VAA Dispatch
Jul. 21, 2015

Perry calls Trump's comments a 'bullet' that hit veterans
The Hill
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry lashed out at fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over "offensive" comments the real estate mogul made about Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Trump questioned McCain's status as a war hero — but the gaffe could cost him with an important base of Republican voters: military veterans.More

Don't blame our disabled veterans for benefit costs
Democrat & Chronicle
Ret. Air Force veteran Peter J. Glennon writes: Who on this earth would blame disabled veterans for causing a bloated federal budget? Only the author of a recent op-ed published by The New York Times. The title alone, "The Risk of Over-Thanking Our Veterans," made this retired Air Force officer's blood boil. I spent more than 24 years in the military. I work with veterans every day in my community. I have been surrounded by veterans my entire life. Never once have I thought of blaming veterans, let alone those who returned to us injured from distant battlefields.More

Vet groups warn lawmakers not to impose age factor on unemployment benefits
Stars and Stripes
Representatives of The American Legion and Disabled American Veterans have warned lawmakers to reject calls to impose an age ceiling or other new cost control on VA compensation payments to veterans whose service-connected disabilities leave them unemployable. An age ceiling is perhaps the most tempting cost-control option discussed in a new Government Accountability Office report that examines weakness and inefficiencies in the way the Department of Veterans Affairs administers Individual Unemployability benefits for 318,000 recipients.More

How veterans screw up college
Task & Purpose
College is the next step for many people leaving the military. As a transition pathway, this makes a lot of sense. Yet somehow a lot of us get lost in the process: going to the wrong school, pursuing the wrong degree and even failing to graduate. Many veterans fumble during their transition because they view college through a narrow lens, emphasizing a simplistic view of a degree as a "check in the box." These folks miss out of other opportunities that could substantially improve their lives after service.More

Purdue program offers veterans chance at farming career
The Associated Press via Washington Times Herald
Active-duty military members and veterans who are interested in agricultural careers will get a chance to explore a farm with Purdue University. The university says participants will tour Blue Yonder Organic Farm in North Salem, Indiana, on Aug. 16. They can speak with owner Sara Creech, who is a former member of the Air Force. She raises pastured chickens, turkeys, ducks and sheep and grows organic fruits and vegetables. More

Suicide rate for veterans increases faster than for nonveterans
Daily Herald
"The rockets' red glare; the bombs bursting in air" is more than just lyrics to be sung during July. Those words can evoke vivid memories and provoke thoughts of ending the life of a veteran who has experienced those scenes in person. Suicide rates are generally increasing across the country, but those of veterans are increasing at a greater rate.More

Still no medical treatment for Marine vet with stage 3 cancer
By all accounts, the nationwide Veterans Health Care System is broken, at best. Even President Barack Obama and Congress have called for big changes that will hopefully bring big improvements. In Omaha, the VA hospital has been the source of frustration for many vets, Jonathan Robbins, a Marine Corps veteran with stage 3 throat cancer. More

California city hails 1st affordable Habitat for Humanity housing for veterans
Los Angeles Daily News
Each Saturday for three years, former U.S. Marine Cpl. Juan Pablo Sirri and his wife, Stephany, would sling hammers, pipe wrenches and sweat to help build their four-bedroom Santa Clarita house. Amid driving rain Saturday, they joined the families of 26 U.S. service men and women to be handed keys to nearly finished duplexes thanks to the first affordable Habitat for Humanity housing built for U.S. veterans.More

'Ask the Question' can open doors for veterans outreach offers hope
New Hampshire Union Leader
There were two generals, two VA hospital directors, the state health commissioner and a slew of key providers at a recent "military access summit" in Concord, New Hampshire, to unveil new initiatives supporting those who have served. But it was a young combat veteran who reminded everyone why it matters. More