VAA Dispatch
May. 19, 2015

Tricare changes, new fees rejected by Senate committee
Military Times
The Senate Armed Services Committee has rejected the Defense Department's proposal to overhaul Tricare, likely giving military families, retirees and their families a reprieve from major changes to their health care coverage for at least another year.More

VA to offer 1-stop website for all veterans benefits
Federal Times
Veterans will soon be able to log in to just one website to manage their benefits, apply for doctors' appointments and determine their eligibility for programs. Tom Allin, the first chief veterans experience officer at the Veterans Affairs Department, said in an interview with Federal Times the website will go live around May 20, but will first be open to around 50 veterans to help beta test the navigation, fonts and organization of the new portal.More

VA mismanagement, malpractice detailed in reports
Military Times
More than 120 previously unpublished investigations by the Veterans Affairs Department's inspector general, dating as far back as 2006, reveal problems at VA medical centers nationwide ranging from medical malpractice and patient safety concerns to mismanagement, infighting and corruption.More

Accenture to hire 5,000 US veterans by 2020
Business Wire via MarketWatch
Accenture plans to hire 5,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses in the next five years, significantly adding to the more than 1,000 former members of the U.S. Armed Forces the company currently employs. More

Study highlights employment problems for veterans
Stars and Stripes
Despite recent national efforts to hire veterans and educate employers, a new report says that vets have trouble finding and keeping jobs and that civilian employers struggle to understand them. Some of the training and indoctrination that serves troops well in war works against them in their job search, according to the report, produced by the University of Southern California and Volunteers of America. It calls for "civilian basic training" as troops transition out of the armed services. More

Service group: Senate bill 'disappointing' on military benefits
The Hill
A key service organization is criticizing a Senate Armed Services Committee subpanel for its changes to troop pay and benefits in the annual defense policy bill. More

Vietnam vets' nightmares may unlock hidden link to dementia
Bloomberg Business
David Hay was almost out of ammunition when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded in the turret of his Centurion tank in the rubber plantation village of Binh Ba, Vietnam, spraying shrapnel into the 21-year-old radio operator's body. That was 46 years ago, and while the flesh-wounds healed within weeks, Hay had nightmares and bouts of depression for decades. Now, he and hundreds of other Vietnam veterans are helping doctors try to trace pathways in the brain that may connect the trauma he suffered with the development later in life of one of the world's fastest-growing and most debilitating diseases: Alzheimer’s.More

Rural veterans in need of care face uncertainty, isolation
Task & Purpose
For rural veteran Mickey Ireson, appointments at the Department of Veterans Affairs are a source of apprehension and stress, rather than relief. In early April, the former Marine infantryman received a call from the VA telling him that his evaluations for mental health and dental work had been scheduled at the Omaha, Nebraska, office. Ireson lives three hours away.More

Can homelessness among veterans ever be conquered?
Stars and Stripes
New Orleans announced in early January that it was the first major city in the country to meet a goal issued by the Obama administration in 2010: ending veteran homelessness. But despite dedicated efforts across the country to meet the goal by the end of 2015, and a renewed push last year after Michelle Obama's announcement of the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, there has been no standard or official definition of what "eliminating veteran homelessness" really means.More