VAA Dispatch
Sep. 3, 2013

Returning Iraq, Afghan war vets find little government support
News21 via Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
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

Labor Department rules to increase hiring of veterans, disabled workers
The Washington Post
Veterans and people with disabilities who often struggle to find work could have an easier time landing a job under new federal regulations. The rules, announced by the Labor Department, will require most government contractors to set a goal of having people with disabilities make up at least 7 percent of their employees. More

Out-of-state tuition often exceeds veterans' GI Bill benefits
News21 via The Denver Post
Despite the promise of a free education through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a News21 analysis found that 29 states have residency policies that force veterans to pay out-of-state tuition. The higher-education benefit pays all tuition, fees and a housing stipend for veterans at any public institution. More than 2 million Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are eligible for a share of the nearly $21 billion that the Department of Veterans Affairs is budgeted to pay for higher education through the 2014 academic year.More

Veterans should be inspired to start anew
USA Today
Medically retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and four-time Iraqi Freedom Campaign veteran David Carrell writes: "After eleven and a half years of service in the U.S. Army, my career ended abruptly. I did not want to leave, and especially didn't expect it all to end so soon. Yet after four deployments to Iraq in nine years, my body could not take any more beatings."More

Helping homeless veterans
Houston Chronicle
As in most big cities, streets, alleys, parks and underpasses are home to scores of the homeless. Homelessness remains a vexing problem, despite both public and private efforts to find a solution.More

Need to prove you served? Here's a new tool
Military.com
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

GOA: VA accreditation program open to abuse
Veterans Today
Leaders of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Special Committee on Aging said that they are "deeply troubled" by the Department of Veterans Affairs' lax oversight of private advisers to veterans applying for pensions and other benefits.More

'Call of Duty' helps real veterans with $30,000 grant program
NBC News
The company behind "Call of Duty," a video game series, which simulates infantry warfare, is taking another step toward helping real military veterans. Game maker Activision Blizzard is providing $30,000 grants for charities that excel at helping veterans transition into successful careers after they leave the U.S. military.More

Congressmen: Veterans deserve better
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
The Department of Veterans Affairs is in need of reform, two U.S. representatives told a crowd of about 100 during a breakfast meeting Aug. 29, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2466. U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Pensacola, Fla. — chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs — said he's frustrated with the number of cases awaiting review within the federal agency and the issue is not due to insufficient staff or funding.More

Veterans get free help filing medical claims
Veterans Today
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is recommending all veterans have their medical claims professionally prepared before they're submitted to the department. It usually takes anywhere from 18 months to two years to process a claim, and with a current backlog of claims, that can be even longer.More

'Back home': Veteran suicides twice as high as civilian rate
News21 via MinnPost
Veterans are killing themselves at more than double the rate of the civilian population, with about 49,000 taking their own lives between 2005 and 2011, according to data collected over eight months by News21. Records from 48 states show the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared with a civilian rate of about 14 per 100,000.More

IRS under fire from veterans group
The Wall Street Journal
The Internal Revenue Service is facing fresh criticism from Congress after one of the country's biggest veterans' organizations alleged the IRS has recently been unreasonably tough in its reviews of the tax-exempt status of individual American Legion posts.More