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Painkillers Blighting Veterans

By Rick Rogers Rick Rogers Media If you use the universal 10-point pain scale to measure concern about the thousands of San Diego County veterans facing addiction to prescribed painkillers, you reach about a seven. That’s the estimate from officials at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. That equates to moderate to severe pain and requires prompt attention, which is why the Veterans Administration in San Diego is taking steps to help veterans manage their pain and their painkillers. Studies show that a high percentage of veterans are in chronic pain, particularly those who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They’re often prescribed opioids, which are effective painkillers, but the drugs can also lead to dependency and addiction. Last month, the American Academy of Pain Medicine released a study that for the first time found that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Education, Reservists, Veterans

Veterans Employer Panel, June 28 in San Diego

When: Friday, June 28 from 9am-11am Where: South Metro Career Center, 4724 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113 Questions: (619) 266.4256 Dress for success Mapquest it Veterans Employer Panel Agenda: Introductions: 10 minutes Question and Answer: 55 minutes One-on-One: 55 minutes   Scheduled employers include: Bank of America City of San Diego US Customs and Border Protection Volt Workforce Solutions Wal-Mart Westpac Wealth Partners Wicked Coursing   Scheduled veteran resources include: Blue Star Mothers California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) ITT Technical Institute … Read entire article »

Filed under: Employment, Reservists, Veterans

Petition: Change Medal’s ‘Order of Precedence’

Do you disagree with the Pentagon’s decision to put a new medal honoring drone pilots above some traditional combat valor medals in the military’s “order of precedence”? This is your chance to let the White House know how you feel. A petition posted on the White House website Thursday asks the administration to lower the precedence of the Distinguished Warfare Medal. The medal, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday, will be awarded to pilots of unmanned aircraft, offensive cyberwar experts or others who are directly involved in combat operations, but who are not physically in theater and facing the physical risks that warfare historically entails. The new medal will rank just below the Distinguished Flying Cross. It will have precedence over — and be worn on a uniform ahead of — the Bronze Star with Valor device, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Active Duty, Keeping Tabs, Reservists, Veterans

Warrior & Family Support News

COMMUNITIES IN ACTION Operation Warfighter soldier awarded Purple Heart in Surprise Ceremony DVIDS Silk began his military career in 1994 and has been in and out of the military ever since fluctuating between Active Duty and Reserve, and most recently joining the Oklahoma National Guard in 2010. Since joining the military, he has been deployed in … USO Lends a Helping Hand to the ‘Harris Family’ During “Extreme Makeover … (press release) Led by team leader Ty Pennington, designers Paige Hemmis, Michael Moloney, Xzibit and Ed Sanders, along with local builder Morgan’s Wonderland and Helping a Hero, military charity the USO and community volunteers, all chipped in to lend a helping hand … Group, community give wounded veteran, family ‘unbelievable’ reason to move Jose Torrez, left, and Federico Lopez install the ceiling of a house being donated by Operation Finally Home and Permian Homes to Sgt. Ross … Read entire article »

Filed under: Active Duty, Education, Reservists

Warrior & Family Support News

  COMMUNITIES IN ACTION Clarksville labor analysis advises more education, jobs for exiting military Clarksville Leaf Chronicle Tom Stellman, center, president and CEO of TIP Strategies, discusses the current labor market on Friday, with, from left, Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board Executive Director Mike Evans, WorkForce Essentials Inc. President … Veterans rebuild civilian selves Austin American-Statesman The group also has set up an emergency response team as a way to use some of the disaster relief skills they learned in the military — and to give veterans a larger purpose they might have been missing since leaving the military. The team, which … Home from Iraq and Afghanistan, many combat veterans look to serve again … Minneapolis Star Tribune Several dozen veterans — some of them from earlier wars — are vying for U.S. House and Senate seats this year. And many others are seeking state and local offices … Read entire article »

Filed under: Active Duty, Reservists

Using Technology For Your Mental Health

Technology has dramatically changed our world during the past 20 years, including how we approach psychological health care, and mostly for the better. Twenty years ago, if you wanted to find out about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you could either make an appointment with a psychologist or spend countless hours at a library reading books and professional journals. Now, great information is just a click away. If you have a smartphone for example, you can instantly download freemobile applications such as the PTSD Coach, and learn about PTSD and ways to help you manage its symptoms. There are apps to track your mood during a period of time and give you and your provider information to help diagnose a possible mood or anxiety disorder. Treatment guidelines to help providers manage patients with mild … Read entire article »

Filed under: Active Duty, Reservists, Veterans

Navy & Marine Corps Combat Stress San Diego Conference 2012

Navy and Marine Corps Combat & Operational Stress Control Conference 2012: “Joining Forces to Strengthen Resilience”. When: Tuesday – Thursday, 22-24 May 2012 Where: Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle N., San Diego, CA 92108 Host: Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control Purpose: To bring together individuals and organizations from around the world to discuss updates in doctrine, policy, research, data, programs, interventions, and best practices pertinent to Combat and Operational Stress Control in the Navy, Marine Corps and other services. Attendance and presentations are expected from military services from allied countries, as well as top experts from the VA National Center for PTSD, civilian institutions, and other U.S. military branches. To submit a proposal for Papers, Posters, Exhibitors, or Award Nominations, please login on the upper left. Once logged … Read entire article »

Filed under: Active Duty, Reservists, Veterans

99 Marine Reserve Colonels Forced Out Win in Court

By Rick Rogers A little case with big implications is back in the Navy’s court thanks to reserve Marine colonel who fought the Navy in court over his involuntary retirement and by extension those of scores other colonels – and won. In March 2009, Col. Gary E. Lambert was notified he was one of 99 colonels selected for early removal from the Reserve Active Status List (RASL). A letter informed him that, “Those … considered were colonels having at least 3 years time in grade as of July 2009. Of the 254 officers considered, the board selected 99 for early removal.” In October 2009 Lambert filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire against the secretary of the Navy alleging his separation violated U.S. law and Navy and Marine Corps regulations. Lambert asked … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reservists

Oceanside’s Rocky Chavez Replaced as State Vet Leader

Former Oceanside councilman and retired Marine Rocky Chavez, appointed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to lead the California Department of Veterans Affairs, was recently replaced by Gov. Jerry Brown. Chavez had championed vets causes and argued when Brown decided to take away the funding increase that Schwarzenegger had promised the historically under-funded CDVA. Chavez had the strong support of many San Diego County vet organizations who urged Brown to keep Chavez on. Below is a press release on the change. Not sure who wrote this, but there is no mention of Chavez, which either makes this bad journalism or an intentional slight. Peter James Gravett, 69, of Rolling Hills Estates,  has been appointed secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Gravett is a retired major general with over 35 years of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reservists

Tackling Homelessness Among Veterans

On a visit to a Vermont homeless shelter for veterans, Maj. L. Tammy Duckworth met a man who lived there with his wife and two young children. She asked if he was looking for a job. No, he told her. He was a member of the Vermont National Guard, and he was getting ready to deploy. And he was excited, she said: His family could stay in the shelter while he was deployed and save up his pay so they could have a home when he got back. “We are all dishonored when a veteran sleeps on the same streets that he or she has defended,”Duckworth, the assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said in Hartford Monday. “We are all dishonored when a veteran’s family … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reservists