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ND Veterans Affairs News: Federal

WASHINGTON — Problems with a parts supplier and the need to modify certain design features led the US Navy to announce Wednesday that the commissioning of the new nuclear-powered attack submarine North Dakota won’t take place at the end of May as scheduled.

“This decision is based on the need for additional design and certification work required on the submarine's redesigned bow and material issues with vendor-assembled and delivered components,” the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said in a statement.

By Jeff Schogol
Staff Writer

Veterans advocates are denouncing an opinion piece in the New York Times that draws links between veterans and white supremacist groups in attempting to explain the actions of the suspected gunman in a recent and deadly shooting outside a Kansas Jewish center.

By Patricia Kime
Staff writer

Patients at Veterans Affairs medical centers remain satisfied with the care they receive and complaints are down, a new survey released Wednesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index found.

The VA’s satisfaction index for inpatient care, 84, and its index for outpatient care, 82, remained consistent for the second straight year and have held steady for the past decade — a sign that, generally, VA patients are content with their health care.

By Patricia Kime, Staff writer
April 11, 2014 - 04:23PM

The White House continued its focus on veterans and military families by announcing new programs Friday to expand support and services available to those who care for injured or ill troops.

The Fort Hood shooting shines a spotlight on an overall epidemic, but suicide rates are higher for older generations.

By Jordain Carney
April 13, 2014

The Fort Hood shooting reignited the national debate over the surge of suicides among those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. But older veterans have been largely overlooked in the conversation.

Nearly 70 percent of all veterans who commit suicide are age 50 or older, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. This is double the suicide rate for the same age group in the nonveteran community.

By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: April 13, 2014

The first time Pearson Crosby went to the methadone clinic at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center in early 2013, he asked his father to go with him.

But couldn't tell him why.

Crosby, who played varsity basketball at Council Rock High School South, had served four years in the United States Marine Corps, with two tours in Iraq.

By Patricia Kime
Staff writer, Military Times
Apr. 9, 2014 - 01:07PM

George Siders remembers his first enemy kill like it happened yesterday.

While rounding a curve on patrol in Vietnam, the 18-year-old Marine came upon a North Vietnamese soldier on the trail. Siders instinctively raised his rifle and fired, hitting his target in the forehead.

The blast, Siders said, blew the soldier’s “brain and about 2 or 3 feet of spinal cord” out his backside.

Written by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post
Published on April 8, 2014

Most Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ injuries didn’t occur during combat. But their ailments have become an enduring consequence of the conflicts.

Army sniper James Crowell went to war 70 inches tall. He returned home an inch shorter and in constant pain, his spine compressed by the collective trauma of a rooftop fall, a Humvee accident and his heavy body armor, worn almost every day on four deployments.

By Patricia Kime
Staff writer, Military Times
Apr. 9, 2014 - 06:00AM

The chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee strongly opposes a Pentagon plan to cut funding for commissaries, another signal that the drastic $1 billion proposed reduction will not survive the congressional budget process.

The U.S. Embassy to France has been advised that the French Government is offering local support to D-Day veterans who are planning to attend the 70th anniversary commemoration of Operation Overlord on June 6, 2014, in Normandy, France.  The French government will provide one veteran and a guest with roundtrip transportation from Paris to Normandy, and lodging, meals and transportation while in Normandy.  Travel to Paris is the responsibility of each veteran and guest.

BY MARK BERMAN, Washington Post
April 7, 2014

April 4, 2014 by Reynaldo Leal

The headlines circulating the Internet hours after the tragic Fort Hood shooting were vague, but the implications for Veterans who have been diagnosed, or are seeking treatment, for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are not.

By Matthew M. Burke
Stars and Stripes
Published: April 3, 2014

Joseph Petit went to the VA hospital for knee pain and depression and came out on a litany of powerful drugs that he said made him hallucinate.

He repeatedly asked doctors for help with the side effects, but he said they gave him more antipsychotics, antidepressants and anxiety drugs that made him feel worse.

Lowest level since Agent Orange cases added in 2011

WASHINGTON – One year after the backlog of pending disability compensation claims peaked at over 611,000 in March 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reduced that number by approximately 44 percent to 344,000 claims – a reduction of more than 267,000 – while at the same time improving the accuracy of the decisions being made on Veterans’ disability claims.  Additionally, on average, Veterans are waiting 119 days less for a decision than they were at this time last year.

Mar 27,2014 | WASHINGTON – At a U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Senator John Hoeven pressed Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki and VA Under Secretary for Health Robert A. Petzel to allow veterans in western North Dakota to access health care services in the local community when available.

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