News Brief for 11 July 2014

VeteranTimes News Brief

Iraq veteran from Paxton aims to improve outdoor opportunities for
others >> Paxton Record
A University of Illinois graduate student who served in the Iraq War is
working to provide outdoor opportunities for area veterans, especially
those with disabilities.

Tesla Motors on a mission to hire American veterans >> Mercury
Tesla Motors, which is on a mission to bring electric cars to the
masses, now has another goal — to become a leading employer of
America’s military veterans. “We want to be known throughout the
veteran community as a great place to work,” Arnnon Geshuri, Tesla’s
vice president of human resources, said in an interview. “Veterans are
a great source of talent for Tesla, and we’re going after it.”

‘Game-changing’ Device Assists Injured Army Veteran >>
After a decade of excruciating pain, Frank Larraza figured he’d never
be able to walk pain-free again. But in a month’s time, this 24-year
Army veteran has gone from crawling to walking to running.

Veterans help Chicago teens through ‘war’ times >> Chicago
For 12 weeks at a time, the YMCA of Metro Chicago is pairing kids
from one of the Chicago neighborhoods on edge with people who
know well the struggle of surviving a dangerous place: military
veterans who fought in the nation’s two most recent wars. Youths
from Little Village, including Sammy and Alex, were part of the pilot
Urban Warriors run by the YMCA and the Adler School of
Professional Psychology. The program is part of a broader effort by
the Y to focus on treating mental and emotional wounds that youths
growing up in Chicago’s more fractured communities suffer.

Oldest woman veteran, 108, wants one more trip >> San Antonio
Express News
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Lucy Coffey had left the
farm in Martinsville, Indiana, spent time in Chicago and finally settled
in Dallas, where she worked at an A&P supermarket. After quitting
the A&P in 1943, she joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, a call
to service that would take her to Japan before she returned and
settled in San Antonio. Now, at 108, the nation’s oldest woman
veteran has one more trip to make, this time an Honor Flight, an all-
expense-paid salute to World War II veterans. The destination:
Washington, D.C.

Marine Corps dilemma with women prompts change at infantry
school >> Washington Post
It has been more than two years since word first trickled out that the
Marine Corps was planning to incorporate women on an experimental
basis into its arduous Infantry Officer Course at Quantico, Va. The
idea was simple, if controversial: The Pentagon was investigating
which additional jobs should be opened in the military to women, and
top Marine officers wanted as much research done as possible before
decisions were made. They gave themselves three years.

Army recruiter: Tougher tattoo rules bring fewer — but better — recruits
>> Chicago Tribune
Uncle Sam still wants you – just not as heavily inked. More than three
months after the Army implemented a more stringent tattoo policy,
recruiters say they are the ones feeling the pinch.

New Business Helps Veteran Combat PTSD >> NBC 10
Matthew Litton struggled to find work that accommodated the
disabilities he sustained during his nine years with the Marine Corps.
Unable to connect with an employer willing to adjust to his medical
conditions, the 32-year-old veteran took matters into his own hands —
literally – when he opened his own custom woodworking business in

Veterans Group to Congress: Pass Tough Language on Firing VA
Officials >> The Blaze
A key veterans group is calling on Congress to pass a tough
Department of Veterans Affairs reform bill that would allow for the
immediate firing of VA officials involved in the healthcare scandal.
Change in VA Burial Benefits >>
Effective July 7, 2014: VA is changing its monetary burial benefits
regulations to simplify the program and pay eligible survivors more
quickly and efficiently. These regulations will authorize VA to pay,
without a written application, most eligible surviving spouses basic
monetary burial benefits at the maximum amount authorized in law
through automated systems rather than reimbursing them for actual
costs incurred.

Spending Spree: New Scandal Hits VA >> Huffington Post
How deep does monetary mismanagement and bureaucratic red tape
go at the Department of Veterans Affairs? The answer to that may
surprise you. Jason Linkins sits down to discuss this with reporter
David Wood on HuffPost Live.

A Growing Number Of Veterans Struggles To Quit Powerful
Painkillers >> NPR
During wartime, doctors and medics need to treat troops for pain, and
often use prescription opiates to solve that problem. Americans in the
military are prescribed narcotic painkillers three times as often as
civilians. This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs is treating
about 650,000 veterans by giving them opiates.

