VAA Dispatch
Dec. 10, 2013

Honor veterans: Pass Excellence in Mental Health Act
The Hill
Recently, a young woman in San Diego contacted the VA at the Military Mental Health Project. She is a U.S. army veteran diagnosed with PTSD and was homeless. While in the service she was a victim of rape. Because her case was undocumented, she did not qualify for certain veterans' benefits. The Military Mental Health Project was able to connect this servicewoman with federal and local resource providers, such as the VA and community mental health services, in her area. She got treatment in the form of individual counseling and group therapy. She now has a job she likes, is no longer living on the streets and is happy with the direction her life is headed. Stories like this one show how critical mental health treatment is and how important it is that we help make sure America's returning warriors can get it.More

Hiring MBAs? You should be looking at NCOs
Co-founder and chairman of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services Col. David Sutherland writes: "Companies that hire MBAs planned to take on an average of 14.6 of them in 2013, up from 11.4 in 2012, according to a Graduate Management Admission Council survey of corporate recruiters. But why do consulting firms, financial service corporations and energy giants look to hire more than 100,000 newly minted MBAs when more than 1,000 soldiers leave the military every day and bring as good, if not better, skills to the table? The GMAC survey said that U.S.-based companies planning to hire MBAs are focused on both growth and efficiency. But you won't find anyone more qualified and with more experience than a noncommissioned officer."More

New resource guide assists veterans in agriculture
The Voice of Agriculture
A new resource guide developed by Farm Bureau and the Farmer Veteran Coalition Partnership is now available. Farm Bureau and the FVC are working together to train beginning farmers, make equipment available to veteran farmers and help find farm ownership or employment opportunities for members of the military transitioning into the civilian workforce.More

Veteran goes from the military to business school
The Wall Street Journal
Battle-tested veterans are enlisting in a new challenge: business school. Business school administrators are stepping up outreach to military officers, saying veterans lend leadership experience and global perspective to classroom discussions. Former military leaders also are in demand on the job market.More

Changes slated for Army's tuition assistance program
Watertown Daily Times
Changes to the military's tuition assistance program are expected to limit the number of college courses that active-duty students can take during the year. The Army's tuition assistance is a program that provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs for soldiers. The new policy, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, will cap the number of semester hours that the tuition assistance benefit will fund and will enforce tighter eligibility rules. More

Military families keeping up with DOD proposal to shutter commissaries
The Sun Herald
Commissaries have been Marjean Burkhart's grocery store of choice for more than 25 years. The military spouse has been so accustomed to shopping on base that she hasn't given much thought to what life might be like if the discounted grocery stores close. Burkhart and others will to have find an alternative, though, if the Pentagon decides to close all stateside commissaries to trim the defense budget. More

VA offers grants for transportation of rural veterans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has recently announced grants for transportation to veterans in highly rural areas. This program furthers the VA's mission by establishing a program to provide grants to eligible recipients to assist veterans in highly rural areas through innovative transportation services to travel to Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and to otherwise assist in providing transportation services in connection with the provision of VA medical care to these veterans. Applications close Feb. 3. More

Increased risk of serious sleep breathing disorder in quadriplegics
American Physiological Society via Medical News Today
There are more than a million people with spinal cord injuries in the United States with an estimated 11,000 new cases every year. Furthermore, it is estimated that there are at least 100,000 veterans with SCI, making the VA the largest integrated health care system in the world for SCI care. But despite this large prevalence, researchers still are discovering all the various ways that SCI affect those with this condition beyond the obvious paralysis.More

Female veterans battle for benefits at home
Chicago Tribune via
When Xatavia Hughes, the granddaughter of a military man, went to serve in Iraq, she was prepared to prove herself to the male soldiers. And she did. It was only after she returned from a war zone to Chicago in December 2010 that Hughes began to feel tested.More

The big lie about job recovery
Veterans Today
Thanks to The Economic Collapse, here's an extremely illuminating chart — The Civilian-Employment Population Ratio — produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It depicts the true U.S. unemployment level.More

Struggling veterans may get help with grant
Veterans Today
Advocates and stakeholders are seeking extra resources to help rehabilitate veterans who have wound up in the criminal justice system.More