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Tuesday, 06 February 2018
Topic Started: Feb 6 2018, 06:47 AM (13 Views)
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Michael Isam
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Thanks to Kevin Secor

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- Tuesday, 06 February 2018

- Did you know:

- House Republicans working to avert another shutdown.
- Senators back immigration fixes to stave off another shutdown.
- Pentagon confirms future year numbers in PB19 budget request.
- Math doesn’t add up for budget to support Trump military buildup.
- From doubt to full-throated support: How Mattis changed his mind on nuclear weapons.
- The Pentagon Is Shifting US Combat Power From Iraq to Afghanistan — Again .
- Deploy or get out: New Pentagon plan could boot thousands of non-deployable troops.
- Goodbye, tape test? Sweeping DoD fitness review underway.
- Army criticized for its handling of whistleblower retaliation case at Womack.
- The hellish journey through Pentagon’s red tape to approve a Medal of Honor.
- Senior Leaders Taking First Steps in Long Road to Reform Surface Navy.
- The U.S. Navy Just Got the World’s Largest Un-crewed Ship.
- US Air Force Looks For New Ways to Buy, Protect Satellites.
- Lawmakers: Cyber warfare skills critical for future military, homeland security.
- Cities, states ban bump stocks after push stalls in Congress.
- Tennessee’s Phil Roe Could Be 10th GOP Chairman to Call it Quits – Roe is in first term as head of Veterans Affairs Committee
- Veterans are Advocating for a Senate Bill that would prevent the payback of overpaid benefits.
- Employment attorneys see more proposed firings, fewer settlements under VA Accountability Act.
- Veterans Affairs Secretary: Important steps underway to improve Veterans care.
- Veterans Article: VA Secretary and Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs forging partnership to address issues faced by both nation’s Veterans.
- VHA Identifies Ways to better Care for TIA, Minor Stroke, Needed: Improved ED care post-discharge, secondary prevention.
- Criticized Oregon VA director will not be transferred to Huntington facility, Manchin says.
- VA to Get “Aggressive” with Hospital Quality Improvement Program.
- VA program supports caregivers.
- Vets on painkillers: See opioid prescribing rates at VA hospitals in NY.
- Battle at home meeting Veteran mental health needs, Experts lay out challenges during forum.
- Managing ‘Shadow IT’ Risks in Healthcare Settings, VA OIG Report Spotlights Some of the Challenges.
- Leading US Neo-Nazi Turns Out To Be A Military Faker .
- 'Trauma' chronicles medics' battles at war and at home.
- Veteran of the Day – Jacqueline Renee Holley Heitz.


Did you know:

February is National Recreation Therapy Recreation Month: Join the more than 860 recreation therapists and creative arts therapists, and the Veterans they serve, in celebrating national Recreation Therapy Recreation Month. Along with focusing on health promotion, disease prevention and improving quality of life, recreation therapy and creative arts therapy enhance or maintain motor, physical, social, and cognitive functioning. These therapies provide opportunities to build confidence, develop coping skills, and integrate the skills learned in treatment settings into community settings. The uniqueness of recreation therapy and creative arts therapy is they provide unconventional treatment methods for those individuals who resist other treatment approaches or who are unaware of their conditions or issues inhibiting their rehabilitation. Recreation therapy and creative arts therapy provide a spectrum of services, opportunities, and choice for Veterans across the continuum of care to maximize their rehabilitation potential, increase independence, and sustain a healthy and meaningful leisure lifestyle. For more about VA’s Recreation Therapy Service, visit http://www.rehab.va.gov/rectherapy.



Stars and Stripes House Republicans working to avert another shutdown. The era of trillion-dollar budget deficits is about to make a comeback — and a brewing budget deal could mean their return comes just next year.

Federal Times Senators back immigration fixes to stave off another shutdown. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chris Coons, D-Del., plan to introduce legislation Feb. 5, 2018, that addresses border security and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, also known as “dreamers,” just days before Congress must vote to continue funding for the federal government.

Defense News Pentagon confirms future year numbers in PB19 budget request. The Pentagon’s budget request for fiscal year 2019 will include future years defense program numbers, known as the FYDP, after a one-year blip in which those numbers were mostly not included.

