizations are committing to train 10,000 caregiving peer mentors -- a commitment that will reach 50,000 caregivers nationwide.

The text of the op-ed follows: read more>>>


Thursday, April 10, 2014

“Deadly Aftermath Of War Right Here At Home”

Fighting Stereotypes: “Deadly Aftermath Of War Right Here At Home” is less deadly than the general population
April 10, 2014 - The media reaction to the Fort Hood shooting was somewhat expected. But while unsourced connections and broad assumptions seem to be the norm in any breaking news, Veterans suffer when the headlines start asserting that posttraumatic stress was the single source of the tragedy.

The unfounded accusation brands Veterans as ticking time bombs, intentionally or not. Veterans, advocates and other less reactionary journalists responded by pointing out that PTSD does not equate to violence.

Apparently everyone didn’t get the memo. On Tuesday, April 8, Huffington Post published “This Map Shows The Deadly Aftermath Of War Right Here At Home,” a headline sure to have great click-through rates.

The article and graphic compares Veteran-connected homicides in the U.S. per year to U.S. military combat deaths abroad per year. We weren’t the only ones to notice that this connection is unfounded. Gawker and Business Insider both weighed in as well. The response was enough to prompt Huffington Post to add “We regret the lack of contextual information in highlighting these tragedies,” but the graphic remains unchanged. read more>>>