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Ousted as gay, aging veterans battling for honorable discharges
The New York Times
When the Army discharged Pvt. Donald Hallman in 1955 for being what it called a "Class II homosexual," the 21-year-old was so scared of being an outcast that he burned all his military records, save for a single dog tag he hid away. Hallman, a coal miner's son who sang in a church choir in rural Alabama, says he never mentioned his military service again. He married a woman he had met at work, had children and wore a suit and tie to work each day.
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 SURVEY


Veterans Association of America wants to know...

Have you are someone you know transitioned out of the military and now find themselves homeless? If so, has anyone on the local, state or federal level attempted to find you or that vet housing?
  1. Yes, I know several that are vets that are homeless
  2. No, I'm not aware of any veterans but I'm sure that there are
  3. I've been homeless for 6 months or more
  4. I've been homeless for over a year and no one has assisted me with anything
  5. I've been homeless for over a year and no one has assisted me with anything

Click here to give Veterans Association of America your answer.


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



 Housing


Housing grants help disabled veterans live independently
Realtor.com
After another brutal winter in the Northeast, Marlon Benn decided he'd had enough. Heaps of ice and snow easily left the 48-year-old veteran, who uses a wheelchair, all but housebound in Mount Vernon, New York. The ramps that allowed him to get in and out of his 85-year-old, three-bedroom house weren't designed to handle 2 feet of snow. Not even close. Even in less challenging weather, Benn's house was not ideal.
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 Medical/Health


VA rejects reports that 300,000 veterans died while awaiting care
Military.com
The Veterans Affairs Department is rejecting reports that 300,000 veterans likely died while awaiting care, even though the figure came from its own inspector general. The number reflects the number of veterans with pending enrollment applications that the Social Security Administration reports as deceased — but nothing indicates they went without medical care or died while actively seeking enrollment into the VA system, according to a senior official with the department's Veterans Health Administration.
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 Benefits


Consumer Watch: Military Star card program overhauled
Navy Times
Changes are coming to your Military Star card. Gone is the option to redeem points for cash, but you'll still earn points that can be redeemed for military exchange gift cards. Today, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which administers the exchange credit card program for all military exchanges, offers two credit cards.
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Defending retirement benefits for the military
Yahoo Finance
The largest employer in the U.S., the Department of Defense, may change the way its workers receive retirement pay. The implications are huge. About 1.4 million men and women are on active duty today; about 825,000 more serve in the National Guard and Reserve. But only a fraction of them will qualify for pension benefits.
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 Employment


'Force of the Future': Career flexibility, fewer moves
Military Times
A detailed blueprint for how to rebuild the military personnel system has landed on Defense Secretary Ash Carter's desk. The dozens of recommendations from the Pentagon's top personnel officials would fundamentally change how the military recruits, pays, promotes and manages the active-duty force of 1.3 million troops, according to a draft copy of the report obtained by Military Times.
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Missed an issue of VAA Dispatch? Click here to visit VAA Dispatch archive page.


Veterans: Federal jobs can be a bad fit, so many of us leave
The Washington Post
Veterans who've joined the government find it's just too bureaucratic. They bristle at the resentment they feel from colleagues who know they went to the head of the hiring queue. They acknowledge that they don't always fit in: Just below the surface, deep culture clashes in their offices simmer.
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 Education


10 veteran-friendly aerospace, aeronautical engineering schools
Military Times
Engineering is a lucrative and growing career field with many different options available. Veterans or active-duty military students who have interest or prior experience in aerospace or aviation should think about pursuing a major in aerospace and aeronautical engineering.
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 Outreach Services


DoD's 'Future' vision doesn't overlook families
Military Times
Family advocates are pleased to see that provisions affecting families have been added to the latest drafts of the Defense Department's far-reaching "Force of the Future" plan. "The first iteration of 'Force of the Future' didn't mention families," said Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association.
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 Veteran News


Political parties already targeting vet voters for 2016
Military Times
Republican leaders still don't know who will be their standard bearer in the 2016 presidential race, but they're already recruiting an army of veterans to support that candidate. Officials with the Republican National Committee recently launched a push to bring former service members into their Republican Leadership Initiative, an effort to train GOP supporters for field organizer work in next year's campaigns.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    VA planned to ration drugs for sick veterans (Veterans Today)
Survey: Most Americans think government is failing vets (Military Times)
Service dogs for veterans with PTSD get closer look (Star Tribune)
Thousands of vacant VA jobs costing taxpayers billions (WXIA-TV)
Veteran helps others navigate complex VA benefit system (Independent Mail)

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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