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Military/Veteran Articles for November 8th, 2016

Home Depot Employees Help Veteran Rebuild Home –

After the home of a Marine Corps veteran, Ace Beam, burnt down in North Carolina in 2015, dozens of volunteers from Home Depot are helping rebuild the property. Initially, the veteran was unable to afford to rebuild it, so the city ordered to have it torn down. Home Depot employees learned of Beam’s situation through a veterans organization and brought together helping hands to assist in rebuilding his house. The home belonged to his parents for 20 years and holds many memories. Volunteers are hoping Beam can move back in by the end of November 2016. Beam stated, “This is mine, this is my place, my home. So if you ask me what it means now, it means more now to me than it ever did.”
Source: Austin American-Statesman

Military Times Declares November ‘Veterans Month’ –

The news site Military Times has decided to extend the honor of Veterans Day to an entire month-long affair. The website will be sharing exclusive stories, videos, and commentaries dedicated to all veterans of the United States military, which can be followed through the hashtag #VetsMonth. Some of the coverage will include stories on finishing the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall, lists of best colleges for vets, as well as places where vets can find military discounts on things like haircuts, food, and more. For more information, please visit:
Military Times

Military and Veteran Job Fairs Across America –

Now through January 2017, there will be at least 70 job fairs across the country available for service members, veterans, and military spouses to attend. Military Times has published a detailed list of these job fairs that is available through their website. Please note that some of these job fairs may require registration ahead of time.

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Military/Veteran Articles for November 8th, 2016

Home Depot Employees Help Veteran Rebuild Home –

After the home of a Marine Corps veteran, Ace Beam, burnt down in North Carolina in 2015, dozens of volunteers from Home Depot are helping rebuild the property. Initially, the veteran was unable to afford to rebuild it, so the city ordered to have it torn down. Home Depot employees learned of Beam’s situation through a veterans organization and brought together helping hands to assist in rebuilding his house. The home belonged to his parents for 20 years and holds many memories. Volunteers are hoping Beam can move back in by the end of November 2016. Beam stated, “This is mine, this is my place, my home. So if you ask me what it means now, it means more now to me than it ever did.”
Source: Austin American-Statesman

Military Times Declares November ‘Veterans Month’ –

The news site Military Times has decided to extend the honor of Veterans Day to an entire month-long affair. The website will be sharing exclusive stories, videos, and commentaries dedicated to all veterans of the United States military, which can be followed through the hashtag #VetsMonth. Some of the coverage will include stories on finishing the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall, lists of best colleges for vets, as well as places where vets can find military discounts on things like haircuts, food, and more. For more information, please visit:
Military Times

Military and Veteran Job Fairs Across America –

Now through January 2017, there will be at least 70 job fairs across the country available for service members, veterans, and military spouses to attend. Military Times has published a detailed list of these job fairs that is available through their website. Please note that some of these job fairs may require registration ahead of time.

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Military/Veterans News Headlines – Nov. 3, 2016

Combat Tourniquet Gets Upgraded –

The Generation 7 Combat Application Tourniquet will soon be released according to the Army Medical Materiel Agency. The previous generation will still be utilized, but soldiers are advised to become familiar with both. “When you need to actually use a tourniquet is the wrong time to figure out which version you have and how to use it,” stated AMMA nurse consultant Jason Harrington. The Gen. 7 will have its lot number and “G7” visible as well as a gray fastener strap, as opposed to the previous generation’s white strap. Harrington urges that the Gen. 6 is just as effective and can still be used. Since the Combat Application Tourniquet was first introduced in 2005, it is estimated that the mortality rate due to severe blood loss has been decreased by 85 percent.
Source: Army Times

Legendary WWII Pilot, Robert Hoover, Dies at 94 –

According to a close family friend, Robert “Bob” A. Hoover, aviation legend, passed away on Tuesday, October 26th. Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut, gave his condolences via Twitter, “We lost an aviation pioneer today.” Bob was a World War II fighter pilot that was highly regarded for his remarkable flying skills, testing of aircraft and demonstrations in airshows. Hoover began flying in 1937 and flew over 50 missions before being shot down. He survived the crash, spent months as a POW, then escaped by stealing a German fighter plane and flying to safety. Hoover has received numerous honors, including one from the National Air and Space Museum who gave its highest honor to Hoover in 2007. The museum also noted that Jimmy Doolittle, who lead the 1942 bomber raid on Japan, described Hoover as, “the greatest stick-and-rudder man that ever lived.”
Source: Military Times

