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  • Officials: Wounded warrior units still needed

    Patricia Kime | Military Times

    The military may be winding down from more than 13 years of war, but military wounded warrior programs remain a top priority within the Pentagon, officials told Congress Tuesday.

    Providing an update on their evolving initiatives to the House Armed Services Committee's personnel panel, defense and service officials said that since the non-medical services programs were launched in the mid-2000s, they have managed more than 70,000 cases involving combat wounds, debilitating illnesses and injury.

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    Physical Well-Being
    Transition
  • Lt. Helton Memorial Foundation Seeks Funds to Raise Monument

    Jennifer Helton | Lt Helton Memorial Foundation

    Below is an excerpt from an open letter written by Jennifer (Jiffy) Helton. Mrs. Helton is the surviving mother of 1Lt. Joseph D. Helton, Jr. who was killed in action on Sep 8, 2009 while serving in Iraq.

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    Family
  • Lawmaker blasts budget plan to trim VA Choice Program

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    Veterans Affairs officials don't know how many veterans are using the new "choice card" program, but it's a small enough total that they want to start taking money out of the program.

    The move is likely to ignite a lengthy fight on Capitol Hill with lawmakers who created the program last summer following the department's patient-wait-time scandal and who doubt VA's ability to serve veterans in a timely and effective manner.

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    Legislation
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • VA lays out 2016 health care budget priorities

    Patricia Kime | Military Times

    The Veterans Affairs Department's budget plan for health care next year would boost spending on mental health treatment and services, caregiver programs and health care for female veterans.

    The budget request for fiscal 2016, which starts Oct. 1, includes $56 billion in spending for veterans health care as well as $63.3 billion in advance funding for 2017. That advance funding is included each year in the VA spending plan to protect the health budget in the event of a government shutdown.

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    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • VA Announces Single Regional Framework under MyVA Initiative

    VA

    VA Announces Single Regional Framework under MyVA Initiative
    Internal Organizations to Realign Their Existing Structures

    Washington – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. 

    The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into a single regional framework to enhance internal coordination. 

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    VA
  • Labor Department takes data-driven approach to veteran hiring

    Now Hiring

    By Amrita Jayakumar | The Washington Post

    Contractors will have to start collecting annual data on their veteran hiring practices in 2015, according to an updated Labor Department regulation.

    The rule, released last fall, is a significant modification to a 1974 rule related to the hiring of veterans after the Vietnam War and an example of the government’s push to use data to study industry trends.

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    Topics
    Employment
  • Study: Rapid HIV testing in shelters is affordable, effective way to reach homeless Veterans

    VA

    Rapid HIV testing could have a dramatic effect on treating Veterans who are both homeless and HIV-positive, according to a VA study appearing in the January 2015 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

    While Veterans only make up around 11 percent of the U.S. population, they continue to be overrepresented among the U.S. homeless population. On any given night, Veterans make up some 26 percent of the nation's homeless population of nearly 610,000, putting them at a higher risk for a myriad of other conditions —among them, HIV.

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    Homelessness
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Best for Vets: Colleges 2015

    George Altman | Military Times

    The students who walk into the veterans office at the University of Nebraska Omaha find several university staffers who can assist with school matters, a full-time Veterans Affairs Department employee who can help with benefits questions and other resources.

    The problem: Not everyone walks into the veterans office.

    "We have a big self-sorting issue, where the people who need our services probably the most don't use those resources," said Mike Connolly, director of the school's Office of Military and Veteran Services.

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    Topics
    Education
  • State of Nebraska issues nearly 2,700 special veterans driver's licenses

    Omaha World Herald

    LINCOLN — Nearly 2,700 Nebraska military veterans have obtained special driver's licenses available through a new state program.

    “I'm proud Nebraska continues to find unique ways to recognize our veterans,” Gov. Dave Heineman said during a press conference called Wednesday to promote the service.

    A law that took effect this summer allows Nebraska veterans to have the word “veteran” printed in bold letters at the bottom of their driver’s licenses or state identification cards. Heineman, a U.S. Army veteran, said he has a special operator’s license.

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    Topics
    Benefits
    Legislation
  • Veterans can apply to upgrade discharge for PTSD

    Military Times

    A special web page has been launched to assist veterans seeking to upgrade punitive discharges related to behavior problems caused by post-traumatic stress.

    The web page provides information and applications to seek an upgrade to discharge from service. The page can be found at http://arba.army.pentagon.mil/adrb-ptsd.cfm.

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    Topics
    Benefits
    Mental Health

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