Keeping Tabs — 29 Feb.

HEALTHCARE

Health Care Available For Vietnam Vets Exposed To Agent Orange (Channel3000.com, WI) — The state Department of Veterans Affairs is urging an estimated 140,000 Vietnam veterans living in Wisconsin to contact their county’s Veterans Service Office to determine if they’re suffering from diseases linked to possible Agent Orange exposure.
http://www.channel3000.com/health/30554995/detail.html

VETERANS AFFAIRS

Veterans’ Affairs claim backlog at 800,000 (UPI.com) — Disabled American Veterans testified Tuesday in Washington that the Veterans’ Affairs claims backlog has grown to 800,000 pending cases.
http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2012/02/28/Veterans-Affairs-claim-backlog-at-800000/UPI-28261330482959/#ixzz1nnmaxA9V

VA aims to get better data on vet suicide rates (MarineCorpsTimes.com) — The figure often noted in press reports and analyses — an average of 18 veteran suicides each day — is derived from information available from the Centers for Disease Control’s National Violent Death Reporting System, which receives input from 18 states, and other sources.  VA knows when a veteran in its care commits suicide, but only 6 million of the nation’s 22 million veterans are enrolled in VA health services.
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/02/military-va-aims-to-get-better-data-on-vet-suicide-rates-022812w/

HOUSING

Town Hall Addresses Veteran Unemployment And Homelessness (neontommy.com, CA) — “If a guy has a job, then he has the means to build himself up and get off the streets. And once they have that self-esteem, which is what they really want, they’ll find other successes. It goes hand-in-hand with homelessness; there’s no question it’s the biggest problem and it ought to be addressed vehemently.”
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2012/02/town-hall-addresses-veteran-unemployment-and-homelessness

Converting Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital to center for homeless veterans a good idea (NJ.com) — As thousands more veterans arrive home from Iraq and Afghanistan during the next few years, experts say 15 percent to 20 percent may find themselves homeless — as the ravages of post-traumatic stress disorder and the realities of the weak economy take their toll.
http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2012/02/converting_hagedorn_psychiatri.html

EMPLOYMENT

Conference Spotlights Value of Hiring Wounded Warriors (defense.gov) — “We’re working hard to help them prepare to succeed in the civilian workforce,” he said, noting about 50 percent of wounded, ill and injured soldiers in his program separate from service after recovery.

“That’s where all of you come in,” he told the employers. “You’re here because you and your organization are committed to hiring wounded veterans. You already know that it’s an ongoing commitment – not just hiring one veteran to check the box, but hiring many of them.”
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=67357

Job-hunting frontlines (Post and Courier, NC) — “Some employers think that military veterans are too regimented and not independent thinkers, that a vast majority suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder, that a person’s military rank equates to ability or that many former military do not know how to translate their abilities into civilian language,” she said. “All these are misconceptions.”
http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2012/feb/26/job-hunting-frontlines/

“Hiring Our Heroes” Employment Fair Scheduled for March 9 in Iselin (NJToday.net) — Representatives from the NJ State Library will be on hand to explain and demonstrate all the resources veterans have available to search for jobs, design and write resumes, and apply for jobs. With technology assistance from Verizon, computer stations will be set up for attendees to practice using those resources. Counselors will also be available from Vet2Vet, U.S. Veterans Administration and NJ Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) to provide veterans with additional information regarding their state and federal entitlements.
http://njtoday.net/2012/02/24/hiring-our-heroes-employment-fair-scheduled-for-march-9-in-iselin/#ixzz1nnBdlEiH

Program to help veterans get jobs (WWLP.com, CT) — With the Step Up for Veterans program in place, the employer of the veteran would be eligible for a grant from the state to pay the wages for the first six months. This gives the employer a helping hand and the veteran experience in the working field.
http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/connecticut/program-to-help-veterans-get-jobs

LEGAL/LEGISLATIVE

Va. legislature passes veteran employment bills (NewsLeader.com) — Virginia’s moves to expand education and employment opportunities for veterans come on the heels of high veteran unemployment figures. The national unemployment rate for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan topped 12 percent late last year.
http://www.newsleader.com/article/20120227/NEWS01/120227001/Va-legislature-passes-veteran-employment-bills

Bill: Put all vets employment programs under VA (MarineCorpsTimes) — “This bill aims to get more of our veterans back to work by placing under one roof all the services that the federal government offers to unemployed veterans,” Miller said. “By doing that, we will increase coordination between the various education, rehabilitation and employment programs whose goals are to enable veterans to compete in the workforce.
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/02/military-bill-put-all-vets-employment-programs-under-va-022312w/

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