VAA Dispatch
Jan. 27, 2015

Veteran advocates unhappy with Obama's 'disappointing' State of the Union speech
International Business Times
President Barack Obama said during his recent State of the Union speech that if you want to get the job done and done right, "hire a veteran." But despite the president's endorsement, veteran advocacy groups aren't happy with what they heard in the speech. They especially are unhappy that last year's Veterans Health Administration scandal and ongoing suicide epidemic among veterans did not feature more prominently.More

House anti-corruption bill would cut benefits, leave for VA executives
Stars and Stripes
The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee recently took aim again at VA management with an overhaul bill that would reclaim some pensions, limit paid administrative leave and reduce the number of employee bonuses.More

Veterans should double-check benefits yearly
Door County Daily News
Veterans Services encourages any veteran who served in the military to seek out benefits and services available to them. Wisconsin's Kewaunee County Veteran Services Officer Joe Aulik recommends veterans to double-check their VA benefits at the beginning of each year.More

Veterans advocates: Stop the VA 'hamster wheel' disability appeals process
Stars and Stripes
The effort to clear a massive backlog of veteran disability claims is hurting efforts to address a similar backlog in appeals of denied claims, say advocates demanding reforms to an onerous "hamster wheel" system that leaves veterans languishing for years.More

Too often, military sexual assault survivors must fight for disability benefits
RH Reality Check
One in 5 servicewomen is raped, sometimes multiple times, during her military career. One in 100 men also experiences rape during military service. Rape may occur in boot camp, basic training, on board ships, on bases or in military facilities all over the world. It may involve superior officers, subordinates or people of the same rank. And, for some survivors, it results in a constellation of mental health symptoms, including depression, anxiety and stress, characterizing what the Veterans Administration refers to as Military Sexual Trauma.More

Tactical veteran: Passing up a job could cost you
Military Times
If you were offered an opportunity to take a job that might not be exactly what you're looking for, would you take it? Of course, you could pass up the opportunity. But while it may not be your ideal, you still could be passing up a good step in the right direction.More

Vets hiring program reaches 10,000 jobs
Navy Times
A Virginia program aimed at hiring veterans is claiming 10,000 jobs pledged to vets. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the milestone for the Virginia Values Veterans Program during his State of the Commonwealth address before the General Assembly.More

Streamlining medic training for vets aim of Senate bill
U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., renewed their efforts to help increase job opportunities for returning veterans. The senators reintroduced their bipartisan legislation — the Veterans to Paramedics Transition Act — that would streamline civilian paramedic training for returning veterans who already have emergency medical experience as a result of their military service, making it easier for them to secure jobs as paramedics. More

Veterans Business Initiative to match vets to jobs
Orlando Business Journal
CareerSource Central Florida and the Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce will offer a no-cost, eight-week program for veterans seeking entrepreneurship opportunities, employment and continuing education.More

Medic learns benefits of blood donations
U.S. Department of Defense
San Antonio Military Medical Center officials at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas encourage people to donate to the Armed Services Blood Program because the blood directly supports war fighters downrange as well as trauma and burn patients at the facility and at other military and Veterans Affairs treatment facilities.More