VAA Dispatch
Jul. 29, 2014

Don't let ignorance of VA loan program blow your deal
Military Times
Some veterans are losing out when they make a bid for a house because the seller — or the seller's real estate agent — doesn't want to deal with a VA loan. Real estate markets in some areas have rebounded from the mortgage crisis of a few years ago to the point that houses are being snapped up quickly, with sellers receiving multiple offers. And because of some real or perceived problems with various aspects of VA loans, some sellers just don't want to be bothered with them.More

4 reasons VA loans are so powerful today
The VA home loan program has been around for seven decades. This long-cherished benefit has backed more than 20 million military mortgages since 1944. But in many ways, it's more important today than ever before.More

DOT expands program to help veterans get trucking jobs to all 50 states
The Trucker
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that its waiver program that helps experienced veterans and active duty personnel transition into civilian jobs as commercial truck and bus drivers has been expanded to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More

FMCSA expands waiver program for military drivers
Fleet Owner
Qualified individuals nationwide now have up to a year to obtain a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration military skills test waiver instead of just 90 days, the agency announced July 25. The action is one of several that FMCSA announced as part of the Joining Forces Initiative to promote expanded employment and career development opportunities for veterans and military spouses.More

Serving Smart: Nitty-gritty of VA education benefits
The Department of Defense Social Media
We came, we blogged, we educated. Julius Caesar would have been so proud! Let's do a recap. Recently, the Department of Defense officially launched a new education blog series, "Serving Smart." A recent blog got down in the weeds and informed you about the fundamentals of federal financial aid. Today, this blog will reacquaint you with VA educational opportunities.More

VA announces $8 million in grants for new adaptive sports for disabled veterans
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced the availability of up to $8 million in grant funding to provide adaptive sports opportunities for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces; adaptive sports are those sports that have been created or modified for persons with disabilities.More

Lawmakers reach deal on VA reform
Key House and Senate lawmakers have reached a deal that promises to end the partisan battle that threatened to derail plans to get a Department of Veterans Affairs reform bill passed before Congress adjourns for the summer. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who co-chair a legislation conference committee, will announce "that an agreement has been reached to deal with both the short-term and long-term needs of the VA," Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said.More

Veterans voice problems with VA's new pain killer policy
Veterans Today
A new Veterans Administration policy is making it more difficult for veterans to obtain medicines for chronic pain that are potentially addictive. Doctors say roughly one-third of the American population suffers from chronic pain, and many are veterans. But veterans who are used to being prescribed powerful pain medicines to treat their conditions are having to adjust to a new policy.More

Suicide's toll: Survey says 1/2 of vets know someone who has tried it
Stars and Stripes
Nearly half of all respondents to a major survey of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans know at least one veteran from those conflicts who has tried to kill himself. The survey was conducted earlier this year by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. IAVA received responses to an extensive list of questions from more than 2,000 of the nation's younger veterans, the vast majority of whom served in the Army or Marine Corps. Respondents ranked suicide and mental health as the biggest issue facing post-9/11 veterans. Among some of the more troubling findings.More