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Report cites VA struggles with benefits paid to veterans
USA Today
The federal department responsible for caring for America's veterans, already mired in scandal over delays in health care, continues struggling with another major responsibility: paying compensation to those wounded or injured or who grew ill from service in uniform. While the Veterans Affairs managed to reduce a huge backlog in veteran claims for money, it was at the expense of the appeals to those decisions, which rapidly are mounting, according to testimony by the VA Office of Inspector General.
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Here's an idea to stabilize neighborhoods, help veterans
It's a simple idea: Why not revitalize blighted communities by housing heroes in vacant homes? In Pittsburg, California, a Bay Area town that's come upon some hard times recently, disabled veteran J.R. Wilson is rallying the community by attempting to solve the problems of homelessness among local service members and neighborhoods full of abandoned houses.
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Purple Heart Homes seeks veterans who need home repairs
Purple Heart Homes, which provides free home renovations to qualified disabled veterans, is seeking referrals of Triad veterans who need home renovations. Qualifications include a veteran's physical or mental disability and a need for a home renovation. Veterans do not need to have obtained Purple Hearts.
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Vets get more time to get CDL without taking skills test
Land Line
Veterans who drove commercial motor vehicles while in the service are being given a one-year free pass on the skills test after leaving the service, thanks to a move by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Previously, veterans who drove big trucks in the service had only 90 days after leaving the service to take only the written portion of the CDL test and not have to take the skills portion. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles petitioned FMCSA to consider giving veterans more time than 90 days. The state of Virginia has a "comprehensive" Troops-to-Trucks program that assists service members in obtaining a Virginia CDL and civilian employment in the trucking industry.
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From Marines to Mr. Clean: Veteran uses war zone skills to start crime-scene cleanup company
Stars and Stripes
John Krusenstjerna traded Kevlar and a machine gun for a hazmat suit and respirator, doing something in America's heartland that many veterans struggle to do — making a career out of the skills he learned fighting America's wars. The retired Marine sergeant has gone from the streets of Fallujah to meth labs in Iowa and from cleaning homes where Muslim extremists murdered Iraqi families to scrubbing crime scenes of blood, body parts and drug residue.
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Cognitive decline in veterans: Journal offers open-access issue
By Denise A. Valenti
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 23.2 million living veterans have served in the United States armed services in times of both war and peace. As these men and women age, there is concern about the increased risk of potential cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative disease. In order to bring attention to this issue and to provide a forum for open discussion, Alzheimer's and Dementia — the professional journal of the Alzheimer's Association — has given open access to its June issue, which focuses on the overall problem of cognitive decline and dementia in soldiers and veterans.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Initiatives that give vets an edge (Air Force Times (subscriber article))
Remember the veterans health care crisis? (Government Executive)
Continuum helps 81 veterans find IT jobs (Channelnomics)

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

When dealing with intimate partner violence, female veterans want options, follow-up support
Medical News Today
Intimate partner violence is a significant health issue faced by women veterans, but little has been known up until now about their preferences for IPV-related care. A new study has found that most of these women support routine screening for IPV and want options, follow-up support, transparent documentation and Veterans Health Administration and community resources. These findings appear in the journal Research in Nursing and Health.
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Veteran suicides called 'horrible human costs' of VA dysfunction
Stars and Stripes
Iraq War veteran Daniel Somers tried desperately to get Veterans Affairs' mental health care years before committing suicide last summer. Despite his diagnosed post-traumatic stress and brain injury, Howard and Jean Somers told House lawmakers again and again that their son was met with "uncaring, insensitive and adversarial" staff in the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is mired in a nationwide scandal over deep dysfunction and records manipulation in its health care system.
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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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