VAA Dispatch
Aug. 27, 2013

VDI: Affordable, enhanced living for veterans
Veterans Development Initiatives Inc.
Our nation's veterans deserve the best support and treatment possible. That's why Veterans Development Initiatives Inc. exists. We provide green housing options and enhanced living conditions for the brave few who fought for our country. It's all part of our ongoing mission for increased veteran support. Veterans Development Initiative Inc. in New York is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that focuses on creating affordable green energy housing for displaced veterans and their families. Contact VDI today by calling 855-655-8442 or by visiting their website

Post 9/11 veterans come home to a nation that cannot address their needs
The Center for Public Integrity
In the 12 years since American troops first deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 2.6 million veterans have returned home to a country largely unprepared to meet their needs. The government that sent them to war has failed on many levels to fulfill its obligations to these veterans as demanded by Congress and promised by both Republican and Democratic administrations, a News21 investigation has found.More

VOW to hire: VRAP benefits for unemployed veterans
Veterans Today
VA's Veterans Retraining Assistance Program offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans between 35 and 60 years old.More

Unite US help build a community, online resource for Armed Forces veterans
New York-based startup Unite US, founded by three members of the Armed Forces both past and present, announced that it has raised $2 million in seed funding from a number of private investors. The startup is still partly in stealth mode, with a public launch planned for this fall, but its goal is to help veterans better connect with public and private agencies designed to help them transition to civilian life, and to build a community that can help with post-service careers and more.More

Need a job? Try volunteering first
A new survey from Deloitte, a consulting firm, finds that human resources executives agree that volunteer work could help young people graduating from college and returning military veterans get jobs.More

Study finds 'incomplete' employer understanding of USERRA
The Washington Post
A new RAND study of a federal law that protects members of the National Guard, Reserve and veterans from job discrimination finds "incomplete" employer support for and knowledge of the law, but says no substantial revisions are needed to the legislation.More

Mobilization has uneven impact on employers
Military Times
National Guard and reserve mobilizations have an uneven impact on employers, schools and businesses, with highly skilled employees or those who depend on personal relationships with clients and customers appearing to be the hardest hit, according to a new Rand Corp. report.More

GOP senator blasts IRS for auditing American Legion posts
The Hill
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., blasted the IRS in the wake of reports that it is demanding detailed membership information from American Legion posts.More

Need to prove you served? Here's a new tool
Two former Army Rangers have created a way for service members and veterans to electronically verify their military status, a move that gives them online access to retail discounts, could help them claim education vouchers or even land a job.More

9/11 virtual career fair for veterans
The Hufftington Post
Here's a look at the biggest takeaways from the commander-in-chief's year's annual formal address to the veterans community.More

VA and HUD announce funding for homeless veterans
The Washington Post
The departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development announced $7.8 million in funding that the agencies say will provide housing and clinical services for 1,120 homeless veterans.More

Hagel: I'll protect GI Bill family transfer rights
Military Times
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pledged to protect the ability to transfer GI Bill benefits to family members from budget cuts. A former U.S. senator, Hagel was one of a group of combat veterans who in 2007 and 2008 pushed the Post-9/11 GI Bill through Congress. This program allows sharing GI Bill benefits with a spouse and children after a minimum of six years of service in return for an additional four-year service obligation.More

Despite backlogs, VA gives staff bonuses
The Washington Post via Stars and Stripes
While veterans waited longer than ever in recent years for their wartime disability compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs gave its workers millions of dollars in bonuses for "excellent" performances that effectively encouraged them to avoid claims that needed extra work to document veterans' injuries, a News21 investigation has found.More

VA critics vow to keep up pressure as claims backlog falls
Stars and Stripes
Critics of the Department of Veterans Affairs will culminate a four-month petition drive by demanding the president take immediate action to end the million-veteran disability claims backlog. The problem? The backlog is already under 500,000 cases, and has been falling fast since the drive began.More