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Friday, 13 October 2017
Topic Started: Oct 13 2017, 05:33 AM (8 Views)
michaelisam
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Michael Isam
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Thanks to Kevin Secor

Please see attachment for complete details

- Friday, 13 October 2017

- Did you know:

- World War II Navajo Code Talker David E Patterson Sr. Dies At 94.
- Their families are suffering in Puerto Rico, The Army needs them in Alaska.
- Meet the women combing through Puerto Rico, searching for Veterans in need.
- Trump picks Lockheed executive Rood for top Pentagon policy post.
- US military plans semiannual evacuation drills against backdrop of North Korea tensions.
- Pentagon to shift ‘bulk’ of major defense programs to services, and people may go, too.
- Army offers automatic promotions to Security Force Assistance Brigade volunteers.
- Marine helicopter catches fire, makes emergency landing.
- Okinawa Marines order operational pause for Super Stallions after accident .
- Navy stands up first underwater drone squadron.
- Missouri governor announces plans to add 800 National Guard jobs.
- Border wall battle could spark a government shutdown.
- Senior leaders pledge support for family programs, but offer few specifics.
- Former VA secretary: 3 tips for transitioning service members.
- Military working dogs honored on Capitol Hill .
- House to vote on bill requiring discipline for officials who retaliate against whistleblowers.
- Congress Oks Expanded Protections for Federal Whistleblowers.
- New whistleblower protections head to Trump’s desk.
- Lawmakers consider pushing VA to sell Pershing Hall, its 5-star Paris hotel.
- Lawmakers take first steps toward a BRAC for VA facilities.
- BRAC for VA: Lawmakers search for ways to reduce the number of VA facilities.
- VA vows changes on bad health care providers, lawmakers take action.
- Dozens of surgeries at Denver VA hospital put off because of doctor shortage, too few anesthesiologists and competitive market to blame, VA says.
- Protesters at Asheville VA say being understaffed is dangerous.
- Disappointed VA employees voice concerns, lack of staffing and support.
- Virginia lawmakers say late VA payments jeopardize Veterans’ care.
- Virtual interviewer prods Veterans to reveal post-traumatic stress.
- PTSD Treatment: How Ai Is Helping Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- VA, Congress crawl toward ending abuse of Vet pensioners.
- Ginnie Mae and VA Create Refinance Loan Task Force.
- Rep. Poliquin’s Bill to Ensure VA Headstones For Veterans’ Families Buried in Cemeteries Advances in the House.
- Women Vets pose for pin-up calendar to raise money for fellow Vets’ health care.
- Veteran of the Day: Nilsa Rosada Bibiloni.



Did you know:

ASPIRE Center helps Veterans get their life back: As an Army Veteran of over six years with deployments to Iraq, Brandon Thompson tackled life like he conducted himself on the job: emotionless, with his problems tucked away to be dealt with privately. It was a personal mantra that served him well in uniform, but not so much when he honorably separated. “I tended to push people away including my daughter, my girlfriend and my family because I saw myself in such a negative light,” said Thompson of his life after military service. “I wanted to be alone.” As problems mounted, Thompson’s …


Task and Purpose World War II Navajo Code Talker David E Patterson Sr. Dies At 94. A member of a Marine Corps unit trained to use the Navajo language to transmit messages during World War II has died. Navajo Code Talker David E. Patterson Sr., 94, died Sunday in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, according to a press release from the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President. Patterson died of pneumonia and complications from a subdural hematoma, his son, Pat Patterson, wrote in an email to The Daily Times. “Those who were close to him knew he was …

Washington Post Their families are suffering in Puerto Rico, The Army needs them in Alaska. In Hurricane Maria's aftermath, these soldiers have felt uniquely isolated and alone.

Public Radio International (Audio): Meet the women combing through Puerto Rico, searching for Veterans in need. Linda, an occupational therapist for the VA Caribbean Healthcare System in San Juan, goes to the door, asking, “Are there any veterans here?” Every day since the hurricane hit, she and her team have been roaming from shelter to shelter, looking for veterans who need medical attention. There are somewhere around 75,000 US Army veterans living in Puerto Rico. Most served during the Vietnam War. After Hurricane Maria, many are now living in shelters.

Reuters Trump picks Lockheed executive Rood for top Pentagon policy post. President Donald Trump plans to name John Rood, a senior executive at defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp and a 20-year veteran of various government roles, as undersecretary of defense for policy, the Pentagon’s No. 3 job, the White House said on Wednesday.

Stars and Stripes US military plans semiannual evacuation drills against backdrop of North Korea tensions. U.S. Forces Korea will hold semiannual evacuation drills for families of military forces and other noncombatants later this month against the backdrop of rising tensions with North Korea.

Defense News Pentagon to shift ‘bulk’ of major defense programs to services, and people may go, too. The Pentagon’s top acquisition official wants to shift the “bulk” of major defense programs back to the services, which could include moving individuals from the Office of the Secretary of Defense towards service jobs.

