Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Can’t Have Too Many Resources ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: military families, Military spouses, Supporting the troops, Veterans, wounded warriors

FYI ~

Directory Links Wounded Warriors, Families to Resources

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2011 – From benefits and compensation to education and training, an online directory is providing wounded warriors, veterans and their families a direct connection to thousands of state, local and national resources.

“There’s so much information on the Web right now, it’s nice to have one place to access all of the content, the services, the information you need,” John R. Campbell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy, told American Forces Press Service. “It really permits the service member and family the ability to get information directly.”

The Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs departments created the National Resource Directory — located at http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov/ — to link wounded warriors, service members, veterans, their families and caregivers to nationwide resources that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration, Campbell explained.

Toward that end, the directory contains information on a broad range of topics, including benefits and compensation, education and training, employment, caregiver support, health, housing, and transportation and travel.

With such a vast amount of information, Campbell said, a considerable effort went into creating user-friendly navigation tools to help people pin down resources quickly, whether it’s local grassroots efforts or national-level initiatives. People can search for a resource or program by subject, state or territory. A recent addition is a state widget that people can customize and embed in home pages, blogs and other sites. Once there, the information is updated automatically.

New programs and resources are added to the directory as quickly as agencies and organizations can roll them out. Experts always are working to ensure they’re hitting on the hot topics for troops and their families, Campbell noted, and as a result, the site is constantly evolving.

Campbell cited veteran homelessness as an example.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness is working with the Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development departments to eliminate homelessness entirely by VA’s goal of 2015.
The directory has devoted an entire section to homelessness, featuring resources that offer everything from emergency housing to employment assistance.

Spouse employment is another area of growth on the directory, Campbell noted, particularly with new programs and resources in the works. The Labor, Commerce and Defense departments and the Small Business Administration, for example, are working with the business community to expand career options for spouses. Officials will ensure new spouse employment resources are added to the directory as they arise, he said.

While officials always are on the lookout for new information to post to the directory, feedback from troops and their families plays an integral role in keeping the site current, Campbell said. The site includes an easy-to-locate section where people can submit resources for consideration or pass on praise for outstanding service.

“We’ll take that resource and, if we find out it’s a good one, we’ll put it up,” he said. Officials verify each resource before posting, he added. A nonprofit organization, for example, must be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau before it can be considered for the directory.

“That’s the idea: to make it easy, make it efficient, make it valuable,” Campbell said.

To further that effort, he said, a mobile version of the directory will launch in the spring for smart phone users.

“The target audience is younger service members and families,” he added. “We’re really excited about that.”

Campbell said he’s received great feedback on the site, and is encouraged by a vast improvement in visitors, which he attributes to word of mouth. In the last quarter of 2010, the site’s unique visitors jumped by 115 percent, he said.

“We’re continuing to get reinforcement that we’re doing the right thing,” he said.

National Resource Directory

***************************************************

But Don’t Touch Those Bailouts!

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: Veterans

Study: Cost Of Caring For Iraq, Afghanistan Vets Could Exceed $900 Billion

The AP (9/30, Jelinek) says a new study by “Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda Bilmes” of Harvard University “estimates that health costs for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars could top $900 billion, leading one congressman to call for setting up a veterans’ trust fund.” On Wednesday, US Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) “told reporters Wednesday that treatment for veterans should be budgeted as part of the cost of war, comparing the program to Medicare and Social Security.” The AP notes that that the study conducted by Stiglitz and Bilmes “said some 600,000 of the more than 2.1 million men and women who’ve been deployed already have received treatment by the Veterans Affairs Department.”