Pentagon Stopping Repayment of National Guard Bonuses –

Following the efforts to recollect up to 10,000 fraudulent enlistment bonuses that were awarded to California National Guard reservists during the Iraq war, the Pentagon is now stopping the attempts to recollect. Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued an order following mass criticism of the military and this situation. The military was asking the reservists to repay $15,000 that was improperly awarded to them a decade ago.
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veterans News Headlines – Nov. 3, 2016

Combat Tourniquet Gets Upgraded –

The Generation 7 Combat Application Tourniquet will soon be released according to the Army Medical Materiel Agency. The previous generation will still be utilized, but soldiers are advised to become familiar with both. “When you need to actually use a tourniquet is the wrong time to figure out which version you have and how to use it,” stated AMMA nurse consultant Jason Harrington. The Gen. 7 will have its lot number and “G7” visible as well as a gray fastener strap, as opposed to the previous generation’s white strap. Harrington urges that the Gen. 6 is just as effective and can still be used. Since the Combat Application Tourniquet was first introduced in 2005, it is estimated that the mortality rate due to severe blood loss has been decreased by 85 percent.
Source: Army Times

Legendary WWII Pilot, Robert Hoover, Dies at 94 –

According to a close family friend, Robert “Bob” A. Hoover, aviation legend, passed away on Tuesday, October 26th. Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut, gave his condolences via Twitter, “We lost an aviation pioneer today.” Bob was a World War II fighter pilot that was highly regarded for his remarkable flying skills, testing of aircraft and demonstrations in airshows. Hoover began flying in 1937 and flew over 50 missions before being shot down. He survived the crash, spent months as a POW, then escaped by stealing a German fighter plane and flying to safety. Hoover has received numerous honors, including one from the National Air and Space Museum who gave its highest honor to Hoover in 2007. The museum also noted that Jimmy Doolittle, who lead the 1942 bomber raid on Japan, described Hoover as, “the greatest stick-and-rudder man that ever lived.”
Source: Military Times

Pentagon Stopping Repayment of National Guard Bonuses –

Following the efforts to recollect up to 10,000 fraudulent enlistment bonuses that were awarded to California National Guard reservists during the Iraq war, the Pentagon is now stopping the attempts to recollect. Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued an order following mass criticism of the military and this situation. The military was asking the reservists to repay $15,000 that was improperly awarded to them a decade ago.
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News Headlines – October 24th, 2016

Renowned Ship that Saved 7 During ‘Perfect Storm’ To Become Underwater Memorial –

The Tamaroa, formerly known as the USS Zuni, survived many harrowing experiences in war and rescue missions dating back to World War II. Unfortunately, the boat developed a leak four years ago resulting in damage to many important parts of the vessel. Due to the significant damage, the ship will now be sunk off the coast of New Jersey to help expand an artificial reef. Coast Guard Capt. Larry Brudnicki, the man who commanded Tamaroa during the 1991 “Perfect Storm”, stated this is a better fate than turning the previously resilient ship to scrap metal. The ship will provide new diving and fishing territory and serve as an underwater memorial.
Source: Military Times

Veteran-Owned Lox Hair Wax Co. Creates All-Natural Product –

Veteran owned and operated Lox Hair Wax Co. has created a beard/hair wax made of natural ingredients and locally sourced beeswax. The company takes pride in their product, which is hand-crafted, and focuses marketing towards first responders “who may have a tough mentality, but still want to look good.” Many similar products contain alcohol and chemicals that can damage hair, but the “Battle Wax” acts as a leave-in conditioner and moisturizes while you style. The demand for their Battle Wax has been increasing and is currently featured at several barber shops. The company hopes to release new beard oils and pomades by the end of the year. For further information on Lox Hair Wax Co. and where to order, please visit loxpomade.com
Source: Military Times

VA OIG Examining Allegations of Unofficial Wait Lists at Colorado Springs VA –

Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Cory Gardner of Colorado requested an inquiry from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) following a whistle-blower’s allegation of unofficial wait lists at the Colorado Springs VA Clinic. The Veteran Affair’s internal watchdog announced an audit in a letter to the senators. Secret lists have been an unfortunate trend across the country in many VA facilities and hide the lengthy delays in veterans care, like in Phoenix where 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments. An investigation into the Colorado Springs VA Clinic has not yet been initiated, but one could develop based on the findings of the audit.
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News Headlines – October 24th, 2016

Renowned Ship that Saved 7 During ‘Perfect Storm’ To Become Underwater Memorial –

