VAA Dispatch
Aug. 19, 2014

Veterans' next battle: Legal rights
The Daily Record via Diverse: Issues In Higher Education
In a year when the Department of Veterans Affairs has repeatedly come under fire for problems ranging from deadly delays in medical appointments to its hefty backlog of benefit claims, the need for legal assistance for veterans has often taken a lower priority. But that's about to change. Recent efforts to help veterans obtain benefits or gain access to other resources are underway at law schools, bar associations, community groups and even the VA itself.More

As military gears down, veterans in civilian workforce ramp up
The Associated Press via The Post and Carrier
About 1,200 soldiers were ordered and urged by Fort Bragg, North Carolina, brass to prepare for their future mission: transition to a civilian job. This sprawling Army post was part of an expanding effort to help soon-to-be veterans as the American military downsizes with the end of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Airborne soldiers in maroon berets and corporals in camouflage uniforms prepared for the end of their military careers by meeting civilian employers, learning to interview and write resumes and scouting the benefits available to veterans starting the rest of their lives.More

White House to launch new high-tech job training initiative for veterans
Navy Times
New high-tech job training efforts being launched by the White House will include veteran-specific programs and placement efforts, Vice President Joe Biden told at the recent Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention.More

Virginia governor unveils major workforce development initiative
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed executive order 23, establishing "The New Virginia Economy" Workforce Initiative, which will be led by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. This initiative seeks to overhaul our economy in four ways: increasing post-secondary education and workforce credentials, securing employment for veterans, aligning education with the needs of businesses and diversifying the economy.More

How to workshop your resume
"I don't know what's wrong with my resume. I've stared at it too long. But I know it needs help." Sound familiar? We heard that comment from at least 10 people at the Spouse Experience at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego alone — pretty much par for the course. Maybe it's time to workshop your resume.More

Veterans look to farming to grow and heal
USA Today via Military Times
Mike Simester had always dreamed of a being a career soldier. But after the Iraqi war veteran was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a motorcycle accident left the Iowa native struggling to cope with severe head and leg injuries, his life changed. Simester's time in the Army was over. And lost, he thought, was his identity and his sense of purpose. The 37-year-old has since undergone hardcore mental and physical "forced therapy," as he calls it, and finds himself now thriving in what once seemed the most unlikely of places: 10 acres of farmland in rural Iowa that is home to apple and peach trees, rows of vegetables and scores of chickens that demand his daily attention.More

Serving smart: Financial aid basics
The harsh reality behind education is that it costs money and under normal circumstances, you can't attend college or a career/tech school without paying for it. There are many reasons people choose not to advance their education, but the most common excuse is, "I can't afford it." Thankfully, for those currently serving on active duty, National Guard or Selective Reserve, there are options available to temper the rising costs of education.More

Affordable housing is drawing people away from the coasts
By Archita Datta Majumdar
An analysis of Red Fin data shows that inland cities — like Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Oklahoma City; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah — are luring in young American families with their housing affordability, low cost of living and economic growth. In fact, according to census data, these inward moves have upped by 10 percent in the last seven years. The trend has definitely shifted, with the fastest-growing cities now being inland metros instead of the chic coastal megalopolises, like Los Angeles and New York City.More

Report: For-profit colleges gouging veterans
The Tampa Tribune
On the heels of a student veterans group's warning, a U.S. Senate report reveals the extent to which for-profit universities benefit from the federal G.I. Bill program. For-profit schools received $1.7 billion in veterans' benefits during the 2012-13 academic year, 41 percent of all G.I. Bill dollars and almost as much as the cost of the entire program just four years earlier, according to the majority report of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released July 30.More