Continue…

~~~~~~~~

Sadly, not an isolated case by any means.

Trust fund proposed for long-term veterans care

In the face of new estimates showing a 30 percent jump in the expected lifetime costs of health care for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee proposes creating a trust fund to set aside money for long-term costs of the current conflicts.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., said he will push the idea next year in the face of new estimates that show taking care of veterans will cost between $589 billion and $934 billion over the lifetime of the veterans.

Continue…

Oh yeah, you can trust the government with a “trust fund”.  Social Security and Medicare are working out so well.

As is the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. *snort*  After decades, one would think that they would have a better handle on this.  But no, too many deals and cronies to take care of first.

Seems like our Vets are again being set up for another “screw you” by our esteemed government.

These are the last ones the government should be messing with…they all stood up and did their duty.  Which is more than you can say about our elected officials.

You can read more articles at:

Veterans Today

We need more Vets in both Houses and the White House.

Semper Fi!

**********************************************

VA To Ease PTSD Regs ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: Veterans

VA Eases Claims Process for Veterans with PTSD
Mon, 12 Jul 2010 14:17:00 -0500

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2010 – The Veterans Affairs Department will publish a final regulation tomorrow intended to ease the claims process and improve access to health care for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, VA officials announced today.

“This nation has a solemn obligation to the men and women who have honorably served this country and suffer from the often-devastating emotional wounds of war,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said in a statement issued today. “This final regulation goes a long way to ensure that veterans receive the benefits and services they need.”

The new rule, to be published in the Federal Register, will relax the evidence requirement if the PTSD stressor claimed by a veteran is linked to “fear of hostile military or terrorist activity and is consistent with the places, types and circumstances of the veteran’s service,” a VA news release said.

Currently, VA decision makers are required to confirm that a noncombat veteran actually experienced a stressor related to hostile military activity, the release said.

Under the new rule, VA no longer will require substantiation of a stressor tied to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity if a VA psychiatrist or psychologist can confirm that the experience recalled by a veteran supports a PTSD diagnosis and the veteran’s symptoms are related to the stressor, a VA release said.

“With this new PTSD regulation, we are acknowledging the inherently stressful nature … of military service in which the reality and fear of hostile or terrorist activity is always present,” Michael Walcoff, VA’s acting undersecretary for benefits, said during a news conference today.

The regulation will eliminate the need to search for records to verify veterans’ accounts, “often a very involved and protracted process,” Walcoff said, and enable VA officials “to move more quickly to award more benefits to veterans suffering from PTSD.”

Walcoff said he hopes the new regulation will encourage more veterans with PTSD to come forward, particularly those who have been deterred by a seemingly time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process.

More than 400,000 veterans currently are receiving compensation benefits for PTSD, VA officials said. And of the nearly 400,000 veterans treated at VA facilities for PTSD in fiscal 2009, nearly 70,000, or 19 percent, were veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

However, the new regulation has the potential to benefit all veterans regardless of their period of service, Walcoff noted.

Dr. Robert A. Petzel, VA’s undersecretary for health, said the regulation will be particularly beneficial for veterans who have had their military records damaged or destroyed, female veterans whose records don’t specify they have combat experience, and veterans who have experienced combat but have no record of it.

“This is good news for America’s veterans; in fact, it’s a historic day,” Petzel said.

President Barack Obama called the changes a “long-overdue step” in his weekly address.

“I don’t think our troops on the battlefield should have to take notes to keep for a claims application,” Obama said. “And I’ve met enough veterans to know that you don’t have to engage in a firefight to endure the trauma of war.”

The new regulation not only will help veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, but “generations of their brave predecessors who proudly served and sacrificed in all our wars,” the president said.

“It’s a step that proves America will always be here for our veterans, just as they’ve been there for us,” he said. “We won’t let them down. We take care of our own. And as long as I’m commander in chief, that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”

**********************************************************

“We The Veterans” ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: Veterans

From a Vet (and a good friend of mine) who is more than fed up with the boondoggle known as the Veterans Administration.  He and other Vets are determined to have those sitting up there on Capitol Hill hear them about the challenge it is to get the benefits and ratings they deserve.  As they are just getting started, they can use some support in getting the word out.

As is stated on the website:

There is only one purpose for this website: “VETERANS & THEIR FAMILIES”

Like you, we are tired of getting the run-around trying to file for benefits & cutting through the red tape. So we will lay it out for you here.

  • We are tired of NOT getting the HELP we need.
  • We are tired of being told our illnesses ARE NOT a direct result of the WAR.
  • We are tired of the VA trying to DISPROVE us.

This site is Designed, Hosted, and Maintained by Veterans for Veterans.

What are we going to do about it?

  • We are going to Capitol Hill with our concerns on BENEFITS for our FAMILIES and OURSELVES.
  • We will let them know, We all had a CLEAN bill of health before leaving but are SICK when we return.
  • We are GOING and we WILL be HEARD.

It’s a long hard road to Capitol Hill, but We the Veterans will make there. I promise we will.

It doesn’t matter which war you fought in – or if you served during peacetime.  He would like to hear your story and thoughts, as well as those of the families of Vets.

He’s been there.  He’s still there.

We the Veterans

Please share this site with all veterans you know.

Go on over and sign the Guestbook too ~ let our Vets know they are not forgotten after they come home.

You can contact them here.


*********************************************