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  • VA chief: Time to rethink disability system; current setup 'not sustainable'

    Karen Jowers | Military Times

    It’s time to rethink a veteran disability system that "incentivizes disability," Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said during a Friday forum in Washington, the same day President Trump signed new VA accountability legislation.    
     
    “Our current disability system that is designed from 50, 60 or 70 years ago….. I would suggest it’s not sustainable and it may not be achieving the results of well-being for our veterans,” Shulkin said at an event organized by the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative.  
     

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    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Racine Veterans Outreach looking to export tiny house success

    Jonathon Sadowski | The Journal Times

    RACINE — The men and women behind the success of Racine’s veterans village — the collection of tiny house built to house homeless vets — are looking to expand their program to other cities.

    Doubling as a worker training program, the expansion plan centers around having Racine’s homeless vets build tiny houses and then shipping them to cities interested in having a veterans village of their own. 

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    Homelessness
  • Trump signs VA bill to protect whistle blowers, expedite firing of problem worker

    Donovan Slack | USA Today

    WASHINGTON — President Trump signed legislation Friday designed to protect whistleblowers while making it easier to fire problem employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The "VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" makes permanent an office created by a Trump executive order earlier this year to look into claims made by whistleblowers and to protect them from retaliation.

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    Legislation
    VA
  • Trump nominates VA insider as next department deputy secretary

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday nominated Marine Corps veteran Thomas Bowman to serve as the No. 2 ranking appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs, potentially giving the administration another high-ranking official with inside knowledge of the department. 

    Bowman is currently majority staff director for the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and previously worked in several top posts at the department, including serving as chief of staff for former secretaries Jim Nicholson and James Peake.

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    VA
  • VA standardizing caregiver plan before opening to older vets

    Tom Philpott | Stars and Stripes

    VA Secretary David Shulkin has told congressional committees in recent weeks he supports a change in law to expand the post-9/11 caregiver program so that its cash stipend and menu of support services can benefit caregivers to severely injured veterans from earlier generations.

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    Benefits
    Caregivers
    Legislation
    VA
  • Soldier who lost 4 limbs opening retreat to help others

    David Sharp | Military Times

    ROME, Maine — Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills awoke in a hospital on his 25th birthday to learn that an explosion in Afghanistan had robbed him of all four limbs. He later told his wife to take their daughter and their belongings, and just go. He didn't want her saddled with his burden. 

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    Family
    Mental Health
    Peer Support
    Physical Well-Being
  • Trading helmets for hard hats, veterans explore career in construction

    Mary Hui | The Washington Post

    For the better part of the past half century, Vietnam veteran Bob Luckett has been working in the construction industry.

    Luckett, 69, started out as a laborer in a masonry company after completing his military service in 1971. It was tough work at first. His boss “was great, but he worked you to death,” he said, and soon Luckett developed an allergy to the lime in mortar.

    “My hands were like hamburgers.”

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    Employment
    Transition
  • 'There Was No Escaping It': Iraq vets are becoming terminally ill and burn pits may be to blame

    Patricia Kime | Task & Purpose

    The Iraq War killed former Minnesota Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Amie Muller. It just took a decade to do it.

    That, at least, is how Muller’s family and friends see it. The 36-year-old’s pancreatic cancer, they believe, was caused by exposure to the massive burn pit used to dispose of waste at Joint Base Balad, 40 miles north of Baghdad. Her doctors said there was a strong possibility the burn pit was to blame, but no way to definitively prove a link with the available evidence.

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    Physical Well-Being
  • Army scaling back respite care program

    Amanda Dolasinski | The Fayetteville Observer

    SOUTHERN PINES — For nearly the past year, Lorraine Weber has welcomed the calming presence of a respite care provider into her home to help with her son Robbie, who has moderate autism.

    Robbie commands attention, yelling for his mom and tugging on her while he plays with his dinosaurs and Legos. She does her best to split her attention between Robbie, his sister Madeleine and her husband Robert, a major in the Army who is out of the state for training over the next two months.

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    Caregivers
    Family
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
  • USDA Announces $20 Million For Jobs for Young People, Veterans

    USDA | KTIC Radio

    WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2017 — USDA and partners committed $20 million in 21st Century Conservation Service Corps partnership agreements to provide 4,000 work opportunities for youth, young adults and veterans up to 35 years old, a move that will help the U.S. Forest Service accomplish mission-critical infrastructure and landscape restoration projects on the ground. The U.S. Forest Service is one of seventeen USDA Agencies.

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    Employment

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