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Vietnam veterans' new battle: Getting disability compensation
Los Angeles Times
Vietnam veteran John Otte did his best to forget the war. But as Otte neared retirement, memories of combat flooded back. Starting in 2005, he filed a series of claims with Veterans Affairs for disability compensation, contending that many of his health problems stemmed from the war. The VA agreed, and now the 65-year-old with two Purple Hearts receives $1,900 a month for post-traumatic stress disorder and diabetes — and for having shrapnel scars on his arms. His payments will rise to about $3,000 if the VA approves a petition to declare him completely disabled and unemployable. "I've been sitting here waiting," he said.
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An 'unfair fight' for job-seeking veterans
Stars and Stripes
Home Depot wants to hire more veterans. But as its human resources staff sorts through stacks of resumes each day, they often can't find a reason why they should.
"Veterans resumes are often too wordy and don't explain really what their skills are," said Eric Schelling, director of talent acquisition for the company. "We see things like overseas ribbons and military certification classes and we know it's probably impressive. But on the civilian side, we don’t really know what any of that is."
Veterans in the driver's seat
In the past two years, 34 states have adopted laws that allow motor vehicle departments to waive the CDL skills test for qualified military veterans, the Obama administration says in a new report.
Nine more states, plus the District of Columbia, are considering legislation to do the same. And under a new law, states may issue commercial licenses to military personnel who live in another state.
These are among several initiatives currently underway that could help relieve a driver shortage in the truckload industry that apparently is growing worse.
Veterans dying for benefit decision
The backlog of initial and supplementary benefit claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs is expected soon to reach 1 million filings, forcing most honorably discharged GIs to wait for at least nine months for a decision.
Though that glut of filings has captured the attention of Congress, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review investigation found that veterans who disagree with a VA decision must wait far longer while their appeals percolate through the agency's internal courts — so long that many die while awaiting resolution of their disputes.
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USA Truck adds driver recruiting website for military veterans
USA Truck has announced the addition of a new driver recruiting website exclusively for military veterans.
Entitled "We Hire Heroes" and located at www.HiringMilitaryDrivers.com, this new site is designed to make the transition to civilian employment easier for military personnel.
Separate fact from fiction when hiring veterans
Some employers believe hiring veterans is bad for business because of the mistaken assumption that most veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and are dangerous. To the contrary, veterans are productive employees who often become community leaders. To understand why veterans make great employees, one must debunk the myths surrounding PTSD.
Returning military veterans choosing college in record numbers
Izeck Hempseed went into the military directly from high school because he figured it would be his best path to eventually attend college.
"I knew my parents weren't going to pay for anything," said Hempseed, "and my dad was a colonel in the Air Force so I was already used to the military lifestyle."
Despite that, he found that four years in the Marines was plenty.
"There was no way I was going to stay in, just because of the craziness that I saw," said the former corporal, who's now 26. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and was discharged in 2008.
He's now enrolled as a senior at Chico State University, joining the biggest flood of military veterans since World War II to seek higher education.
Agency delays $765 million in US veterans care spending
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs postponed purchases of cardiac monitors, radiological equipment and pain-medication pumps for patients in 2012. It didn't replace old surgical tools, oxygen-delivery systems or deteriorating operating-room stretchers.
In all, the agency delayed more than $765 million it was authorized to spend, affecting veterans' medical care in some cases, according to VA documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act.
HUD report shows fewer homeless veterans
Thanks partially to a George W. Bush administration program, the overall U.S. homeless rate has dropped slightly and the number of homeless veterans has fallen significantly, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Actually 0.4 percent fewer than in 2011, a total of 633,782 people were homeless in the United States on a single night in January 2012, according to HUD's 2012 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness report.
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Female veterans in Congress decry military's handling of sexual assaults
The way the military has prosecuted sexual assaults within its ranks is deplorable, two congresswomen who have served in the armed forces said, calling for a new system for reporting those kinds of crimes. Reps. Tammy Duckworth and Tulsi Gabbard, both Democrats, said the recent report indicating a 30 percent rise in the number of service members anonymously reporting sexual assaults was an indication the military's leadership has failed in its duty to protect members of the armed forces.
Donate to VAA
If you are in the U.S., you now can donate online through VetsNet. Everything you donate — 100 percent — will go directly to the Veterans Association of America Inc. to help all veterans. Simply click on the "Make A Donation" button on the donation page to submit your contribution of choice. All donations made are tax deductible. We appreciate your contribution.
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