Army Times Army offers automatic promotions to Security Force Assistance Brigade volunteers. The Army is preparing to graduate the first class of the Military Training Adviser Academy and stand up its first Security Force Assistance Brigade. To attract talent for the next five planned brigades, there are now new incentives to volunteer.

Marine Corps Times Marine helicopter catches fire, makes emergency landing. No injuries were reported when a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter made an emergency landing Wednesday in Okinawa – the latest in a series of Marine aviation mishaps.

Stars and Stripes Okinawa Marines order operational pause for Super Stallions after accident . The Marine Corps has ordered a 96-hour operational pause for all Okinawa-based CH-53E Super Stallions after a fire forced one of the helicopters to make an emergency landing Wednesday in farmland outside the Northern Training Area.

Navy Times Navy stands up first underwater drone squadron. The Navy has in recent years expanded its use of unmanned, underwater vehicles, colloquially known as drones.

The Associated Press Missouri governor announces plans to add 800 National Guard jobs. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says wants to add 800 new jobs to the state’s National Guard.

Washington Examiner Border wall battle could spark a government shutdown. President Trump's proposal to fund an extension of the nation's southern border wall is pitting most Republicans against Democrats in a battle that could end up in a partial government shutdown.

Defense News Senior leaders pledge support for family programs, but offer few specifics. Top Army leaders stressed the importance of family programs Tuesday during a town hall meeting, but offered few specific fixes to common complaints regarding child care, Tricare and change-of-station moves.

Military Times Former VA secretary: 3 tips for transitioning service members. Bob McDonald, who served as Veterans Affairs secretary from 2014 through January, said connecting with others and not limiting yourself will help service members transition from the military to civilian life.

Stars and Stripes Military working dogs honored on Capitol Hill . On Wednesday, five retired military working dogs were honored on Capitol Hill for their service to the country.

The Washington Post (PowerPost, Video): House to vote on bill requiring discipline for officials who retaliate against whistleblowers. Federal agencies would be required to discipline officials who retaliate against whistleblowing employees, and to fire them on their second offense, under a bill up for a House vote Thursday. The bill, approved by the Senate in May, is one of many arising from the disclosures starting in 2014 of falsified patient records at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

U.S. News & World Report (AP): Congress Oks Expanded Protections for Federal Whistleblowers. Congress voted Thursday to boost the protection of federal whistleblowers from retaliation, part of a bid to uncover bad behavior at the Department of Veterans Affairs and other government agencies. The House easily cleared the bill, 420-0. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature, having previously passed the Senate in May.

The Hill: New whistleblower protections head to Trump’s desk. The House unanimously cleared legislation on Thursday to ensure protections for federal employees who disclose government waste, fraud and abuse. Passed 420-0, the measure would train federal workers so they understand their protections, as well as enhance penalties for supervisors who retaliate against whistleblowers. The bill is named after Chris Kirkpatrick, a psychologist was fired from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center after raising concerns about patients’ medications.

Stars and Stripes: Lawmakers consider pushing VA to sell Pershing Hall, its 5-star Paris hotel. There’s an effort underway in Congress to have the Department of Veterans Affairs sell an 18th century building it owns in Paris that’s leased as a five-star boutique hotel and spa. Members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs voiced support Thursday for a bill authorizing the sale of Pershing Hall, which was established as a World War I memorial by the American Legion in 1928 and transferred to the VA in 1991.

Military Times: Lawmakers take first steps toward a BRAC for VA facilities. House lawmakers took the first steps Thursday toward shutting down hundreds of Veterans Affairs facilities through a process similar to military base closure rounds, saying the move is critical to keep the department from wasting millions of dollars on underused, aging buildings. But some of the largest veterans groups said they have serious concerns with the proposal, saying it’s ripe for abuse and could tempt VA officials to outsource more veterans’ medical care to private-sector physicians.

Stars and Stripes: BRAC for VA: Lawmakers search for ways to reduce the number of VA facilities. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Thursday initiated what could be a long and politically arduous process to get rid of aging and underused Department of Veterans Affairs facilities nationwide. Committee Chairman Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., the ranking Democrat, presented a draft bill that would create an 11-member, paid commission to recommend which facilities to close and where the VA should invest.

USA Today VA vows changes on bad health care providers, lawmakers take action. The Department of Veterans Affairs is pledging to overhaul its reporting policies for bad medical workers and a group of lawmakers is introducing legislation following a USA TODAY investigation that found the VA has routinely concealed shoddy care and staff mistakes. VA Secretary David Shulkin directed agency officials to expand a nearly 30-year-old policy that limited what medical providers the agency would report to a national database created by Congress to prevent problem medical workers from crossing state lines to escape their pasts and keep practicing.