The Tamaroa, formerly known as the USS Zuni, survived many harrowing experiences in war and rescue missions dating back to World War II. Unfortunately, the boat developed a leak four years ago resulting in damage to many important parts of the vessel. Due to the significant damage, the ship will now be sunk off the coast of New Jersey to help expand an artificial reef. Coast Guard Capt. Larry Brudnicki, the man who commanded Tamaroa during the 1991 “Perfect Storm”, stated this is a better fate than turning the previously resilient ship to scrap metal. The ship will provide new diving and fishing territory and serve as an underwater memorial.
Source: Military Times

Veteran-Owned Lox Hair Wax Co. Creates All-Natural Product –

Veteran owned and operated Lox Hair Wax Co. has created a beard/hair wax made of natural ingredients and locally sourced beeswax. The company takes pride in their product, which is hand-crafted, and focuses marketing towards first responders “who may have a tough mentality, but still want to look good.” Many similar products contain alcohol and chemicals that can damage hair, but the “Battle Wax” acts as a leave-in conditioner and moisturizes while you style. The demand for their Battle Wax has been increasing and is currently featured at several barber shops. The company hopes to release new beard oils and pomades by the end of the year. For further information on Lox Hair Wax Co. and where to order, please visit loxpomade.com
Source: Military Times

VA OIG Examining Allegations of Unofficial Wait Lists at Colorado Springs VA –

Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Cory Gardner of Colorado requested an inquiry from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) following a whistle-blower’s allegation of unofficial wait lists at the Colorado Springs VA Clinic. The Veteran Affair’s internal watchdog announced an audit in a letter to the senators. Secret lists have been an unfortunate trend across the country in many VA facilities and hide the lengthy delays in veterans care, like in Phoenix where 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments. An investigation into the Colorado Springs VA Clinic has not yet been initiated, but one could develop based on the findings of the audit.
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News – October 18th, 2016

MORE TROOPS SENT TO IRAQ
The Department of Defense is sending 615 more U.S. troops to Iraq to aid government forces oust ISIS from the city of Mosul. To date there are 4,647 U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq. “In April, more than 200 troops, including additional special operations forces, were sent to Iraq to train and advise government forces readying for the Mosul assault. The Iraqis also got Apache attack helicopters and a HIMARS rocket system. Another $415 million was sent to the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.” Recently, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the U.S. would deploy an additional 560 troops to Iraq. Those troops would offer infrastructure and logistical support at Qayara airfield south of Mosul, Carter.
Source: Military Times

19 STATES HOLDING OUT AGAINST MEDICAID EXPANSION
More than 600,000 veterans will go without health insurance next year without the Medicaid expansion. More than 120,000 of these fall into the so-called “Medicaid gap” — income level not low enough to qualify for Medicaid, but too much money to qualify for federal subsidies to buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. Not all get or qualify for care by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Source: Military Times

MILITARY HALLOWEEN COSTUME IDEAS
1. Rambo
2. Cadet
3. Captain America
4. Resident Evil- Alice
5. FBI agent
6. EMT
7. Top Gun
8. SWAT
Halloween is a time for decorative costumes and candy. It is always helpful to have bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible. Glow sticks are a fun way to been seen at night. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News – October 18th, 2016

MORE TROOPS SENT TO IRAQ
The Department of Defense is sending 615 more U.S. troops to Iraq to aid government forces oust ISIS from the city of Mosul. To date there are 4,647 U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq. “In April, more than 200 troops, including additional special operations forces, were sent to Iraq to train and advise government forces readying for the Mosul assault. The Iraqis also got Apache attack helicopters and a HIMARS rocket system. Another $415 million was sent to the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.” Recently, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the U.S. would deploy an additional 560 troops to Iraq. Those troops would offer infrastructure and logistical support at Qayara airfield south of Mosul, Carter.
Source: Military Times

19 STATES HOLDING OUT AGAINST MEDICAID EXPANSION
More than 600,000 veterans will go without health insurance next year without the Medicaid expansion. More than 120,000 of these fall into the so-called “Medicaid gap” — income level not low enough to qualify for Medicaid, but too much money to qualify for federal subsidies to buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. Not all get or qualify for care by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Source: Military Times

MILITARY HALLOWEEN COSTUME IDEAS
1. Rambo
2. Cadet
3. Captain America
4. Resident Evil- Alice
5. FBI agent
6. EMT
7. Top Gun
8. SWAT
Halloween is a time for decorative costumes and candy. It is always helpful to have bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible. Glow sticks are a fun way to been seen at night. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News – October 14th, 2016

NAVY DESTROYER RETAILIATES FOR MISSLE FIRE
In retaliation for two missiles fired at a US warship from the Yemeni territory, three missiles were fired back in self-defense. “The Mason had used onboard defensive measures to protect itself after the first of the two missiles was fired, but until now no one had publicly confirmed that the ship did indeed fire back.” U.S. Navy Forces Central Command remains unclear as to the specific target of the two missiles fired from Yemeni territory held by Shiite Houthi rebels.
Source: Military Times

