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Obama signs suicide prevention bill to aid veterans
U.S. News & World Report
Amid partisan bickering over health care in the U.S., one overlapping issue has received support from both parties: Curbing suicides among American veterans. Though the issue was not mentioned in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, it became clear early this year that both Democrats and Republicans would rally around it. The Senate voted 99-0 to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act on Feb. 3, while the House voted 403-0 in favor of it in January. Obama signed the bill Feb. 12.
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 Employment


Recent veterans get fresh start with high-tech training
DailyFinance
Veterans from the second era of the Gulf War continue to face higher levels of unemployment than their civilian counterparts, and one new program is focused on making a difference in their careers — and their lives.
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Hiring veterans
Fleet Owner
It's no secret that the trucking industry is experiencing a need for qualified drivers. Many carriers have made a commitment to hire more veterans for both driving and managerial positions. However, the unemployment rate for veterans continues to be an area of concern for both employers and the government.
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 Housing


Promised land: VA deal to house homeless Los Angeles veterans
NBC News
An army of volunteers fans across greater Los Angeles to count the homeless — and more than 1 in 10 is a veteran. Los Angeles has long had the largest population of homeless veterans in the country, even though many get a cool reception. But, it wasn't always that way.
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 Outreach Services


New docket aims to help veterans rather than punish them
The Washington Post
Army veteran Steven Daniel said he has struggled with drinking for three decades, a destructive cycle that repeatedly has left him without work, on the street and sometimes incarcerated. The pattern seemed to be playing out again after a recent arrest for being drunk in public. But instead of heading back to jail, the Fairfax County, Virginia, resident went before a court recently launched to help veterans like him.
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Some funding restored to family programs
Military Times
Defense officials have beefed up their budget request for family programs and services next year by about $400 million, in some cases restoring funding to levels at or close to where they were two years ago.
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Troubled veterans get treatment, not jail
Hartford Connecticut
Two programs that connect arrested veterans to treatment — rather than jail — report that many are getting their lives back on track. Some 81 percent of veterans in the program run by the Veterans Health Administration have not been arrested again. And one run by the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shows a 36 percent drop in illegal drug use among its veterans and a 44 percent decrease in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
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 Benefits


More out-of-pocket expenses to hit military families
Association of the United States Army via noodls
The fiscal year 2016 defense budget announced Feb. 2 includes modest increases in military basic pay and housing allowances that could leave some military families holding on a little tighter to their wallets.
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VA: Far fewer veterans use choice card and private health care than expected
The Washington Post
Only 27,000 veterans have made appointments for private medical care since the Department of Veteran's Affairs Choice Card program rolled out at the start of November, Secretary Robert "Bob" McDonald said recently. It's such a tiny number compared with the 9 million people who use VA health care that McDonald has asked for "flexibility" to reallocate billions of dollars for other pressing matters, from hiring more claims officers to help wade through a vast veterans' benefits backlog to managing other patient medical needs.
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 Medical


Veterans, active military at risk for serious sleep disorders
By Denise A. Valenti
There is a high rate of sleep-related disorders among veterans and active-duty military. Returning military personnel experience sleep dysfunction secondary to physical injury as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. It is not out of the ordinary for abnormal sleep patterns to persist long after deployment has ended.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Congress acts on veteran suicides (The New York Times (tiered subscription model))
Senator: College benefit for vets could cost $2 billion after ruling (Houston Chronicle)
The 10 best jobs for veterans in 2015 (Forbes)
US unemployment rates spike for veterans, teens (The Associated Press via CBS DC)
Switching uniforms: Police departments hiring veterans (The Journal News)

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VAA Dispatch
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Rebecca Eberhardt, Content Editor, 469.420.2608   
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