Defense News Math doesn’t add up for budget to support Trump military buildup. President Trump’s military buildup goals would face hash headwinds from a ballooning deficit and debt, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Washington Post From doubt to full-throated support: How Mattis changed his mind on nuclear weapons. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s drastic about-face marks a resounding win for backers of the U.S. nuclear enterprise and a setback for disarmament advocates. Mattis is scheduled to testify on the matter Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

Task & Purpose The Pentagon Is Shifting US Combat Power From Iraq to Afghanistan — Again . The U.S. military has begun shifting troops and equipment from Iraq, where ISIS is trying to establish an insurgency, to Afghanistan, where the Taliban and other groups are waging a more conventional fight, officials told Task & Purpose on Monday.

Military Times Deploy or get out: New Pentagon plan could boot thousands of non-deployable troops. Service members who have been non-deployable for the past 12 months or more will be separated from the military, based on new Defense Department policies that are under final review.

Military Times Goodbye, tape test? Sweeping DoD fitness review underway. As the Pentagon seeks to build a fitter force, everything is under review — from a new PT test to eliminating the dreaded body fat tape test to changing how troops eat and exercise.

Army Times Army criticized for its handling of whistleblower retaliation case at Womack. A federal agency that protects government whistleblowers criticized the Army on Monday for declining to discipline a staff member at its Fort Bragg, North Carolina, hospital after an investigation found failures in infection control that put service members and families at risk.

Marine Corps Times The hellish journey through Pentagon’s red tape to approve a Medal of Honor. On Jan. 29 President Trump signed a bill paving the way for retired Sgt. Maj. John Canley to receive the Medal of Honor for actions at the battle of Hue City, Vietnam ― helping close a chapter in a nearly 13-year endeavor through red tape and constant delays.

USNI News Senior Leaders Taking First Steps in Long Road to Reform Surface Navy. Senior leaders in the Navy still have more questions than answers as they move to methodically and deliberately alter the way the surface forces do business in what could be a years-long process of evaluations and reforms.

Popular Mechanics The U.S. Navy Just Got the World’s Largest Un-crewed Ship. The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of a revolutionary uncrewed surface ship, one capable of traveling long distances and conducting missions all without a human on board.

DefenseOne US Air Force Looks For New Ways to Buy, Protect Satellites. The U.S. Air Force is looking to diversify its satellite constellations by buying smaller, cheaper spacecraft, part of a plan to better protect its space assets from Russian and Chinese interference, military officials say.

Stars and Stripes Lawmakers: Cyber warfare skills critical for future military, homeland security. Several lawmakers on Monday agreed skills for cyber warfare, such as developing artificial intelligence, will be key for the military and other domains charged with protecting the homeland in the future.

Stars and Stripes Cities, states ban bump stocks after push stalls in Congress. Gun-control advocates say the push fits a pattern in gun politics: inaction in Washington that forces states to take the lead. Gun-rights advocates call it a knee-jerk reaction that will do little to stop bad guys from killing, and vow a legal challenge.

Roll Call: Tennessee’s Phil Roe Could Be 10th GOP Chairman to Call it Quits – Roe is in first term as head of Veterans Affairs Committee. Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, the chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, says he’ll decide in the “next week or so” whether to run for a sixth term, citing family considerations as a reason he may opt against re-election. If he decides against running, Roe will be the tenth Republican committee chairman to announce he won’t run for re-election in 2018.

WKSU (NPR-89.7, Audio): Veterans are Advocating for a Senate Bill that would prevent the payback of overpaid benefits. Some advocates for veterans in Ohio want to change the way the Department of Veterans Affairs handles cases where it accidentally overpaid benefits. James Powers is an Iraq war veteran from Massilon. Earlier Monday, he spoke in favor of a Senate bill called the "Veteran Debt Fairness Act," which would bar the agency from recouping payments that result from its own accounting errors.

WFED (AM-1500): Employment attorneys see more proposed firings, fewer settlements under VA Accountability Act. The Veterans Affairs Department under the first full year of the Trump administration fired 2,537 people — about 500 more federal employees than the agency let go in 2016. VA recently clarified its disciplinary data, which the department posts publicly on its website every two weeks. The latest statistics now include the number of employees who have been removed during their one-year probationary periods.

WWMT (CBS-3, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Video): Veterans Affairs Secretary: Important steps underway to improve Veterans care. President Donald Trump promised the American people that his Administration will do right by veterans. Political Reporter Nick Minock traveled to the White House for the State of the Union Address and stopped by the Department of Veterans Affairs to check the progress on that promise.