MAN RESCUED BY COAST GUARD AFTER CLIFF FALL
October 9th a man was rescued from a cliff fall near the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park. After the hiker fell from an 80-foot cliff he was taken for treatment of an arm and leg injury to Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor. “Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod operates with MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters and HC-144A Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft, and it is the only Coast Guard aviation facility in the Northeast. The station is responsible for the waters from New Jersey to the Canadian border.”
Source: Military Times

HEROS TO HEROS PROGRAM HELPING PTSD SUFFERERS
PTSD sufferers are visiting the Beit Halochem — ‘House of Warriors’ — rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv, which supports wounded veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces. Heroes to Heroes, established by Judy Schaeffer, are nondenominational. Schaeffer said she felt she “had to do something to help” after visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2009. Schaeffer said she recalled the “spiritual power” of the “Holy Land in her own life during a teenage visit to Jerusalem and launched Heroes to Heroes to see if the lives of others could also be transformed.”
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News – October 14th, 2016

NAVY DESTROYER RETAILIATES FOR MISSLE FIRE
In retaliation for two missiles fired at a US warship from the Yemeni territory, three missiles were fired back in self-defense. “The Mason had used onboard defensive measures to protect itself after the first of the two missiles was fired, but until now no one had publicly confirmed that the ship did indeed fire back.” U.S. Navy Forces Central Command remains unclear as to the specific target of the two missiles fired from Yemeni territory held by Shiite Houthi rebels.
Source: Military Times

MAN RESCUED BY COAST GUARD AFTER CLIFF FALL
October 9th a man was rescued from a cliff fall near the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park. After the hiker fell from an 80-foot cliff he was taken for treatment of an arm and leg injury to Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor. “Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod operates with MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters and HC-144A Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft, and it is the only Coast Guard aviation facility in the Northeast. The station is responsible for the waters from New Jersey to the Canadian border.”
Source: Military Times

HEROS TO HEROS PROGRAM HELPING PTSD SUFFERERS
PTSD sufferers are visiting the Beit Halochem — ‘House of Warriors’ — rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv, which supports wounded veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces. Heroes to Heroes, established by Judy Schaeffer, are nondenominational. Schaeffer said she felt she “had to do something to help” after visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2009. Schaeffer said she recalled the “spiritual power” of the “Holy Land in her own life during a teenage visit to Jerusalem and launched Heroes to Heroes to see if the lives of others could also be transformed.”
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News – October 12th, 2016

SEX-REASSIGNMENT SURGERY MAY BE COVERED BY PENTAGON

When physicians deem sex-reassignment surgery necessary for active-duty troops there may be coverage by the Pentagon. Non-active duty does not qualify for benefits. Therapy and hormone treatments will be covered by military health program. The Defense secretary announced recently that gender dysphoria no longer disqualifies an individual from military service. “The Veterans Affairs Department has proposed a plan that would allow VA to cover sex-reassignment surgery on a case-by-case basis.”
Source: Military Times

STUDENTS AT DOD SCHOOLS MUST HAVE FLU SHOT
The center for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee on Immunization Practices and the Department of Defense Joint Medical Services has advised against the 2016-2017 nasal flu spray vaccine. Students at the Department of Defense Education (DODEA) Activity Schools are now required to get a flu shot by December 1. Individuals can contact the local Military Treatment Facility clinic for more information.
Source: Military Times

US WARSHIP: NAVY NEAR MISS
Two missiles fired from Yemen fell short of a US warship patrolling the Red Sea off the coast of the war-torn country. “Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship,” said Dunn, adding that “there were no injuries to our sailors and no damage to the ship”. Rebel forces did not seem to be targeting any particular ship. “Also on Monday, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the Huthis accused the rebels of firing a ballistic missile towards the southwestern Saudi city of Taif, hundreds of kilometres (miles) from the Yemeni border.”
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News – October 12th, 2016

SEX-REASSIGNMENT SURGERY MAY BE COVERED BY PENTAGON

When physicians deem sex-reassignment surgery necessary for active-duty troops there may be coverage by the Pentagon. Non-active duty does not qualify for benefits. Therapy and hormone treatments will be covered by military health program. The Defense secretary announced recently that gender dysphoria no longer disqualifies an individual from military service. “The Veterans Affairs Department has proposed a plan that would allow VA to cover sex-reassignment surgery on a case-by-case basis.”
Source: Military Times