Military Veterans Group Supports Medicinal Marijuana >> WMKY
A Vietnam veteran from eastern Kentucky says marijuana helped
restore his quality of life, after experiencing chronic pain from a
broken back and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Military vets push for medical marijuana to treat PTSD >> WDRB
Military veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are
pushing Kentucky lawmakers to approve a drug they say will help
them. That drug is marijuana.

Bill seeks to help reduce suicides among veterans >> TheState
The mother of a decorated Marine who took his life moved from grief
to action Thursday as she called on Congress to do more to help
stem the spike in veterans’ suicides.

Parents tell Congress how VA failed their children: Veterans who
committed suicide >> Washington Post
Parents of military veterans who took their own lives after surviving
combat told a congressional panel on Thursday how not to prevent

Mother of vet who committed suicide: VA didn’t give him the care he
needed >> CNN
U.S. Marine Clay Hunt was an American hero, who not only served
his country, but also tried to prevent so many troops with post-
traumatic stress from taking their own lives. Now, he has also become
a painful example of the price of dysfunction at the VA. Hunt served in
both Afghanistan and Iraq. He was wounded in Falluhah, shot
through the wrist by a sniper’s bullet while on patrol.

Parents on VA mental health care: ‘No one was there to help’ >>
Nearly two dozen veterans commit suicide every day, and their
parents won’t let Congress forget it. At a House Veterans Affairs
Committee hearing Thursday, legislators promised, once again, to
improve the system for the men and women who must rely on VA
mental health care.


10 Reasons Companies Should Be Hiring Military Veterans

Companies take note: hiring a veteran of the U.S. Military comes with a host of benefits.

A number of Quora users responded to the question “What are the advantages of hiring someone who has been in the U.S. Military?” Of the responders, retired Marine sergeant and current hiring manager Jon Davis outlined ten key reasons employers should hire military veterans.

1. Veterans come from a previous culture built for mission accomplishment in mind.

2. Veterans have ingrained leadership talents

3. Veterans take their responsibilities seriously

4. Intuition is a skill, and the military teaches it

5. Military people will openly tell you when something is wrong

6. Military people will get the job done

7. When given the necessary support, veterans are extremely capable

8. Veterans are independent

9. Military personnel know the meaning of hard work

10. The government pays for veteran education

Read more at Business Insider

News Brief for 10 July 2014

VeteranTimes News Brief for 10 July 2014

House VA chairman to introduce bill to combat veteran suicides >> Washington Post
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) on Thursday plans to introduce legislation to help combat veteran suicides after a hearing on access to mental health treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Thousands of disability claims in limbo at the VA >> Market Place
The Veterans Affairs Administration is being pounded over scandalous delays for veterans seeking health care. Now comes a new concern about tens of thousands of veterans’ disability claims that are going nowhere; possibly the result of the agency shifting its claims process online.

One in Four Vets Know a Military Sexual Trauma Victim >> Gallup
One in four U.S. veterans (24%) say they know a service member or veteran who was a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape that occurred in the military. Female veterans (60%) are three times more likely than male veterans (20%) to say they know someone who has been victimized under these circumstances.

US Military developing brain implants to restore memory >> Fox News
The U.S. military has chosen two universities to lead a program to develop brain implants to restore memory to veterans who have suffered brain injuries, officials said at a news conference Tuesday.

Bill would take bonuses from some VA employees >> Federal Times
Employees at the Veterans Affairs Department who were involved in the manipulation of patient wait lists would have to pay back their bonuses, under legislation introduced by a pair of senators July 2.

VA ‘Distressed’ by Allegations of Whistleblower Retaliation >>
Leaders at the Veterans Affairs Department are deeply concerned and distressed about allegations that whistleblowers are routinely retaliated against, Dr. James Tuchschmidt, VA’s acting principal deputy undersecretary for health, said in a prepared statement for Congress yesterday.

Testimony pushes VA into greater disrepute >> Washington Post
Testimony from a Tuesday evening congressional hearing cast the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs in even greater disrepute, and undermined the agency’s claim of providing good health care.

Numerous reports of whistleblower reprisals trigger VA office overhaul >> Stars and Stripes
Jose Mathews became chief of psychiatry for the VA in St. Louis and quickly realized the department’s reported wait times for veterans seeking treatment did not match reality.

Vietnam War’s First MOH Recipient

Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Army Capt. Roger Donlon, was the first U.S. servicemember to be awarded the medal for actions during the Vietnam War.

All Aboard the Super Stallion

USMC Super Stallion

All Aboard the Super Stallion

@USMC Really captures your view when rushing to get on board, bent over, ducking the rotors, noise and motion overwhelming the senses.

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