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March 2014

March 20, 2014

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer

After being jilted again and again by the Pentagon in pursuit of a common digital health records system, the Veterans Affairs Department is hoping a new makeover will finally get its own system noticed — and perhaps get defense officials to commit to a long-term relationship after all.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 19, 2014

WASHINGTON- Veterans and active-duty military personnel with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, are now presumed medically eligible for grants up to almost $68,000 to adapt their homes, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today.

BY BILL BRIGGS

Two U.S. senators insisted Tuesday that Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki reveal why his agency is nearly three months late in creating a legally-mandated registry of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans potentially poisoned — some lethally — by exposure to toxic trash-fire trenches.

The so-called "burn pits," scattered throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, spewed acrid smoke while breaking down damaged Humvees, ordnance, mattresses, rocket launchers, and even amputated body parts. Some were ignited by jet fuel.

From a Social Security Administration News Release

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2014 – Social Security claims from veterans with a Veterans Affairs Department disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total have a new process that will treat their applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions.

Carolyn W. Colvin, acting Social Security commissioner, said the new process is similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from wounded warriors.

Not all our casualties of war served overseas in combat. Some are children who never left our shores. Collateral damage, some might call it. Our Cover Story from Martha Teichner: 

How many of these homecomings have you seen on television since we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan more than a decade ago? How many children, looking into a returning soldier's eyes for the parent who went away?

These are supposed to be happy endings, happily-ever-after moments. But often they are anything but.

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer
Monday, March 10, 2014

VA celebrates Women’s History Month with a look at some fascinating women Veterans and their remarkable achievements.

Sarah Emma Edmonds joined the United States Army to “fight for her country” in the Civil War. She disguised her sex and used the name Frank Thompson. A nurse in the Second Volunteers of the United States Army, she was unique because she able to remain in the army for several years and was successful as a Union spy, while impersonating a man.

March 14, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has introduced two bills to help veterans look for jobs and start small businesses.

The Veterans Hiring Act would cut payroll taxes for businesses that hire veterans.

Older troops largely reject changes; younger troops more receptive

Mar. 13, 2014 | By Andrew Tilghman, Staff writer

The Pentagon’s new proposal for reforming military retirement is drawing sharply negative reactions from today’s career-minded service members, according to a recent survey of Military Times active-duty readers.

The 2012-13 Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force Report (PDF) details VA’s improvements in health care and services for 1990-91 Gulf War Veterans.

By Patricia Kime 
Staff writer

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Bailey never fought in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia, where many U.S. troops were exposed to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange.

But last July, Bailey, then 67, won a hard-fought and groundbreaking battle when the Veterans Affairs Department finally approved his claim that Agent Orange caused his prostate cancer and metastatic pelvic cancer.

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