VAA Dispatch
Apr. 1, 2014

A legacy of pain and pride
The Washington Post
More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation's veterans, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.More

ROA: Reservists get a raw deal on employment
Reserve Officers Association
Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Reserve Officers Association urged the panelists to consider the unique plight of reservists who are uniquely positioned for discrimination in the workplace due to their service. ROA Executive Director Major General Andrew B. Davis, USMC, delivered testimony before the committee and pointed to high numbers of unemployment for members of the Reserve and Guard.More

Report: Most GI Bill veterans make good on education benefits
The Washington Post
A new report indicates that more than half of U.S. military veterans who used the GI Bill recently have earned a postsecondary degree or certification, suggesting educational benefits for former service members are paying off. The Student Veterans of America analysis, showed that nearly 52 percent of former troops who used the GI Bill completed their higher education programs, based on records from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks postsecondary enrollment and graduation.More

Report: Student veterans complete college in sync with others
U.S. News & World Report
Despite the unique challenges student veterans face in pursuing a higher education, they are earning degrees at rates that aren't very different from the rates of traditional students who attend college full time and without any interruptions. Most also are doing so in about the same time as their peers, according to new research. More

Senate bill would tackle military suicides
The Hill
Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., introduced legislation that would take steps to try to curb the number of veterans who commit suicide. The bill from Walsh, the first Iraq veteran in the Senate, would extend combat eligibility for health care to 15 years, repay student loans for psychiatrists who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs and set up reviews of discharges that stemmed from mental health issues. More

More Vietnam vets are getting help for PTSD
The Akron Beacon Journal via Stars and Stripes
Nearly 46 years after being wounded in Vietnam, Peter Halas applied for and received a post-traumatic stress disorder disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The former Akron, Ohio, resident is not alone. Dr. Edgardo Padin-Rivera, chief of psychology and PTSD expert at the Louis Stokes VA Cleveland Medical Center, said many Vietnam vets are applying for disability as they remember more about their combat experiences.More

VA restores aid to homeless veterans
USA Today
The Veterans Affairs has reversed course in the face of complaints from community groups and a USA Today query and restored aid to potentially several thousand homeless veterans who otherwise could have been left on the streets. The assistance, for a category of homeless veterans who have less than honorable discharges, had quietly been pulled in recent months after a legal review of eligibility laws.More

Unemployed veterans deserve our help
San Antonio Express-News
For many unemployed veterans, this month marks the end of their opportunity to get back into the workforce.More

Recent veterans struggle to find jobs
USA Today
Despite downward trends in unemployment across the country, veterans who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars still have difficulty finding work, according to government jobs data issued recently.More

Employee engagement isn't enough
Government Executive
The most recent Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results show that most major indicators of employee engagement fell last year, creating a cumulative drop of almost 5 percent from 2011 to 2013.More