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Category: Blog

Biden’s Pick for VA Secretary, Denis McDonough, Gets Support From Both Sides of the Aisle

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas, leader of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, announced his support for Biden’s pick for VA secretary. Bolstered by further support from other republican representatives at last week’s hearing, Moran’s comments signaled an easy path to confirmation. The support from Moran for Denis McDonough came at the end of the confirmation hearing after McDonough answered an array of questions from committee members. Moran commented during the hearing, “I just wanted you to know – based upon what you have said – that I will vote for your confirmation, and I will ask my Republican colleagues […]

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New VA Program Investigates Outdoor Therapy for Veterans

Friday, January 29, 2021

The Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act was passed last month by former President Donald Trump. It was part of a legislative package called the Veterans COMPACT Act of 2020 that received bipartisan support. The bill’s focus is aimed at helping our veterans with both exercise and their mental health needs. Specifically, there will be a VA task force created to investigate the potential benefits of outdoor recreation, as a form of alternative therapy for veterans. Some advocates for such programs believe that, in the not-too-distant future, outdoor therapy could be prescribed as an alternative to the pharmaceuticals and traditional approaches […]

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More Troops in D.C. For Biden Inauguration Than In Iraq and Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Over the past few years, there has been a shift in the mindset of top-ranking domestic and foreign security officials – one that is perhaps most vividly represented by the stark contrast in the number of troops set to be stationed in Washington for Biden’s inauguration and those stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. On January 20th, for Joe Biden’s inauguration, there will be up to a staggering 25,000 National Guard troops in Washington. Currently, there are roughly 5,000 troops spread across Iraq and Afghanistan. The influx in troops in the capital in direct response to the events that took place […]

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Legislative Package Gets Unanimous Approval in the House, Signed by Trump, and Will Impact Thousands of Veterans

Thursday, January 14, 2021

President Trump signed sweeping legislation that aims to help veterans facing a myriad of challenges. Homelessness, access to care for female and Native American veterans, toxic exposure, and the coronavirus are all addressed in the legislation. Trump signed the bill on the 10th day following its passage in Congress, the final day for him to sign before the bill would have become law without his signature. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas voiced his support for the bill that he describes as one that “provides support for every corner of our veteran community.” With over 340 pages and dozens of measures, […]

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Toxic Chemical Exposure May Impact Veterans’ Risk for COVID-19 Complications, Including Adverse Reactions to the Vaccines

Friday, January 8, 2021

According to evidence found by the Environmental Working Group, those who have experienced prolonged exposure to “forever chemicals” are at a higher risk when it comes to contracting COVID-19, as well as adverse reactions to vaccines for the virus. These toxic chemicals have been found in drinking water on many military bases but were most notably used as a key component of foam used to fight fire. For decades, this was the standard method for firefighting training. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are dubbed “forever chemicals” because they remain and build up in the body over time. Aside from toxic exposure […]

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The Chuck Osier Benefits Act

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

In 2015, Chuck Osier, Air Force veteran and Sherrill native, died. His wife, Donna Osier requested a burial marker or medallion from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The paperwork was provided by her husband’s funeral director. Donna hoped to receive a medallion to go along with her husband’s flag, which would be left in a shadow box and given to their son. Unfortunately, the VA denied her request and stated that her husband could not be honored with a medallion since he was cremated. After considering her options for a couple of weeks, Donna was frustrated with the VA and […]

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VA Welcome Kit

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Whether you have been out of the service for years or you are just getting out, the VA Welcome Kit can help guide you through the process of seeing how VA benefits can support you. Your earned benefits can help you in a myriad of ways, and this is an excellent resource that helps you comb through all that the VA has to offer. Benefits are impacted by where you are in life, and at every stage, the VA Welcome Kit can guide you to ensure that you are getting all the support you’ve earned. It thoroughly outlines your benefits, […]

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VA Raises Concerns for Vaccine Distribution

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Last week, top officials at the Department of Veterans Health Administration brought up concerns about the distribution of coronavirus vaccines. Dr. Richard Stone, head of the Veterans Health Administration, said that the nation’s largest health care system does not have enough of the vaccine to cover all of its patients and staff. Following the FDA’s approval, the VA planned to administer 73,000 initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine to its patients and staff. The department placed an order for an additional 122,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Even with the additional order, it appears the VA will not immediately be […]

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Army Agrees to Review Thousands of Bad Paper Discharges

Monday, December 7, 2020

Earlier this month, a settlement was reached in a lawsuit against the U.S. Army. The settlement would require the branch of the military to review and potentially upgrade thousands of bad paper discharges dating back to April 2011. Bad paper discharges refer to those veterans who received other-than-honorable discharges, which negatively impacts the benefits they are eligible to receive from the VA. The agreement, that is now pending approval by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, orders the Army Discharge Review Board to reconsider thousands of cases. Many of which, show evidence that the veteran was struggling […]

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Court Rules in Favor of Retroactive Benefits to Blue Water Vietnam Veterans

Friday, December 4, 2020

On Thursday, Nov 12th, a federal judge ruled that the VA must honor the terms of a 1991 settlement and pay retroactive benefits to blue water veterans. The decision will affect thousands of veterans who have previously been denied support from the VA. Stephen Kinnaird, the attorney fighting for this decision, was very excited about the outcome of the case. “It makes a huge difference to veterans and their families,” he said in an interview after the case. Blue water veterans are those who served off the coast of Vietnam but never actually set foot on land. In the decades […]

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