STUDENTS AT DOD SCHOOLS MUST HAVE FLU SHOT
The center for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee on Immunization Practices and the Department of Defense Joint Medical Services has advised against the 2016-2017 nasal flu spray vaccine. Students at the Department of Defense Education (DODEA) Activity Schools are now required to get a flu shot by December 1. Individuals can contact the local Military Treatment Facility clinic for more information.
Source: Military Times

US WARSHIP: NAVY NEAR MISS
Two missiles fired from Yemen fell short of a US warship patrolling the Red Sea off the coast of the war-torn country. “Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship,” said Dunn, adding that “there were no injuries to our sailors and no damage to the ship”. Rebel forces did not seem to be targeting any particular ship. “Also on Monday, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the Huthis accused the rebels of firing a ballistic missile towards the southwestern Saudi city of Taif, hundreds of kilometres (miles) from the Yemeni border.”
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News for October 6th, 2016

U.S. Military Responds to Hurricane Matthew –

The Pentagon is preparing to send Navy ships and helicopters to areas recently hit by the Cat. 4 Hurricane Matthew. The mighty storm made landfall on Tuesday, October 4th in Haiti, with winds up to 145 miles per hour. Helicopters will be moved within a few hundred miles of Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti. Thousands of sailors and Marines may be called in for relief effort. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook stated, “This is a serious storm, and while we have not received any specific request for assistance at this point, we do stand ready to provide support in the region as needed.” The evacuations of hundreds of families and pets have been made from Guantánamo to Pensacola, Fla., but detainees held there will remain and be relocated to safer structures if needed. The storm is also anticipated to hit Camp Lejeune, N.C. and other military installations near Norfolk in the coming days.
Source: Washington Post

Hundreds of Veterans Died Waiting for Phoenix VA Care –

A recent report released by the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) revealed that more than 200 veterans have died while waiting for care since the Phoenix Veterans Administration hospital scandal. There have been attempts at reform for over two years, and the report revealed that this facility had, “a high number of open consults because […] staff had not scheduled patients’ appointments in a timely manner (or had not rescheduled canceled appointments), a clinic could not find lab results, and staff did not properly link completed appointment notes to the corresponding consults.” 215 deceased patients had open specialist consultation appointments on the day they died. Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain released a joint statement expressing their disappointment. The VA also released a statement, including the fact that they are still hiring positions that help handle the consultation scheduling.
Source: Fox News

Veterans Still Sick, Dying from Burn Pit Related Illnesses –

Veterans exposed to the burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan are asking the public as well as government leaders to recognize their health problems. A group of 700 veterans and their families with Burn Pits 360 wrote a letter to President Barack Obama regarding their concerns. “We write because these veterans are seriously ill, dying or have passed away, and more must be done […] Many of us went to war able to run marathons, but now our health has deteriorated so much that we cannot hold down steady jobs.” A report was released by the Government Accountability Office documenting the shortfalls in the Defense Department’s monitoring of burn-pit victims. It also asks White House officials not to let the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs dismiss the veterans. There is also an issue with the National Airborne Hazards Open Burn Pit Registry where death entries can not be submitted, which Burn Pits 360 receives on a weekly basis.
The DoD and VA have often noted the difficulty of linking troops’ illnesses to the burn pits, due to the fact that what was actually burned in each pit and how much a single veteran was exposed to is not documented. Rosie Lopez-Torres, executive director of Burn Pits 360, states, “burn pits are this generation’s Agent Orange, but we are seeing deaths happen three or five years later, instead of decades later […] we cannot afford to wait for another delayed medical study, we need the president and Congress to recognize this crisis is happening now.’
Source: Military Times

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Military/Veteran News for October 6th, 2016

U.S. Military Responds to Hurricane Matthew –

The Pentagon is preparing to send Navy ships and helicopters to areas recently hit by the Cat. 4 Hurricane Matthew. The mighty storm made landfall on Tuesday, October 4th in Haiti, with winds up to 145 miles per hour. Helicopters will be moved within a few hundred miles of Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti. Thousands of sailors and Marines may be called in for relief effort. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook stated, “This is a serious storm, and while we have not received any specific request for assistance at this point, we do stand ready to provide support in the region as needed.” The evacuations of hundreds of families and pets have been made from Guantánamo to Pensacola, Fla., but detainees held there will remain and be relocated to safer structures if needed. The storm is also anticipated to hit Camp Lejeune, N.C. and other military installations near Norfolk in the coming days.
Source: Washington Post

