VAA Dispatch
Aug. 18, 2015

5 military and vets moments of note at the debate
Military Times
The recent Republican presidential primary debate was heavy on rhetoric but light on specifics regarding national security issues. That's no surprise, given the 60-second time limit on the 10 candidates at the prime-time event. Still, several managed to keep military topics in the mix, squeezing in items of interest to troops, veterans and their families.More

2015 forecast: Expect turbulence in military compensation
Military Times
The 2015 Military Times Pay Book is your guide to the complex world of military compensation. And as has been the case for a few years now, the increases in pay and allowances this year are slight to nonexistent.More

Senate launches Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Caucus
Military Times
Lawmakers in the newly formed Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Caucus hope the coalition can speed reforms for the Veterans Affairs Department by brokering a deal for their respective parties.More

Financial resources and help for veterans
You've served your country. Now what? Civilian life can be a challenging transition, especially financially. For veterans easing their way back into civilian life, many resources are available to help them with the financial aspects of life outside the military.More

CBO: Full sequester relief could add as many as 1.4 million jobs
The Hill
Reversing sequestration spending caps could create as many as 1.4 million jobs over the next two years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said. Easing those ceilings would lead to increased government spending, which in turn would lead to an increase in economic output and higher employment, the CBO said.More

How to deal with stereotypes in civilian job interviews
Military Times
It's not that employers are anti-veteran. But they often don't know about veterans. When former 1st Lt. Keith W. Gibson left the Air Force in 2014, he didn't expect to jump right into a civilian job. Today, he's at Goldman Sachs, in a special intake program for veterans. But interviewing for jobs taught him that not every employer was eager to hire vets.More

Social work a popular choice as a 2nd career
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Anthony Kennedy was recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. He also was in the midst of a divorce and a child-custody dispute. So impressed was he with the mental-health social workers who treated him that Kennedy, a retired Army captain, decided to become one.More

Housing for homeless veterans is planned for ex-Walter Reed site
The New York Times
The hallways of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., which cared for generations of soldiers, have been quiet since the hospital closed in 2011 and merged with the nearby Bethesda Naval Hospital. But a deal being negotiated by the Army and the city of Washington might give the historic hospital a renewed purpose: housing veterans who might otherwise be homeless.More

VA Choice would expand under McCain proposal
Military Times
Sen. John McCain introduced a bill that would extend the VA Choice Card program indefinitely and expand eligibility to include every veteran enrolled in VA health care. Saying the Veterans Affairs Department has been "slow to implement the program" since enactment a year ago of the law broadening private care options for veterans, the Arizona Republican believes his bill would remove any lingering uncertainty about the program, which will end in 2017.More