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Study: Care for veterans at risk of suicide inadequate
Large numbers of veterans considered at risk of suicide are not getting adequate follow-up care from mental health clinicians at the nation's Veterans Affairs medical centers, according to a report by the VA inspector general.
Although the VA requires clinicians who discharge at-risk veterans from inpatient mental health facilities to schedule follow-up evaluations, almost one in three such patients nationwide do not receive adequate monitoring, according to the study.
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Financial strain pushes many veterans to the breaking point
Hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been flying home to a fresh fox hole: A debt crater that's sucking in entire military families and could be helping to fuel the veteran suicide crisis. A bad job market, a long backlog for federal disability benefits and occasionally unwise spending habits have been conspiring to strain the financial and mental health of many veterans, experts say.
Report: More veterans are finding work again
Stars and Stripes
The unemployment rate for young veterans dropped in April to its lowest level since President Barack Obama was elected, another positive sign for advocates concerned over the transition from military to civilian life. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Iraq and Afghanistan war era veterans posted a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in April, the same as the national average. That figure has stayed at least two percentage points above the national rate for most of the last four years, and hasn't been that low since November 2008.
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VA to expedite claims decisions for veterans
The White Mountain Independent
Effective April 22, VA claims raters will make provisional decisions on the oldest claims in inventory, which will allow veterans to begin collecting compensation benefits more quickly, if eligible. Veterans will be able to submit additional evidence for consideration a full year after the provisional rating, before the VA issues a final decision. "Too many veterans wait too long for a decision, and this never has been acceptable," said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. "That is why we are implementing an aggressive plan to eliminate the backlog in 2015. This initiative is the right thing to do now for veterans who have waited the longest."
New smartphone app provides resources for returning veterans
New Jersey Press
Veterans returning home from service are met with a number of challenges when making the transition back into civilian life. Looking to alleviate some of these challenges, New Jersey resident and veteran, Lloyd Deans, created "The Deans List," app for smartphones. "Like other veterans, when I came back, I had questions about my benefits," Deans said. "I went through the VA process, which was beneficial in some ways but didn't provide me with all of the answers I was looking for."
Motor vehicle crashes: A little-known risk to returning veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan
The Washington Post
For men and women who have fought in the country's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, death behind the wheel is becoming another lethal aftereffect of combat.
After they leave military service, veterans of the two wars have a 75 percent higher rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents than do civilians. Troops still in uniform have a higher risk of crashing their cars in the months immediately after returning from deployment than in the months immediately before. People who have had multiple tours in combat zones are at highest risk for traffic accidents.
'Tent to Tent': Homeless veterans' stories may play out on stage
About 1 in 5 homeless Central Floridians once wore our country's colors.
Veterans such as Loretta White is among the more than 62,000 veterans who pray the Obama administration's bid to end homelessness by 2015 is a more unequivocal win than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
In the meantime, the former Army sergeant has launched her own offensive. With her production of "Tent to Tent," White hopes to showcase the march from soldier to homeless veteran. Set against an original score, the stage play stitches together scenes in a soldier's career — such as enlistment, taking the oath and discharge — with monologues from actual veterans telling their stories — including White's.
Calling all companies: Military veterans bring dedication, motivation, leadership
The Huffington Post
Senior Director of Cisco Corporate Affairs Kathy Mulvany writes: "Recently, I had the privilege of attending an event at the White House where the First Lady Michelle Obama and John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, unveiled a new program to give returning military service members a fast track to the training and certifications needed for high-demand IT jobs. Through the IT Training and Certification Program, transitioning military personnel with prior IT experience are being given access to IT training, certification and career-matching opportunities to help fast-track their job search. "
Amputation: Making the decision and living with it
By Denise A. Valenti
On April 15, bombs took lives and changed lives in Boston. Many runners had already crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon when two bombs exploded killing three people and injuring hundreds. At least 16 of those hospitalized had one limb amputated and others had both legs amputated. For some the decision to remove a limb was obvious and immediate. But for others, the process was more complex. To dance, to run, to walk and to get on with their lives are goals of these injured, as well as the hundreds physically harmed by the bomb event.
New research finds exercise helps reduce PTSD in veterans
Scientists at the Veterans Administration say exercise stimulates a brain section key to easing PTSD symptoms.
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