September 7, 2017
Adam Linehan | Task & Purpose
In May 2011, amid President Barack Obama’s troop surge, the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division began leaving Afghanistan after a grueling year-long tour. By the end of the summer, the entire division had returned home to Fort Campbell on the Tennessee-Kentucky border, greeted by a succession of parades and award ceremonies honoring the 101st’s sacrifice in some of Afghanistan’s most volatile regions, where a total of 131 Screaming Eagles lost their lives and many more were wounded. Chests were adorned with medals; families were reunited; alcohol flowed.
August 30, 2017
Shawn Snow | Military Times
WASHINGTON — Transgender troops can continue to serve pending a study and recommendation from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the Defense Department announced Tuesday.
The DoD has received Trump’s memorandum on transgender service members and will implement the president’s policy direction, according to a prepared statement from Mattis.
August 30, 2017
Leo Shane III | Military Times
WASHINGTON — Veterans advocates are hopeful that more veterans with “bad paper” dismissals will be able to upgrade their discharge status now that defense officials have released clearer guidance of how to handle a host of mental health and injury cases.
The new memo, released Monday by the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness office, states that reviewers must take into consideration “conditions resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, sexual assault or sexual harassment” when deciding whether to upgrade a veterans’ status.
August 23, 2017
Nikki Wentling | Stars and Stripes
RENO, Nev. — Under a bill President Donald Trump signed Wednesday, veterans will have more options to appeal denied claims for Department of Veterans Affairs benefits – a process that now leaves veterans waiting an average of five years.
Trump signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization bill on stage at the 99th American Legion National Convention in Reno, Nev. The Legion was one of the groups that supported the overhaul.
During a speech before the signing, Trump touted the legislation as “historic.”
August 16, 2017
Farran Powell | US News & World Report
Lawmakers this month sent an expanded GI educational benefits bill, known as the "Forever GI Bill" to President Donald Trump's desk to sign.
The Forever GI Bill, which passed the U.S. Senate unanimously, is estimated to cost more than $3 billion over 10 years.
"It restores benefits to veterans who were impacted by school closures since 2015 and has special benefits for our reservists, surviving dependents and Purple Heart recipients," said Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin in a statement.
August 16, 2017
August 15, 2017
Natalie Gross | Military Times
When New York University Professor Liang Zhang started doing research on veterans in higher education, he wasn’t surprised to see that the Post-9/11 GI Bill generated a significant bump in college enrollment.
But what he wasn’t expecting to learn as part of his new “Veterans Going to College” report is that the largest growth has been among veterans earning advanced degrees — particularly older veterans who already have a master’s.
August 10, 2017
Courtney Mabeus | The Virginian-Pilot
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin described the VA system much like he might a patient.
“The VA has a lot of problems right now, and I describe it as being in critical condition,” Shulkin told reporters Wednesday. “That means we need to intensively monitor the progress of the organization, but I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”
August 9, 2017
August 8, 2017
Tom Vanden Brook | USA Today
WASHINGTON — Pentagon health care providers failed to perform critical follow-up for many troops diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome who also were at high risk for suicide, according to a new study released Monday by the RAND Corp.