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Veterans and troops lament losing advocate in Hagel
Defense One
Chuck Hagel arrived in the Pentagon as a soldier's defense secretary, a former Army sergeant and Vietnam vet with the shrapnel still in his chest to prove it. And even if Hagel had problems articulating the White House's elusive strategic goals on a world stage, he was most comfortable talking to the troops for whom he worked quietly to advocate. And now after his recent resignation, veterans groups and military service organizations said they worry his departure could leave some of their issues in limbo.
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Why the military has a budget message problem
National Defense
President Barack Obama's fourth secretary of defense soon will be taking the reins at the Pentagon where discontent has been brewing over spending cuts, expanding missions and the growing realization that the generals' stop-the-sequester campaign has been politically ineffective. Defense officials have built the bulk of their case against the sequester on the premise that abrupt and steep cuts threaten military "readiness." The problem is that few people outside the military understand what that means and, therefore, do not take it seriously.
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Helping veterans and their families out of homeless situations
The Huffington Post
With the onset of winter comes the holiday season, which, for most Americans, signifies a joy-filled period of giving spent with family. For our nation's homeless population, however, the transition to colder weather is an additional daily challenge and a cruel reminder of their plight.
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Inspector general: Hotline to help homeless veterans falls short
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
A Department of Veterans Affairs hotline established to help homeless veterans missed thousands of opportunities to help at-risk vets last year, the agency's inspector general said. The VA's National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, launched in mid-2012, consistently did not ensure that veterans who called the hotline received access to support services, according to findings released recently.
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Homelessness an ongoing issue for veterans
Wicked Local
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says that on any given night, there are approximately 50,000 homeless veterans across the country. Jason Palitsch, government and public affairs specialist for Veterans Inc. in Worcester, Massachusetts, said there's no such thing as a flawless count — and the numbers are notoriously difficult to track.
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Joining Forces yields 65,000 military spouse hires since 2011
U.S. Deparment of Defense News, Defense Media Activity
The second lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, made a surprise appearance at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial to honor the Military Spouse Employment Partnership's expansion and commend companies who have hired more than 65,000 military spouses since Joining Forces launched in 2011. ALA member companies were cited by the White House and Congress during a Capitol Hill ceremony in July of this year for reaching and exceeding a goal of hiring 25,000 Veterans and family members set in October 2011. ALA was one of the first private-sector associations to answer the president's call to hire more than 100,000 veterans.
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Veteran's motto to never give up a relevant message for job seekers
Lansing State Journal
The crowd that gathered recently to hear retired United States Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills speak at Peckham Inc. consisted of a variety of people — and everyone present could appreciate his story of courage and tenacity. On Nov. 19, Mills spoke to two standing-room-only audiences about his experience as the fourth quadruple amputee from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Even more importantly, he focused on his personal motto: Never give up. Never quit.
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'Lottery ticket' helps vets transition to new career
CBS News
Many veterans returning from wars overseas face a new challenge at home: finding a job. Many times employers say they want to hire veterans but then don't because many are seen as unqualified. But one unusual program has a simple solution — give the veterans a job skill needed in tens of thousands of businesses worldwide, reports CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Riding to the rescue: Billionaire brings hope to veterans on California ranch (Forbes)
Veteran's preference points (
Army Family Action Plan: DoD working with families (Military Times)
Philanthropy jumpstarts homeless veterans project in Washington, D.C. (Nonprofit Quarterly)
Veterans, elected officials fight to make post-9/11 benefits more accessible (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education)

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