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Auditors: $43.1 million intended for veterans sat unspent for 3 years
The Washington Post via Stars and Stripes
For three years, more than $43 million the Department of Veterans Affairs had set aside to inform veterans about their benefits sat in an account, not a penny spent, until an agency financial manager happened to notice. By then, it may have become too late for the cash-strapped agency to spend the money, a new report says.
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 SURVEY


Veterans Association of America wants to know...

Has anyone assisted you in locating gainful employment, housing or medical services prior to you being discharged from the Armed Forces?
  1. Yes, they have and the provided documented locations in which to seek.
  2. No, they haven't, not to my knowledge.
  3. It's been very limited. I had to do the research on my own.
  4. They never provided us any information on our ETS (End Tour of Service) exit briefing.
  5. I really don't think they give a damn about giving you civilian information.

Click here to give Veterans Association of America your answer.


Respond today — survey results revealed in next week's VAA Dispatch.



 Medical/Health


Dental insurance options, alternatives for veterans who don't receive VA dental care
Inquisitr
Although health care options for veterans continue to expand with programs, like the Choice program, which allow veterans to get care in their area from civilian providers, little has been done to help veterans with dental care. Unless a veteran qualifies for the VA dental program, the only other option for many veterans is dental insurance. Unfortunately, for many veterans, this isn't an option at all because many cannot afford dental insurance, particularly those transitioning from the military, reports VA.
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 Employment


More than 10,000 veterans used the CDL skills test waiver
Truckinginfo
More than 10,000 veterans and active duty personnel have taken advantage of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Military Skills Test Waiver Program, the FMCSA announced. The program allows state licensing agencies to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application for veterans or active-duty members who have at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus. In the first three years of the program 6,000 military personnel obtained a CDL with 4,000 more using the waiver in the past 12 months.
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Have a tough IT job to fill? Consider a veteran
Dallas Business Journal
Each year, about 250,000 service members leave the U.S. Armed Forces. The transition into a civilian career can be rocky. But there are programs in place to ease the transition for men and women exiting the military while filling tough-to-fill positions for employers, Robert McDonald, U.S. secretary of Veteran Affairs, said at a recent Veterans Employer Roundtable in Texas.
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FIU program: Veterans find a new purpose through farming
Miami Herald
Mat Santos stands at the edge of seven acres of land, the field of his future, pondering what to plant, grow and harvest and sell. This time three years ago, Santos was finishing up a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy. After deployments in Central and South America, Santos returned to civilian life in Miami, his hometown, to begin the next chapter. Now Santos, 26, is learning the world of agriculture, from the art of planting to the new technology to marketing, with the help Florida International University's new Veterans and Small Farmers Outreach program.
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 Benefits


Veterans Affairs says agency faces $2.5 billion budget shortfall
The Associated Press via PBS
The Department of Veterans Affairs said it faces a budget shortfall of more than $2.5 billion, mainly because of increased demand by veterans for health care, including new life-saving treatments for Hepatitis C. Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson told a House committee that VA health care sites experienced a 10.5 percent increase in workload for the 12-month period that ended in April. The VA needs flexibility from Congress to close the budget gap, Gibson said, adding that the agency is considering furloughs, hiring freezes and other significant moves.
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Military retirement changes could cut into new, old troops' benefits
Defense One
In an interview, Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain told National Journal that he has been waiting almost 30 years to modernize the compensation of military personnel. He considers this year's proposed changes in retirement benefits to be one of the most significant parts of the Defense bill.
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 Education


New bill aims to close military education benefit loophole
WBUP/WBKP-TV
A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would close a loophole in the current law involving veteran and military education benefits. U.S. Sens. Gary Peters, Debbie Stabenow and their colleagues, introduced the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act of 2015. A release from Peters' office said that under the current law, for-profit schools must obtain at least ten percent of their revenue from sources other than taxpayers.
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College factual: 10 veteran-friendly public health schools
Air Force Times
Although more people have access to health care every day, costs continue to escalate, and many in the U.S. and around the world go without adequate medical care. Studying public health in college puts you in a position to educate the public on crucial health issues as well as develop and administer policies and come up with new ideas on reaching people and improving the quality of life of vulnerable populations.
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For-profit schools targeted again over GI Bill payouts
Military Times
For-profit colleges are under fire again on Capitol Hill, with veterans groups and advocates targeting the schools' access to military education funds.
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 Housing


VA aims to help homeless, at-risk veterans find stable jobs
The Associated Press via Military.com
David Bowles is excitedly making plans to move from a homeless shelter to an apartment of his own in a few weeks, thanks to a new Department of Veterans Affairs program helping homeless veterans find long-term employment. Job-ready veterans exiting homelessness, like Bowles and others on the brink of homelessness, can now turn to the VA's Homeless Veterans Community Employment Services for individualized assistance in finding the types of stable jobs needed to sustain housing.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    What are the best cities for veterans to live? (USA Today)
'Dependa' bashing: Mudslingers stun military spouses (Military Times)
A veteran suicide prevention network built by veterans (CBS Evening News)
Veterans urge drone operators to refuse orders to fly (Veterans Today)
Marine brings awareness to overmedicated veterans with photography project (WCAU-TV)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


 VAA Resources — Job search, grants, research

Get what you need with these resources available to veterans and family members.
Resource Website
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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Rebecca Eberhardt, Content Editor, 469.420.2608   
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