Hundreds of Veterans Died Waiting for Phoenix VA Care –

A recent report released by the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) revealed that more than 200 veterans have died while waiting for care since the Phoenix Veterans Administration hospital scandal. There have been attempts at reform for over two years, and the report revealed that this facility had, “a high number of open consults because […] staff had not scheduled patients’ appointments in a timely manner (or had not rescheduled canceled appointments), a clinic could not find lab results, and staff did not properly link completed appointment notes to the corresponding consults.” 215 deceased patients had open specialist consultation appointments on the day they died. Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain released a joint statement expressing their disappointment. The VA also released a statement, including the fact that they are still hiring positions that help handle the consultation scheduling.
Source: Fox News

Veterans Still Sick, Dying from Burn Pit Related Illnesses –

Veterans exposed to the burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan are asking the public as well as government leaders to recognize their health problems. A group of 700 veterans and their families with Burn Pits 360 wrote a letter to President Barack Obama regarding their concerns. “We write because these veterans are seriously ill, dying or have passed away, and more must be done […] Many of us went to war able to run marathons, but now our health has deteriorated so much that we cannot hold down steady jobs.” A report was released by the Government Accountability Office documenting the shortfalls in the Defense Department’s monitoring of burn-pit victims. It also asks White House officials not to let the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs dismiss the veterans. There is also an issue with the National Airborne Hazards Open Burn Pit Registry where death entries can not be submitted, which Burn Pits 360 receives on a weekly basis.
The DoD and VA have often noted the difficulty of linking troops’ illnesses to the burn pits, due to the fact that what was actually burned in each pit and how much a single veteran was exposed to is not documented. Rosie Lopez-Torres, executive director of Burn Pits 360, states, “burn pits are this generation’s Agent Orange, but we are seeing deaths happen three or five years later, instead of decades later […] we cannot afford to wait for another delayed medical study, we need the president and Congress to recognize this crisis is happening now.’
Source: Military Times

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Military and Veteran News – September 29, 2016

Military Failed to Screen Some Civilians in On-Base Housing

The Defense Department Inspector General has revealed that many civilian tenants that have applied to live in privatized housing on base have not been properly screened. This included background checks that were not conducted at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which is considered a sensitive installation and the home to chemical and biological research programs. Since the report was revealed, DOD IG spokeswoman Kathie Scarrah stated that the background checks have now been completed on those still living in the installations.
Source: Military Times

Congress Approves Fertility Treatments for Vets But Funding Not Available

After a long fight, Congress has approved the VA to cover reproductive services for wounded veterans, but the VA ban still applies. Under the new legislation, the VA would have to locate money in its medical services account. VA assistant deputy under secretary for patient health services, Dr. Rajiv, stated the the department supported the bill, but had “concerns about ensuring VA had appropriate resources,” for it. The new benefit would allow veterans to access to treatment like in vitro services and adoption services. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is still working to overturn the VA ban.
Source: Military Times

Flu Shots Required for All Students at Department of Defense Schools

As of this academic year, all students at Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools are now required to have a flu shot by December 1. According to the DoDEA website, the influenza vaccine would be the best defense against the infectious disease since military families and community are always on the move. Students will not be forced to leave their school if they are unable to acquire the shot by the deadline or if the military treatment facility does not yet have the vaccine available. Parents can contact their local MTF immunization clinic or their school nurse for further details.
Source: Military Times

Army Considers Upgrading Discharges for Some Veterans with PTSD, TBI

The Army is considering upgrading other-than-honorable discharges for about 73 soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. A servicewide review showed that these veterans may have not had the required medical examination upon discharge. These cases will be sent to the Army Review Boards Agency. A previous investigation from National Public Radio (NPR) reported that over 20,000 soldiers with PTSD or TBI were separated due to misconduct since 2009. Several senators wrote to Defense Secretary Ash Carter requesting military-wide policy that would require a review before the decision of an involuntary other-than-honorable discharge is made to understand what the misconduct was stemming from, such as a TBI or sexual assault.
Source: Military Times

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Military and Veteran News – September 29, 2016

Military Failed to Screen Some Civilians in On-Base Housing

The Defense Department Inspector General has revealed that many civilian tenants that have applied to live in privatized housing on base have not been properly screened. This included background checks that were not conducted at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which is considered a sensitive installation and the home to chemical and biological research programs. Since the report was revealed, DOD IG spokeswoman Kathie Scarrah stated that the background checks have now been completed on those still living in the installations.
Source: Military Times

Congress Approves Fertility Treatments for Vets But Funding Not Available

After a long fight, Congress has approved the VA to cover reproductive services for wounded veterans, but the VA ban still applies. Under the new legislation, the VA would have to locate money in its medical services account. VA assistant deputy under secretary for patient health services, Dr. Rajiv, stated the the department supported the bill, but had “concerns about ensuring VA had appropriate resources,” for it. The new benefit would allow veterans to access to treatment like in vitro services and adoption services. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is still working to overturn the VA ban.
Source: Military Times