Wadena Pioneer Journal: Veterans Article: VA Secretary and Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs forging partnership to address issues faced by both nation’s Veterans. Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Dr. David J. Shulkin, and Canada's Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defense, the Honorable Kent Hehr, joined officials from both nations June 27-28 at VA headquarters to discuss how strategic partnerships can help improve benefits and services for Veterans and their families.

MedPage Today: VHA Identifies Ways to better Care for TIA, Minor Stroke, Needed: Improved ED care post-discharge, secondary prevention. Better care for patients discharged from the emergency department (ED) and secondary stroke prevention are two areas the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) needs to improve in the treatment of transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor stroke, a benchmark analysis determined. Despite strong performance in many metrics, the VHA achieved low scores in statin prescription rates and carotid artery imaging, reported Dawn M. Bravata, MD, of the Veterans Administration…

MetroNews: Criticized Oregon VA director will not be transferred to Huntington facility, Manchin says. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is crediting Charleston Mayor Danny Jones for telling him about a transfer planned by the Veterans Administration. Jones called Manchin this weekend after he heard Doug Paxton, an Oregon VA director, was being reassigned to the Huntington VA Medical Center in West Virginia.

HealthIT Analytics: VA to Get “Aggressive” with Hospital Quality Improvement Program. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking an “aggressive new approach” to improving hospital quality at more than a dozen of its lowest-performing healthcare facilities, officials announced this week. Fifteen medical centers with the lowest quality ratings under the VA’s Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL) scoring system will be the target of “rapid” improvement initiatives rooted in clinical best practices supported by data analytics.

Mountain Xpress: VA program supports caregivers. When Samantha Young’s husband, Perry, was serving in Afghanistan in 2013, he was “blown up” by a suicide bomber, she says. He survived, but his spinal cord was damaged so badly that he was left quadriplegic. Perry was flown to Germany for treatment and eventually landed at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Tampa to begin the arduous process of piecing his life back together.

New York Upstate: Vets on painkillers: See opioid prescribing rates at VA hospitals in NY. VA hospitals nationwide cut the rate of opioid prescriptions to veterans by an average of 41 percent between 2012 and 2017. The VA has has cut back on the highly addictive painkillers in response to the national opioid epidemic. Opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. increased fivefold between 1999 and 2016. Opioids include prescription painkillers like hydrocodone as well as illicit drugs like heroin.

Monroe Monitor: Battle at home meeting Veteran mental health needs, Experts lay out challenges during forum. How war impacts human beings hasn’t changed, but the proliferation of symptoms has exploded. That was Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Traumatic Brain Injury Program specialist Dan Overton’s message at a Monroe Public Library panel on veterans and mental health. The VA and communities are determining how best to respond, he said.

GovInfoSecurity: Managing ‘Shadow IT’ Risks in Healthcare Settings, VA OIG Report Spotlights Some of the Challenges. A new report from a Veterans Affairs watchdog agency on a guest Wi-Fi network that was up at a VA medical center in Florida without being fully coordinated with the VA's office for information and technology to ensure security spotlights the risks and challenges that many healthcare organizations face with so-called "shadow IT."

Task & Purpose Leading US Neo-Nazi Turns Out To Be A Military Faker . The New York Times learned from Army records and Elliott Kline former fellow soldiers, he served in the Pennsylvania National Guard “but quit before his contract was up.”

Stars and Stripes 'Trauma' chronicles medics' battles at war and at home. Following Chief Warrant Officer Mitch Wiese and five members of his medevac unit from their 2011 deployment in Afghanistan through a five-year rocky journey back home, “Trauma” captures a unique view into the world of men whose job took them to the heart of war with the most noble of missions – and the unavoidable reckoning.

Dept of Veterans Affairs Veteran of the Day – Jacqueline Renee Holley Heitz. Army Veteran Jacqueline Renee Holley Heitz. Jacqueline served from 1983 to 1990 as a petroleum supply specialist. She completed her training at Fort Lee, Virginia, in March 1984 and was stationed in Wuerzburg, Germany. She then went to Fort Lewis, Washington, where she ran a fuel depot for all the government vehicles on the base. Jacqueline returned to Germany, where she attended Leadership School and participated in other valuable training.

She met her husband, another Army member, at Fort Lewis, and they married at Fort Hood, Texas, in May 1989. After her service, Jacqueline worked on Navy bases and then with the National Archives. Thank you for your service, Jacqueline!

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