VAA Dispatch
Apr. 15, 2014

4 tips for transitioning to a civilian post
By Catherine Iste
Whether you work in defense, military, police or fire, your job description includes duties rarely found in the civilian world. That does not mean you cannot make a smooth transition out of your uniform and into business casual. As a disabled veteran who has helped companies with human resources since leaving my post in 1998, I have seen both successful and less-than-successful transitions. Of those, here are four key tips you should consider when taking the leap.More

Rental real estate and liability
Many military families become landlords when they get permanent change of station and can't — or don't want to — sell the house they've purchased. Being a landlord can be a blessing or a nightmare, depending on a wide variety of circumstances. One potential pitfall of landlording is often overlooked by those just starting out: liability. More

New veterans aid organization helps homeless veterans find housing
The Tennessee Valley has proven itself to be a community that cares about its veterans. Now a new organization is helping homeless and struggling veterans gain their footing and find housing. Priority Veteran opened its doors in January. It is partnered with United Way of Central Alabama, with offices in four cities across the state. It's immediate goal is to reach at least 500 homeless veterans, get them off the streets and into homes of their own.More

All veterans eligible for VA dental coverage
Journal and Courier
For the first time in history, the U.S. government has authorized a national dental insurance program for veterans enrolled in Veterans Affairs health care and individuals enrolled in VA's CHAMPVA program. Premium rates will vary depending on your geographic region and the plan option you select.More

Combat vets battle an enemy within: Addiction
The Philadelphia Inquirer via Stars and Stripes
The first time Pearson Crosby went to the methadone clinic at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center in early 2013, he asked his father to go with him. But couldn't tell him why. Crosby, who played varsity basketball at Council Rock High School South, had served four years in the United States Marine Corps, with two tours in Iraq. When he came home from war in late 2008, he soon faced another scourge — addiction to prescription pain medications. His life descended into another hell, one maybe worse than war.More

The toll of untreated veteran PTSD, in 1 devastating graphic
Even as the American military engagement in Afghanistan comes to a close, the effects of war can still be felt at home. Returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan bring their battlefield traumas with them, and the dangers that untreated mental distress poses — on the veterans themselves, their loved ones and their community at large — are often overlooked.More

Female veterans highlight military experience in quest for Congress
Washington Examiner
One of the first things Wendy Rogers would do if elected to Congress is to call up other female veterans. Rogers, a retired lieutenant colonel who was among the first 100 female pilots to serve in the Air Force, is running to unseat Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona's 9th Congressional District.More

How can government battle a 'suicide epidemic' among veterans?
National Journal
Suicide. It's not just the active-duty military who face what has become an increasingly daunting problem. At least 22 veterans commit suicide each day, according to the Veterans Affairs Department.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

Soldiers stuck in backlogged disability system can't go forward, can't go back
The News Tribune
Sgt. Chris Peden is stuck. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier is spending his last months in the Army too damaged to be the gung-ho paratrooper of his first Iraq deployment but not ill enough to be cut loose from his enlistment with his Stryker brigade. He is among about 700 soldiers in Lewis-McChord's 7th Infantry Division who are leaving the Army for medical reasons through a joint Defense Department and Veterans Affairs program known as the Integrated Disability Evaluation System.More

VA says it has cut claims backlog 44 percent
The Veterans Administration says it has reduced its persistent backlog of unprocessed claims for disability benefits by 44 percent since March 2013, when the number of pending claims peaked at more than 611,000. In real numbers, the latest VA Workload Report shows the number of claims pending for more than 125 had dropped to 344,000 on March 31 from what the agency called the "tipping point" of 611,000 a year ago.More