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  • VA releases plans for sweeping health care overhaul

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials on Monday presented Congress with their formal plan to ease rules concerning veterans seeking medical appointments outside the VA system at government expense, potentially sending tens of thousands of new veterans into the private sector for care.

    The proposal once again raises questions about the long-term goals of the VA medical system and potential privatization of veterans care, issues that have already caused infighting among some veterans groups and Capitol Hill lawmakers.

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    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • VA secretary promises in writing not to cut benefit program for disabled vets

    Nikki Wentling | Stars & Stripes

    WASHINGTON – Months after President Donald Trump’s administration backed off a proposal to slash benefits for the country’s most disabled veterans, organizations such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars were still receiving calls and emails from panicked vets.

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  • Research: Companies Are Less Likely to Hire Current Military Reservists

    Theodore F. Figinski | Harvard Business Review

    Prior to 9/11, the obligation of the military’s Reserve Component servicemembers — more commonly known as reservists — was typically limited to training one weekend a month and two weeks during the summer. In support of the extended military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, however, reservists have been required to serve as full-time members of the military for prolonged periods of time.

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    Employment
  • Lawmakers take first steps toward a BRAC for VA facilities

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON — House lawmakers took the first steps Thursday toward shutting down hundreds of Veterans Affairs facilities through a process similar to military base closure rounds, saying the move is critical to keep the department from wasting millions of dollars on underused, aging buildings.

    But some of the largest veterans groups said they have serious concerns with the proposal, saying it’s ripe for abuse and could tempt VA officials to outsource more veterans’ medical care to private-sector physicians.

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  • Why so many veterans go hungry — and VA’s new plan to fix it

    Caitlin Dewey | Washington Post

    When Greg Stegall left the Navy at 30 years old, he found himself utterly adrift: a single dad with no degree, no clear plans for the future and a short résumé in a down job market. Struggling to find work, Stegall put his son in a boarding school for poor children and asked his parents for money and food.

    Nearly 30 years later, Stegall — now 58 — oversees a program at a Pennsylvania food bank that delivers meals to hungry veterans. But he still regularly sees other vets in similar situations.

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    Benefits
    VA
  • Congress extends VA programs to year's end, avoiding budget fight complications

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON — Congress this week finalized legislation to extend a host of Veterans Affairs programs until the end of December, avoiding disruptions in the services while lawmakers sort out budget issues over the next two months.

    The measure was approved by the House on Monday and passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Wednesday night. It now heads to the White House, where President Donald Trump is expected to sign the measure into law in coming days.

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    Legislation
    VA
  • VA Studying Suicide Prevention In Veterans

    Quil Lawrence | NPR

    Suicide among veterans is 22 percent higher than for civilians of the same age. The VA and the Pentagon have been studying how to prevent suicides.

    Transcript (click the associated article URL to play the audio version of this article):

    DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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    Mental Health
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  • Don't abandon our female veterans to staggering risk of suicide

    Paula Broadwell and Kate Hendricks-Thomas | The Hill (Opinion)

    Earlier this month, the Department of Veterans Affairs released an updated version of its “Veteran Suicide Statistics by State” report, the most comprehensive examination of veteran suicide in American history which analyzed over 55 million records from 1979 to 2014 from all 50 states and four territories.

    One of the most staggering public health statistics in this report was the rate of female veterans’ suicide rate: 250 percent higher than civilian women.

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    Mental Health
    VA
    Women Veterans
  • DoD official: States 'spotty' in easing military spouses' licensing burdens

    Karen Jowers | Military Times

    States’ efforts to ease licensing burdens for military spouses relocating from state to state have been “spotty,” a defense official said, and plans are in the works to target trouble spots.

    “For those states that haven’t done that well, we’re going back. We’re going to present this information to those states through their legislatures and ask them to progress further, clear it up,” said Marcus Beauregard, director of the Defense Department state liaison office.

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    DoD
    Employment
    Family
  • VA's suicide prevention hotline expanding to third site

    Leo Shane III | Military Times

    WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials will open a third call center for the Veterans Crisis Line in Kansas in coming weeks, a move that’s expected to add about 100 new personnel to the emergency response service.

    The new office will be located in Topeka on the campus of VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System. More than 500 staffers currently operate the around-the-clock hotline out of locations in New York and Georgia.

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    Mental Health
    VA

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