The federal bureaucracy moved at an agonizing crawl for the Marine Corps veterans sickened by the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Some died waiting for government benefits. But the Department of Veterans Affairs Thursday, after more than a year of work, finalized rules that will allow potentially thousands of veterans stationed at the base — or surviving spouses — to receive automatic benefits if they have been diagnosed with one of eight diseases.
This marks the end of a long wait for many veterans who have been denied benefits by the VA and may be in desperate need for disability pensions and medical care. The estimated cost to taxpayers over the next five years is $2.2 billion. FULL STORY CLICK HERE
The first time Kit Parker's phone rang, everything seemed fine. It was January 2006, and Parker's old Army buddy Chris Moroski was calling to say hi.
Parker and Moroski had jumped out of airplanes together in the 1990s when they were paratroopers in the National Guard. But after the attacks on Sept. 11, Parker had been deployed to Afghanistan, his friend to Iraq. They'd lost touch.
"Somehow I realized he's asking for help," Parker says. "It's not being verbalized, but that's why he's calling." Click here to find out how this scientist discovered how a blast effects the brain...click
A landmark study sheds new light on the damage caused by “blast shock”—the signature injury of wars for more than a century.
A research team in the United States may have solved a mystery that has haunted soldiers and veterans for more than a century: how blast force from battlefield explosions injures the human brain.
The findings, published Thursday in the medical journal the Lancet Neurology, reveal a unique and consistent pattern of damage in the autopsied brains of eight military service members who had served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the Middle East. Full story,click here
A Washington state lawmaker has proposed placing all Veterans Affairs Department medical facilities under a nonprofit entity and giving all new veterans access to private health care.
Marine Corps Veteran Brian Barber Sr. knows firsthand how difficult life can be once you take off the uniform and leave the battlefield behind you – he’s been living it for more than 10 years.
“Seeing Veterans like myself, wounded and broken from battle affects your day-to-day living in ways that you can’t imagine,” said Barber, who served from 1995 to 2005 as a radio operator and did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the National Center for PTSD, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are the longest combat operations since Vietnam. Many stressors face these Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) troops.
VA Core Values: Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, Excellence (“I CARE”)
More than 20 cities and states across the country have declared an end to Veteran homelessness. In compliance with federal guidelines, they have moved every identified Veteran who is in need and is willing to accept help into permanent housing. And, with more than 850 state, city and county leaders on record as accepting First Lady Michelle Obama’s challenge to end Veteran homelessness, more communities are expected to make similar announcements in the coming weeks and months.
How are they doing it? To see what’s working, we spoke to officials from Virginia, New Orleans and Houston, each of which recently reached this milestone. Although their situations are unique, many common approaches stand out. For instance, efforts in all three jurisdictions were jump-started following local officials’ attendance at a series of homeless Veteran “rapid-results boot camps” held around the country in 2012 and 2013. Other common ingredients of success include goal-setting and coordination of resources, systems and people.
Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans are just that…designed for veterans. Knowing about these authorities and identifying your eligibility will enhance your job search. These special authorities represent a few of many appointing authorities that agencies can use entirely at their discretion. Veterans are not entitled to appointment under any of these authorities. Check the vacancy announcements, which should clearly state "Who May Apply."
Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA)
Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998, as amended (VEOA)
Most Veterans are aware that claims are rated at the VA regional office (RO), usually in their state. However, a lot of Veterans are not aware that appeals are also reviewed at the regional office before they go to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board). In this piece I will discuss the RO’s appeal process, your role in the process, and the things you can do to help expedite your appeal.
Once a VA office issues its decision on your claim, you have one year from that date to file an appeal. Read the decision letter closely: it will tell you why VA made the decision it did. If you are unsure why or how VA made its decision, ask a Veterans service officer for help. You can also call VA or go to your regional office.
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it plans to propose expanded disability compensation eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Based upon VA’s review of current medical science and ATSDR’s findings, Secretary McDonald intends to propose creation of a presumption of service connection for the following conditions: