VAA Dispatch
May. 29, 2013

Honoring those 'who paid the ultimate price'
Chicago Tribune
Bill Dussling thought he had put the hard feelings behind him, decades after he returned home from the unpopular Vietnam War to protests and name-calling. But when someone finally said, "Welcome home" — only a year ago — "My eyes misted over," he said. "What I did not realize was the profound impact of those two words," said Dussling, who repeated them again and again while addressing veterans during a Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington Heights. The holiday was marked by tributes to fallen soldiers, veterans and those who continue to serve the country in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. The weather, overcast with a damp chill, seemed to reflect the somber tone at events throughout the Chicago area.More

10 best cities for veterans
NerdWallet via AOL Real Estate
For this Memorial Day, NerdWallet wanted to salute U.S. armed forces by looking at the best metropolitan areas for veterans. They wanted to find the areas with excellent support systems for veterans easing back into civilian life. NerdWallet calculated the best metros for veterans by answering several questions.More

Law school clinics help veterans escape benefits backlog
The Hufftington Post
Dustin Allison was riding in an armored vehicle at the head of a convoy in Iraq one morning in 2007 when an improvised explosive device went off, killing the driver and leaving Allison badly wounded. But unlike many wounded in war, Allison bore few outward signs of having been badly hurt. He joined thousands of others struggling to navigate the Veterans Administration's benefits claims process. But his choice to attend business and law school at the College of William & Mary in 2008 allowed him to become one of the school's first clients for a veterans benefits legal clinic its law school was starting. More

Native American veterans hope for memorial on DC's National Mall
About 200,000 Native Americans have served in the U.S. armed forces, fighting in every conflict from the American Revolution to Afghanistan. But there isn't a monument for these heroes along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., an omission that Hawaiian Sen. Brian Schatz hopes to change. Schatz has proposed legislation that would allow the National Museum of the American Indian to start raising funds for an appropriate memorial. But Schatz's proposal would place the monument on the museum grounds; others want it to be with the other military memorials instead. More

Opinion: Veterans' charities need scrutiny
The Washington Post
Former Senate majority leader and a veteran awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for his Army service in World War II Bob Dole writes: "Memorial Day evokes a jumble of emotions: pride in military service mingled with grief over the human toll exacted by war, and profound gratitude for whatever it is in the American character that inspires heroes in every generation to risk everything for the country they love more than life itself. Over the years their civilian brethren have expressed appreciation, however imperfectly, through their generous support of charities assisting veterans, especially those wounded in body or spirit."More

Veterans dying for benefit decision
Press TV
The backlog of initial and supplementary benefit claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs is expected soon to reach 1 million filings, forcing most honorably discharged GIs to wait for at least nine months for a decision.More

An 'unfair fight' for job-seeking veterans
Stars and Stripes
Home Depot wants to hire more veterans. But as its human resources staff sorts through stacks of resumes each day, they often can't find a reason why they should. "Veterans resumes are often too wordy and don't explain really what their skills are," said Eric Schelling, director of talent acquisition for the company.More

Learning to fight cellular abnormalities caused by Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome
Veterans Today
In part one of this series, veteran and medical researcher Ed Mattson promised to provide information that will be beneficial to those exposed to Dioxin from Agent Orange and those returning from the Gulf War with what has become known as Gulf War Syndrome.More

Suicide prevention: Mayo experts offer tips for public
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. If parents are worried their child may be having suicidal thoughts, it's no time to tiptoe around the question, according to Mayo Clinic experts who have produced two educational videos on suicide prevention for use by media outlets, schools and others. Instead, be direct and ask, the physicians advise, and if the answer is yes, do not try to downplay or dismiss the child's feelings. Seek professional assistance immediately.More

Doing more for US veterans
The New York Times
The Memorial Day commemoration honors the 1.25 million Americans who have fallen for their country. It also affords an opportunity to show concern for living service members, active and retired. The picture is complex and contradictory. The U.S. military is more capable than ever, and well provided for despite threats of mindless across-the-board spending cuts under the so-called sequestration. At the same time, the armed forces are plagued by soaring suicide rates and rising incidents of sexual assault and worn down by multiple tours of combat duty. Conditions for veterans are similarly mixed. More

7 heartwarming veterans stories in honor of Memorial Day
The Week
In 2010, Marine Corporal Juan Dominguez stepped on an IED while serving in Afghanistan. Dominguez was left a triple amputee. But that didn't stop him from marrying the love of his life, Alexis. To honor the vet, the town of Temecula, Calif., donated all the elements of their dream wedding — an estimated $30,000 worth of stuff, including the flowers, the venues, the photographer and the food. But the real icing on the proverbial cake? Dominguez was able to walk down the aisle with his beautiful bride in a sunset ceremony on April 27. This is just one of seven heartfelt stories.More