VAA Dispatch
May. 27, 2014

Veterans continue to struggle with unemployment. Why?
The Christian Science Monitor
The employment situation for veterans has improved this year, but remains stubbornly high compared to the rest of the economy. About 9 percent of veterans who have served since 2001 are unemployed, down from 9.9 percent last year but still well above the national average of 6.3 percent in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In all, about 722,000 of the nation's roughly 22 million veterans are looking for work.More

What to do when declined for a VA loan
Buying and owning your own home is part of the phenomena known as the American dream. Property ownership here in these United States is emblazoned as something of a right and takes on a status like nowhere else in the world. Those with VA loan eligibility have an upper hand compared to those who don't have the VA home loan benefit and can get a piece of their own American dream with no money down, lower closing costs and easier qualifying compared to conventional loans.More

Veterans need a 'brand' in order to get jobs
In honor of Memorial Day, Wal-Mart is touting it's hiring program called the Welcome Home Commitment. The retailer has hired more than 42,000 veterans nationally and is on pace to reach its goal of 100,000 within five years. In Colorado alone, more than 1,000 veterans have been hired through this program. In addition, the Wal-Mart Foundation will invest an additional $20 million through 2019 to support veteran employment and transition programs.More

Bank of America helps veterans transition home
With a 90-year tradition of serving the military, Bank of America actively works to attract, develop and retain military service members as employees. The company recognizes the important skills and experiences they bring to their careers. Since 2011, it has hired nearly 7,000 veterans, guard and reservists, and they are committed to hiring an additional 10,000 over the next several years. More

O'Malley, Brown announce veteran hiring campaign
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown have announced the 100-Day Veteran Hiring Challenge. The Maryland statewide campaign will encourage employers to hire veterans and support current services for veterans seeking employment. The O'Malley-Brown administration has set a goal of full employment for all Maryland veterans by the end of 2015.More

Post-9/11 GI bill transferability
While the Post-9/11 GI Bill offers a very generous post-service education benefit, a special provision of the program allows career service members the opportunity to share their education benefits with immediate family members. The Post 9/11 GI Bill is the only one which allows transferring education benefits.More

Chicago: CTA veteran hiring doubled since 2010
As Chicagoans remember loved ones lost and those who fought this Memorial Day, the Chicago Transit Authority says it's honoring city veterans by giving them something they really need: jobs. Since 2010, the CTA has doubled the number of military veterans on staff — from 173 in 2010 to 348 today — the agency said in a statement.More

House OKs 1.8 percent pay raise for troops, officer pay freeze
National Journal
The House passed legislation that tacitly approves a 1.8 percent pay raise for military service members next year, and includes a number of other pay, benefits and workforce provisions. The chamber approved the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 325-98 before the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The 1.8 percent pay bump for troops is in line with the automatic fiscal 2015 cost-of-living adjustment scheduled for the military; there is not an explicit provision regarding a pay raise in the legislation, but by staying silent, lawmakers are supporting the amount that would automatically take place under the law.More

Republican Senators voted against landmark veterans bill in February, today they blame VA
The Huffington Post
Earlier this year, the GOP had a chance to prove that it could fund veterans' healthcare as eagerly as it borrowed for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Long before the current VA crisis, an event described as "a gift from God" by Dr. Ben Carson, Senate Republicans had a chance to vote on a landmark bill. Before the Senate vote, organizations devoted to the needs of veterans and their families offered widespread support to the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014. More

A 'gap in service delivery' for female veterans
The Washington Post
With the Department of Veterans Affairs under scrutiny over allegations of treatment delays in several states, She The People wanted to get the lay of the land in terms of female veterans, who are among the fastest-growing segments of the veteran population.More

Entrepreneurs offer alternatives for lean budgets
Recent budget cuts have forced Defense Department and Defense Intelligence Agency officials into a bind when working with small businesses and entrepreneurs.More

White House website helps veterans find jobs
Veterans Employment Center offers job-search tools to help transitioning service members connect with employers.More

Nurse advice line open for Tricare beneficiaries
Marine Times
Tricare's nurse advice line is open for business. Military health beneficiaries in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, can call 800-874-2273 to get assistance with urgent health care questions, including guidance as to whether they need immediate medical care, can make an appointment with a physician for a later time or treat themselves at home.More

Obama: US must do more to care for veterans
President Barack Obama says the U.S. must work harder to make sure veterans get the opportunities and benefits they have earned. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama is drawing a connection between Memorial Day and the scandal over allegations of misconduct at Veterans Affairs hospitals. Obama says recent weeks have shown how much more the U.S. must do to ensure veterans get the care they deserve. He says it's a sacred obligation and one of the causes of his presidency.More