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ND Veterans Affairs News: Federal

By Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
The Washington Post
Published: November 25, 2014

WASHINGTON — Arguing that medical marijuana may help wounded warriors with anxiety and stress disorders to "survive and thrive," Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., have introduced legislation that would allow Department of Veterans Affairs’ doctors to recommend the drug for some patients.

An Online Event Series About Benefits for Veterans

Millions of Veterans and their family members are successfully using VA benefits to buy homes, earn degrees, start careers, stay healthy, and do so much more in life after the military. At these events, learn how Veterans have gone from service to success. 

By Steve B. Brooks - November 11, 2014

Standing just 4-foot-9 and a half, Judy Johnston knew she was too short to join the Army during the Vietnam War. So she wore her hair up, getting the necessary half of an inch to enlist.

She ended up becoming part of the first group of enlisted women to be deployed to a combat area of Vietnam and went to bed at night watching mortar fire go in and come out during the Tet Offensive.

It was a question a disabled veteran asked about the people and businesses in Custer, SD. Suffering from "depression, memory loss, cognitive issues, hearing loss, sleep apnea, anxiety and numerous other issues... 

Read more here.

Young veterans want the public to listen to their needs, not worship them as 'heroes.'

By Nov. 11, 2014 | 11:00 a.m. EST | U.S. News and World Report

By the end of this year, the Pentagon will have only about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan. As 13 years of combat operations come to a close, it’s time to pivot. We need to turn our attention toward service members and veterans here at home, and we need to engage with them.

In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, the Caregiver Support Line will be hosting “live” brief meditation activities via telephone throughout the month of November. This is a great opportunity to take 10 minutes out of your busy schedules to focus on relaxing your mind and your body. Every Wednesday at 8am, 12pm and 8pm Eastern Time, Caregivers are invited to call toll free 1-800-767-1750. When prompted, enter access code 73687 then press the # key.

By Kellie Lunney
November 6, 2014
Government Executive

VA Secretary Bob McDonald on Thursday defended his commitment to holding employees accountable and firing them when necessary and according to the law.

On August 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146) ("Choice Act"). Technical revisions to the Choice Act were made on September 26, 2014, when the President signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-175).

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Nov. 5, 2014 - 07:35AM

Veterans Affairs Department “choice cards” will arrive in some veterans’ mailboxes this week, allowing them to seek out private medical care and have VA pick up the bill.

But individuals already seeing lengthy waits for VA medical appointments won’t be among the first recipients, and may have to hold off for several more weeks before they can take advantage of the new program.

Lending scheme offers up-front money to those needing cash

By Joel Hoffmann noon Nov. 3, 2014
 

Federal auditors and local veterans are concerned about a novel lending practice that gives military pensioners money up front in exchange for signing over monthly benefits for a period of time.

Of 38 companies that offer pension advances to veterans and other federal retirees, 18 are incorporated in California, according to a recent federal audit.

 
Veterans who were exposed to toxic contaminants during their service are increasingly becoming casualties in a war with the government—particularly the Veterans Affairs Department—which they say has a record of delaying and denying benefits promised to them by acts of Congress.

By Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran
October 31

Nov. 1, 2014 10:45 AM EDT
 
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 60,000 veterans were triple dippers last year, drawing a total of $3.5 billion in military retirement pay plus veterans and Social Security disability benefits at the same time, congressional auditors report.

It's all legal.

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Oct. 23, 2014 - 12:03PM

Only about one in 25 veterans offered free credit monitoring in the wake of Veterans Affairs Department security breaches has signed up for the service, a figure that VA officials call disappointingly low.

Nearly 1 million veterans have had their personal information potentially compromised over the last seven years, a total that officials call upsetting but insist sits well below comparable private-sector security breaches.

ByTravis J. Tritten
Stars and Stripes
Published: October 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — An overhaul of the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs means new education benefits will kick in next month for the spouses of servicemembers who died since 9/11 in the line of duty, according to the department.

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