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The VA’s Killer Problem: Painkillers

The VA’s Killer Problem: Painkillers

An early red flag that prescription painkillers were ravaging U.S. veterans came in 2011 when researchers found vets dying of narcotic overdoses at more than twice the national average. That same year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named painkiller abuse a national epidemic, and the White House launched a campaign to reverse a trend that saw prescription abuse become America’s fastest-growing drug problem. Meanwhile at Department of Veterans Affairs, prescriptions for widely used and highly … Read entire article »

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Handicapping Pfc. Manning’s Sentence, Pentagon Eyes Cutting Military Pay, Drone Hunting and Picking the Pockets of Privates

By Rick Rogers Defensetracker.com This biggest story this week is the Pfc. Bradley Manning’s pending verdict – unless Edward Snowden turns himself in to U.S. authorities or becomes French. After final arguments last week, the case rests in the hands of the jury, which in this instance is also the military judge, Army Col. Denise Lind. Since Manning has admitted guilt to several charges all ready in the largest breach of classified files in U.S. history — except the charge of aiding the enemy, which carries a possible life sentence by itself — there’s little chance he’ll avoid prison. So, the question is: How many years will the 25-year-old get? Judge Lind wont likely be convinced by defense arguments that Manning furthered the public weal by leaking the military reports and government cables, but she might … Read entire article »

Filed under: Keeping Tabs, Rick's Blog

The Military Report

The Military Report By Rick Rogers Hello, everybody and welcome to The Military Report, where I rundown stories on the military, defense and veterans fronts. Let’s for a moment consider stories other than the almost daily military sex scandals that are rocking the military. Dear Lord, make the bad men stop! Senior defense officials recently voiced an obvious truth recently by saying the United States would likely be fighting al-Qaida for the next decade or two. …or until it either become a legitimate political player – yes, it is could happen faster than you think – or its money dries up. But the heart of the Associated Press story is the military’s plea for Congress not to meddle with 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, the law that authorized not only the U.S. invasion of … Read entire article »

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Military Week In Review: Sexual Assaults Military’s Top Story

  By Rick Rogers Military Headline News Another tough week for the service branches on the military sexual assaults front. First the commander of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention program, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, was charged with groping woman in a Virginia park. Next came a scathing Pentagon report on surging sexual assaults in the military. Now President Obama is saying no more. He’s ordered the Pentagon to ramp up efforts to stop such assaults and to punish attackers. The Defense Department estimates more than 70 sex crimes are committed daily in the military – up 37 percent from last year. The figures are based on an anonymous survey. * U.S. News and World Report has published its rankings of best online degree programs for veterans. The topping the list in the under graduate degree category is:  Pace University of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military Headline News, Rick's Blog

Zipper Gate

By Rick Rogers Defensetracker.com By now you’ve heard of the David Petraeus affair and the possible pinch of Marine Gen. John Allen in what I’m calling Zipper Gate. Ouch! Now if we can only work a Jacuzzi into the story, we might have a HBO series. Anyone interested in “Mad Generals”? But if you missed this, fear not. The next installment of government servants caught behaving badly will be out shortly. Check your local TV listings for show times! For among America’s ruling elite a good sex scandal is no longer a career-ender, but as enhancing as a dark suit and good dye job in achieving greater fame or at least a cable TV gig. Expect books and talk show appearances to blossom from this rot like so many mushrooms springing from piles of filth. Do not, however, expect … Read entire article »

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Almost Famous…But Definitely Poor

A one-man radio show aims to fill a local military news void   By Trevor Cardiff / University of Colorado Boulder There is perhaps no group of people in the U.S. more appreciated and revered among the general population than veterans and active-duty soldiers. Yet, there are few radio shows that focus on military affairs. Rick Rogers runs one of the few shows out there. His “Front and Center Military Talk Radio” can be heard on KCQB AM radio in San Diego and is part of his website, DefenseTracker.com. He is based in Southern California, but his goal is to provide localized military content not just for that market but that can be relevant across the country.   “What I saw was that there was a lot of information coming out of Washington, D.C., but it wasn’t of … Read entire article »

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Free, Quality Programs Can Launch Vet Careers

By Rick Rogers Host, Front & Center: Military Talk Radio   From the mostly bad news on veteran unemployment, you might think the future bleak for men and women leaving the service But it’s just not true. Opportunity does indeed exist for those willing to put in the time and effort. Just don’t expect success to chase you down. As we speak the next wave of successful business people are not saying, “It can’t be done” they’re instead figuring out how to do it. While you can’t teach desire, you can teach ways to funnel desire into successful actions. Here are a few terrific free programs that all veterans, troops and military families should know about. DLA Piper is a $2.25 billion law firm that has a soft spot for veterans and two offices in San Diego. Since 2008 DLA … Read entire article »

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Donors Beware

By Rick Roger Host of Front & Center: Military Talk Radio Charities rattling their cups for veterans and troop programs in Southern California have grown to epic numbers in recent years. I bet San Diego County charities have grown 10 fold since 2008. At least I think they have. Fact is I don’t know. I don’t know how many there are or what they all do let alone what happens to all the money they collect. Unfortunately no one else knows either. This proliferation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. San Diego County is home to the largest military population in the county and likewise the most Iraq and Afghanistan veterans anywhere. That a robust, non-profit community exists here to minister to their needs makes perfect sense. Most non-profits are run by honest if sometimes paperwork-challenged individuals. Most of the … Read entire article »

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Aspire Center Story Should Inspire – and Concern

By Rick Rogers Host of Front & Center: Military Talk Radio The big news in the last week for San Diego County veterans was both expected and relieving. The Aspire Center, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ proposed 40-bed medical facility in Old Town, finally won approval. Local veterans suffering mental and emotional wounds after their service will finally have a place of their own to recuperate under the best care available. That San Diego County, home to the most Afghanistan and Iraq war vets in the country, waited a decade for such a center is a real puzzler. But at least there’s one on the way. On Tuesday the San Diego City Council unanimously approved the conditional use permit allowing the $30 million Aspire Center to move forward. Had countervailing forces succeeded, the San Diego VA Healthcare System … Read entire article »

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Disability Claims Backlog at 930,000, What You Can Do … Free Strategies that Really Work

By Rick Rogers DefenseTracker.com Veterans call or email weekly seeking help to capture benefits. Almost invariably their compensation issues are snagged on a roiling claims snafu. Like the Korean War veteran from Vista who lost his leg during fighting back in 1951 only to discover records declaring his amputation had nothing to do with his combat service. These veterans are frustrated.  They spend months, often years and sometimes scores of years working through established channels to no avail.? What to do? Cast a Wide Net When I need one nugget of information, I call five people to get it. Vets should do the same. The more people pulling on the informational oars for you, the more likely you’ll get some place. Veteran advocates, especially today, are thick at the local, state and federal levels. Look them up. … Read entire article »

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