Flu Shots Required for All Students at Department of Defense Schools

As of this academic year, all students at Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools are now required to have a flu shot by December 1. According to the DoDEA website, the influenza vaccine would be the best defense against the infectious disease since military families and community are always on the move. Students will not be forced to leave their school if they are unable to acquire the shot by the deadline or if the military treatment facility does not yet have the vaccine available. Parents can contact their local MTF immunization clinic or their school nurse for further details.
Source: Military Times

Army Considers Upgrading Discharges for Some Veterans with PTSD, TBI

The Army is considering upgrading other-than-honorable discharges for about 73 soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. A servicewide review showed that these veterans may have not had the required medical examination upon discharge. These cases will be sent to the Army Review Boards Agency. A previous investigation from National Public Radio (NPR) reported that over 20,000 soldiers with PTSD or TBI were separated due to misconduct since 2009. Several senators wrote to Defense Secretary Ash Carter requesting military-wide policy that would require a review before the decision of an involuntary other-than-honorable discharge is made to understand what the misconduct was stemming from, such as a TBI or sexual assault.
Source: Military Times

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News Headlines for Thursday, August 25th

US Justice Department Phasing Out Private Prisons –

Citing safety concerns, the United States will be allowing contracts with 13 private prisons to expire over the next 5 years. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates stated, “They do not save substantially on costs and […] they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.” An Inspector General report showed higher rates of violent incidents and rule infractions compared to government-run facilities. The stocks of private prisons dropped dramatically following the announcement. The Corrections Corporation of America stock dropped by 50% by Thursday, August 18th. A spokesman for the corporation warned of a potential trickle-down effect to state-run correctional facilities, where the majority of US prisoners are held. According to the Sentencing Project, there were 94,365 prisoners being held in private facilities overseen by states in 2010.
Source: BBC News

Devastating Earthquake Hits Italy –

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The epicenter of the earthquake was Amatrice, but tremors could be felt up to 100 miles away in Rome. Mayor Sergio Pirozzi stated, “the town is no more,” following the disaster. As of Thursday morning, the massive earthquake has claimed at least 240 lives and displaced thousands of people. The Italian government is asking for blood donations and the Red Cross requests people to turn off their WiFi passwords to make communication easier for rescue workers.
Please follow this link for ways to help the victims of the earthquake: IBTimes.com
Source: CNN

Combat Helmets Made by Prisoners Defective –

According to a Justice Department Inspector General report, thousands of combat helmets made by prisoners for the U.S. military were found to be defective. Two types of helmets, including the ACH (Advanced Combat Helmets) and LMCH (Lightweight Marine Corps Helmets) were included. Both helmets are considered a “critical safety item,” and a defect helmet “would likely cause serious injury or death to the wearer.” Tests revealed issues including serious ballistic failures, expired paint, helmets being repressed, as well as the use of “unauthorized manufacturing methods.” Despite this, many rejected helmets were still sold to the DOD. Thankfully, there wasn’t evidence indicating that any military members were injured by use of these helmets, but monetary loss for the government was substantial. The facility that produced the ACH and LMCH helmets was shut down following the investigation.
Source: Office of Inspector General – U.S. Dept. of Justice

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News Headlines for Thursday, August 25th

US Justice Department Phasing Out Private Prisons –

Citing safety concerns, the United States will be allowing contracts with 13 private prisons to expire over the next 5 years. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates stated, “They do not save substantially on costs and […] they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.” An Inspector General report showed higher rates of violent incidents and rule infractions compared to government-run facilities. The stocks of private prisons dropped dramatically following the announcement. The Corrections Corporation of America stock dropped by 50% by Thursday, August 18th. A spokesman for the corporation warned of a potential trickle-down effect to state-run correctional facilities, where the majority of US prisoners are held. According to the Sentencing Project, there were 94,365 prisoners being held in private facilities overseen by states in 2010.
Source: BBC News

Devastating Earthquake Hits Italy –

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The epicenter of the earthquake was Amatrice, but tremors could be felt up to 100 miles away in Rome. Mayor Sergio Pirozzi stated, “the town is no more,” following the disaster. As of Thursday morning, the massive earthquake has claimed at least 240 lives and displaced thousands of people. The Italian government is asking for blood donations and the Red Cross requests people to turn off their WiFi passwords to make communication easier for rescue workers.
Please follow this link for ways to help the victims of the earthquake: IBTimes.com
Source: CNN

