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Umbrage and the VA hospital scandal
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Board-certified plastic surgeon and founder/CEO of BuildMyBod Jonathan Kaplan writes: "If you've been following the scandal surrounding the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Phoenix, you are hearing from a lot of politicians taking umbrage with the actions of that particular VA and how they provided poor service to our veterans. Here's the problem: this umbrage is misplaced and belated. As a general surgery resident, I rotated through the VA hospital in New Orleans. The recipe for incompetence at that facility represented everything that is wrong with healthcare and the federal government all wrapped into one."
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VA home loan: Do you have what it takes?
In order to obtain a VA home loan, you must first fill out VA Form 26-1880, the request for your Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate is issued only through the Veterans Administration and is the first step towards applying for your loan. Veterans, active duty, guard or reserve and military spouses potentially qualify for this certificate. Keep in mind that the Certificate of Eligibility, while necessary, only allows an eligible individual to apply for a home loan; it does not guarantee a loan approval.
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House passes Kirkpatrick's veteran jobs bill HR 2942
White Mountain Independent
On May 28, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill introduced by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick to help veterans transfer their military skills towards civilian licenses and find jobs with employers who want to hire veterans. Kirkpatrick's bill, HR 2942, would remove barriers to veteran employment by reviving an expert advisory panel to speed the VA's recognition of new licensing and certification programs, allowing veterans to use GI Bill benefits to pay for those training programs and licensing exams.
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Recruiters, business owners talk hard-to-fill jobs
Military Times
Gunnery Sgt. Chris Albright left the Marine Corps in 2013 and jumped right into his new career as owner of CMIT Solutions in northern Virginia, a national information technology franchise. He expected technicians to come clamoring for jobs, but it didn't work out that way. Despite a market chock full of job seekers, some business owners are finding it hard to fill positions in certain jobs. That's good news for veterans entering the workforce. In some professions, at least, the jobs are there for the asking.
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Honoring the work of our veterans overseas through jobs at home
The Gilmer Mirror
Recent events at the Veterans Administration have brought national attention to the care of our war veterans and the issues they face once they return home. When it comes to supporting our vets, we seem to talk the talk, but too often, the promises we make to them are hollow. As President Barack Obama recently announced, the majority of the troops serving in Afghanistan will be returning home by the end of 2016. With another influx of veterans, we will be faced with providing these heroes with the care, benefits and jobs that are reflective of their service to our country.
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Veterans struggle with higher unemployment rates
Chicago Tribune
The U.S. economy held a constant jobless rate in May, the Department of Labor reported adding 217,000 jobs. While the 6.3 percent rate for the second month in a row shows the economy is continuing its steady rebound, there's one group in particular that continues to lag when it comes to finding a job: U.S. veterans.

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Homeless veterans can obtain skills for employment
Late Oscar winner actor Gregory Peck, often portrayed military figures in the movies, but due to medical issues, he was exempted from military service. His son Stephen Peck, CEO of U.S. Vets, who was drafted into the marines in 1968 and fought in the Vietnam War, now fights for the rights of homeless vets.

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Veterans are vital assets to business world
The Tennessean
Wade Franklin was a U.S. naval officer who longed to be an entrepreneur one day. During his seven years in the military, Lt. Franklin saved much of his salary — preparing for the day when he could launch his own business.

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Veterans deal with financial learning curve
Chicago Tribune
When he retired from the Marine Corps and became a manager for a defense contractor, Col. Mark Desens knew he was entering new territory in many ways. In corporate America, everything from resumes to management styles is different, he said. Personal finances, especially, require some homework. The learning curve is even greater for younger veterans, said Mechel Lashawn Glass, who co-wrote "The Veteran's Money Book" after shifting from a 17-year-old enlistee to a 22-year-old veteran to a 43-year-old professional financial counselor.
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Improper hiring at Treasury bureau possibly affected veterans
Government Executive
A White House nomination is on hold, and lawmakers are raising questions over possible violations of veterans' preference because of a flap over improper hiring practices at the Treasury Department. Two congressional Republicans are requesting more information from Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network over an audit last winter that concluded the bureau used improper criteria when screening and hiring candidates for certain jobs.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Veterans' benefits explained (
Senator unveils proposal to revamp VA health care (USA Today)
Solar education gets boost with federal help (The Associated Press via The Denver Post and Military Times)
Post-9/11 GI bill transferability (
Veterans are vital assets to business world (The Tennessean)

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Longest average wait times for VA new patients
The Associated Press via Stars and Stripes
Veterans Administration medical centers have come under criticism for long wait times for care. Here is a list of the facilities with the longest average waits as of May 15 for new patients seeking primary care, specialist care and mental health care, according to audit results released recently.
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VA plagued by shortage of primary caregivers
The Dallas Morning News
At the heart of the Department of Veterans Affairs falsified data in Phoenix, and possibly many other veterans hospitals, is an acute shortage of physicians, particularly primary care doctors. They are needed to handle a patient population swelled both by aging veterans from the Vietnam War and younger ones who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The inspector general’s report also pointed to another factor that may explain why hospital officials in Phoenix and elsewhere might have falsified wait-time data: pressures to excel in the annual performance reviews used to determine raises, bonuses, promotions and other benefits.
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VAA Dispatch
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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