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ND Veterans Affairs News: Federal

William R. Levesque, Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer
Friday, December 26, 2014 7:34pm

LITHIA — The illness hit Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. William A. Hines in 2010 like no enemy he had ever experienced.

Assigned to the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion headquarters in Tampa, Hines went on a 4-mile run, something he had done hundreds of times in more than two decades as a Marine. But afterward, he couldn't catch his breath. He felt pressure on his head and couldn't focus.

By Steve Maieli
2:37 p.m. EST December 22, 2014

Nothing is more frustrating than applying for a job and not getting a response. All anyone would ask is a simple reply by phone or email stating why you were not chosen for the position. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee you will hear from a company either after you apply for a position or gone through an interview.

By Daily News Staff - Localdesk@JDNews.com
Published: Friday, December 19, 2014 at 04:58 PM.

A law signed this week expanded the eligibility for family members affected by the historic water contamination on Camp Lejeune, according to the VA.

Under the amendment, family members who lived on Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987, could be eligible for VA health benefits. The initial dates before the change were between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 1987.

Staff Report | ArmyTimes
6:39 p.m. EST December 17, 2014

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.

By Drew Griffin, Curt Devine and Nelli Black, CNN Investigations updated 7:53 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014

Washington (CNN) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs misled Congress and members of the media about how many veterans died or suffered serious harm as a result of extreme treatment delays, according to a new report by the department's top watchdog.

Some employees have lost faith in inspector general to root out problems at troubled Atlanta office.

By Brad Schrade- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
5:38 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Federal investigators with the VA inspector general’s office appear to be in the final stages of an inquiry into alleged mismanagement and mishandling of hundreds of thousands of health applications at the Veterans Affairs national enrollment office in Atlanta.

By , KUOW Radio, Seattle
December 4, 2014

A federal audit of a 24-hour national hotline for homeless veterans found that callers didn’t always receive assistance or access to needed services.

The Office of the Inspector General said lapses in management and oversight at the call center led to more than 40,000 missed opportunities to help.

Military Times Staff Report
6:46 p.m. EST December 4, 2014

Two congressmen are sponsoring legislation to give students additional GI Bill benefits if they are working toward degrees in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Students who use the Post-9/11 GI Bill would receive an extra nine months of benefits if they pursue a degree in one of the STEM fields, according to congressional documents and a news release.

Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Dina Titus, D-Nev., introduced the legislation Wednesday.

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.