The Denver Post: Dozens of surgeries at Denver VA hospital put off because of doctor shortage, too few anesthesiologists and competitive market to blame, VA says. A shortage of anesthesiologists at Denver’s veterans hospital – despite salary offers reaching as high as $400,000 a year – has forced a delay in dozens of surgeries just months after the institution was tagged with some of the nation’s worst waiting lists for care. Though the hospital employs eight anesthesiologists and eight nurse anesthetists, they’re short of the complement needed to meet surgery demands that run about 380 operations a month, a spokeswoman said…

WLOS (ABC-13, Video): Protesters at Asheville VA say being understaffed is dangerous. Veterans Affairs employees held a rally outside Asheville's Charles George VA Medical Center on Thursday to protest working conditions. Protesters said low staffing levels are creating risks to patient safety and a hazardous work environment. They said Congress has failed to fill open positions, putting veterans' health care at risk.

Citizen-Times: Disappointed VA employees voice concerns, lack of staffing and support. Ralliers gathered at Charles George VA Medical Center on Thursday afternoon to express disappointment in the 49,000 vacant staff positions nationwide, which veterans' supporters said are affecting local VA branches. Months of delays in appointments, overworked employees and lack of internal support can no longer be ignored, said Brandy Morris, executive vice president of the local American Federation of Government Employees labor union in Asheville.

The Washington Post: Virginia lawmakers say late VA payments jeopardize Veterans’ care. Members of Congress from Virginia say chronic late payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs to doctors are jeopardizing care for the state’s aging veteran population. The state’s two senators and 11 House members urged VA administrators to fix a system that can leave health-care providers waiting more than four months for payments they should have received within 30 days. The delays can damage credit, they said.

Reuters: Virtual interviewer prods Veterans to reveal post-traumatic stress. Talking – to a computer-generated interviewer named Ellie – appears to free soldiers and veterans who served in war zones to disclose symptoms of post-traumatic stress, a new study finds. Warriors and veterans were up to three times more likely to reveal symptoms of post-traumatic stress to Ellie, the virtual chatbot, than on an official military survey called the post-deployment health assessment…

Newsweek (Video): PTSD Treatment: How Ai Is Helping Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Institute for Creative Technologies at USC got lots of buzz for its original research, and introducing the world to Ellie, a digital diagnostic tool that strongly resembles, but cannot replace a human therapist. Ellie, an avatar of a woman in a cardigan with olive-toned skin and a soothing voice, listens to the people who come to her, and does what any human sounding board does. She listens to the content of their speech, and scans their facial expressions, tone, and voice, for cues that hint at meanings beyond speech.

Stars and Stripes (Military Update): VA, Congress crawl toward ending abuse of Vet pensioners. In 2012, the Government Accountability Office found more than 200 financial planning firms and estate law offices enticing veterans or their survivors into costly annuities or irrevocable trusts intended to hide or reallocate their assets so they qualify for VA pensions that the claimants wouldn’t be eligible for otherwise. Since then, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress have been crawling toward actions to stop the abusive practices…

The M Report: Ginnie Mae and VA Create Refinance Loan Task Force. Ginnie Mae and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the shaping of the “Joint Ginnie Mae – VA Refinance Loan Task Force,” in an effort to address loan churning and repeated refinancing issues. Specifically, the task force is set to focus on examining critical issues, important data, and lender behaviors related to refinancing loans. In addition, the task force will "determine what program and policy changes should be made by the agencies…"

WAGM (FOX-8): Rep. Poliquin’s Bill to Ensure VA Headstones For Veterans’ Families Buried in Cemeteries Advances in the House. Today, Congressman Bruce Poliquin had his Veterans bill pass out of committee with unanimous, bipartisan support. Congressman Poliquin’s legislation would ensure that Veterans’ family members who are buried at tribal Veterans cemeteries—such as the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians Tribal Veterans Cemetery in Aroostook County—are provided government furnished headstones…

ABC News: Women Vets pose for pin-up calendar to raise money for fellow Vets’ health care. The calendar, which serves as a fundraiser to help veterans' hospitals and health care programs, was started in 2006 by Gina Elise. Her grandfather served in World War II. "At the time, there were many stories in the news about our troops coming back from Iraq, needing medical care that I felt so strongly that I wanted to do something to support our troops and veterans," she told ABC News.

Dept of Veterans Affairs Veteran of the Day: Nilsa Rosada Bibiloni. Navy Veteran Nilsa Rosada Bibiloni. Nilsa served during the Persian Gulf War. Nilsa volunteered to serve in Persian Gulf War and enlisted from 1983 to 2005. She enlisted in Puerto Rico and was sent to basic training in Orlando, Florida. While in service, Nilsa was an Aviation Electrician’s Mate. She was one of the first females to obtain this rate since it had just opened for women. She was stationed in Japan and Virginia. Nilsa achieved the rank of senior chief petty officer and was mainly in charge of handling between three to five divisions, focusing on ensuring the safety of the female sailors as the women at sea coordinator. Nilsa was assigned to the Fighter Squadron VF-43 out of NAS Oceana, Fleet Composite Squadron 8, and the USS Kitty Hawk. Nilsa served in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield, and Operation Enduring Freedom. She earned multiple awards for both the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three times), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five times), Navy Good Conduct Medal (five times). Nilsa retired after 22 years of service and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Hampshire University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Troy State University.
Thank you for your service, Nilsa!

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