Combat Helmets Made by Prisoners Defective –

According to a Justice Department Inspector General report, thousands of combat helmets made by prisoners for the U.S. military were found to be defective. Two types of helmets, including the ACH (Advanced Combat Helmets) and LMCH (Lightweight Marine Corps Helmets) were included. Both helmets are considered a “critical safety item,” and a defect helmet “would likely cause serious injury or death to the wearer.” Tests revealed issues including serious ballistic failures, expired paint, helmets being repressed, as well as the use of “unauthorized manufacturing methods.” Despite this, many rejected helmets were still sold to the DOD. Thankfully, there wasn’t evidence indicating that any military members were injured by use of these helmets, but monetary loss for the government was substantial. The facility that produced the ACH and LMCH helmets was shut down following the investigation.
Source: Office of Inspector General – U.S. Dept. of Justice

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Military Veteran News Headlines for August 18, 2016

VA Denied Veteran a Perfect Transplant Match, Local Hospital Steps In –

Veteran Charles Nelson was in need of a kidney transplant following a service-connected injury and thankfully matched with his son, Coty. Unfortunately, the VA was refusing to cover the surgery since his son was not a veteran. Attempts were made to raise money for the procedure, yet the VA still denied it. After contacting local media, a different hospital offered to perform the transplant. Thankfully, Charles was able to receive the life-saving kidney. U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Mark Kirk filed legislation that could force the VA to cover transplants from living, non-veteran donors. James McBride from the San Antonio VA transplant system stated that the legislation should also include deceased donors, since the majority of donations are acquired from such.
Source: Military Times

Naval Safety Center Recommends E-Cig Ban –

Multiple incidents involving electronic cigarettes have resulted in at least a dozen injuries in the past year, prompting the Naval Safety Center’s consideration of banning the devices. A memo dated August 11 stated the danger of lithium-ion batteries overheating and exploding. In two cases, e-cigarettes had exploded in the sailors’ mouths, resulting in dental and facial injury. “The Naval Safety Center concludes that these devices pose a significant and unacceptable risk to Navy personnel, facilities, submarines, ships, vessels and aircraft.” The note continues on to urge the ban of the products and the need of a safety campaign to raise awareness.
Source: Military Times

Cracker Barrel Donates Rocking Chairs to Military Families –

Cracker Barrel restaurants have paired up with Operation Homefront, who provides homes to military families and assists in saving money to own their home. The restaurant has started “Operation Rocker” and will be donating their iconic rocking chairs to the families. Their goal is to help smooth the transition and, “make the house a home for them,” says Sloane Lucas, corporate citizenship manager. With every rocking chair purchase on the Cracker Barrel website, the store donates one to a military family.
Source: Military Times

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Military Veteran News Headlines for August 18, 2016

VA Denied Veteran a Perfect Transplant Match, Local Hospital Steps In –

Veteran Charles Nelson was in need of a kidney transplant following a service-connected injury and thankfully matched with his son, Coty. Unfortunately, the VA was refusing to cover the surgery since his son was not a veteran. Attempts were made to raise money for the procedure, yet the VA still denied it. After contacting local media, a different hospital offered to perform the transplant. Thankfully, Charles was able to receive the life-saving kidney. U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Mark Kirk filed legislation that could force the VA to cover transplants from living, non-veteran donors. James McBride from the San Antonio VA transplant system stated that the legislation should also include deceased donors, since the majority of donations are acquired from such.
Source: Military Times

Naval Safety Center Recommends E-Cig Ban –

Multiple incidents involving electronic cigarettes have resulted in at least a dozen injuries in the past year, prompting the Naval Safety Center’s consideration of banning the devices. A memo dated August 11 stated the danger of lithium-ion batteries overheating and exploding. In two cases, e-cigarettes had exploded in the sailors’ mouths, resulting in dental and facial injury. “The Naval Safety Center concludes that these devices pose a significant and unacceptable risk to Navy personnel, facilities, submarines, ships, vessels and aircraft.” The note continues on to urge the ban of the products and the need of a safety campaign to raise awareness.
Source: Military Times

Cracker Barrel Donates Rocking Chairs to Military Families –

Cracker Barrel restaurants have paired up with Operation Homefront, who provides homes to military families and assists in saving money to own their home. The restaurant has started “Operation Rocker” and will be donating their iconic rocking chairs to the families. Their goal is to help smooth the transition and, “make the house a home for them,” says Sloane Lucas, corporate citizenship manager. With every rocking chair purchase on the Cracker Barrel website, the store donates one to a military family.
Source: Military Times

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