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A guaranteed income for veterans
Al Jazeera America
Whether or not one agrees with the decisions taken by our political leaders who sent them off to war, it's undeniable that the veterans of the various post-9/11 wars are suffering. The nearly 3 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who have returned to civilian life are afflicted with an official unemployment rate of around 9 percent — substantially higher than the overall rate of 5.6 percent. Another half million have the left the labor force entirely. Many struggle with poverty, foreclosure and homelessness brought on by an anemic and uneven recovery and compounded by the mental and physical scars of war.
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 Employment


Veterans jobs bill advances; future is uncertain
Military Times
House lawmakers opened the new legislative session by passing a measure billed as both a boost to veterans employment and a chance to roll back part of the president's controversial health care law. The Hire More Heroes Act passed unanimously out of the chamber just hours after new House members were sworn into office. Republican leaders touted the effort as the start of their 2015 job-creation efforts.
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House passes bill to increase jobs for veterans
Defense One
The House unanimously passed legislation that would exempt veterans with government-subsidized health care from being counted in the number of employees for whom employers must provide health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The Hire More Heroes Act (H.R. 22) is aimed at giving small businesses some breathing room under Obamacare's employer mandate, while also encouraging the private sector to hire more veterans.
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Veterans Journal: After 2014 woes, Veteran's Administration headed in right direction for 2015
Providence Journal
The Department of Veterans Affairs recently issued a year-end summary report declaring 21 reasons why it is heading in the right direction for 2015. Their self-described "roller-coaster year" took a huge dip in May with the unfolding scandal at its Phoenix medical center and other locations, as details emerged about waiting-list problems and often-delayed appointments that may have contributed to the death of some veterans.
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 Education


College veterans center grant program to expand
Military Times
Scranton, Pennsylvania's Marywood University's new veterans center opened last semester without any permanent student housing, but veterans moved in anyway. "We always have between seven and 20 veterans in here," said Lauren Williams, the school's director of military and veteran services. "It's a space on campus where they feel welcome. They meet with each other, they rely on each other. It's like a family here."
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 Veteran News


Military tattoos evolve into tributes for veterans
The Associated Press via The Washington Times
Andrew Einstein did what a lot of leathernecks do immediately after surviving Marine boot camp. He got a tattoo. It would not be the only one. After tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Mount Laurel resident got several other symbols of his military service, including one emblazoned on his left rib cage to memorialize the death of two fellow Marines. Younger veterans' tattoos are different than those worn by their World War II and Korean War counterparts — today, they are often larger, more colorful and artistic, relating more personal, intimate stories of their military service.
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 Housing


Sometimes, all it takes to help veterans is common sense
Nation Swell
When veterans return home after being wounded during service, they face innumerable challenges, one of which is often just getting into and navigating around their own houses. Several charities, including Building for America's Bravest, the Gary Sinise Foundation and Operation Homefront, have stepped up to provide wounded veterans with customized homes equipped with ramps, wide doorways and appliances accessible to people in wheelchairs. While these specialized houses are free, they often saddle veterans with a large annual tax bill, which some struggle to afford — especially if their injuries prevent them from working.
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 Medical


Doctor lawmaker ready to triage compensation reforms
Stars and Stripes
As an Army Reserve physician triaging the care of arriving wounded at the combat support hospital on Al Asad Airbase, Iraq, for half of 2008, Joe Heck said he saw "exactly how well joint operations can work." Where the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force was based, Heck ran the hospital's emergency support section with two other full-time Army doctors, as Air Force and Navy physicians rotated in for shorter stints. Nurses and medics took on responsibilities, Heck said, that wouldn't have been allowed in a civilian setting but were so necessary in war.
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Wisconsin: Opiates handed out like candy to 'doped-up' veterans
WISC-TV
Opiates handed out like candy to "doped-up" veterans at the Tomah VA. Doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Tomah, Wisconsin, hand out so many narcotic painkillers that some veterans have taken to calling the place "Candy Land." They call the hospital's chief of staff, psychiatrist Dr. David Houlihan, the "Candy Man."
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Suicide risk high among veterans
University of New Mexico via Medical Xpress
Suicide is a serious national epidemic. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. However, for America's veterans, it is an even more serious epidemic. Veteran's make up 10 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 20 percent of all suicides (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 18 veterans die by suicide each day.
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 VAA Resources — Job search, grants, research

Get what you need with these resources available to veterans and family members.
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VAA Resources Government, state, local, nonprofit and career information websites
VAA Military.com Career Expo
Military.com Career Expo — Register, view calendar
Military.com Veteran job search
 

VAA Dispatch
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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