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In This Issue March 28, 2014
VVA National Leadership & Education Conference

VVA Expresses Outrage over the Outcome of Recent MST Cases; Calls for Passage of Military Justice Improvement Act

VA Removes Annual Income Reporting Requirement

HVAC Website Launched To Track How VA Stonewalls the Press

Most VA Websites Still Inaccessible to Blind Vets

Coffee CEO to Donate $30mil for Vets' PTSD Research

Pentagon Leaders Issue Statement on Ethics

Army Sec Will Decide Retirement Rank of General in MST Case

The VVA Veteran

Agent Orange Town Hall Meetings

Vets Needed for 2 Research Studies

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VVA National Leadership & Education Conference

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VVA Press Release

VVA Expresses Outrage over the Outcome of Recent MST Cases; Calls for Passage of Military Justice Improvement Act

(Washington, D.C.) – Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is outraged and disappointed over the outcome of two military sexual abuse cases last week. "Last week MST victims were dealt a setback in their quest for justice when two decisions were announced in which complainants had to accept the ruling of the self-serving chain of command," said John Rowan, National President of VVA.

On March 20, a military judge found a former Navy football player not guilty of sexually assaulting a female classmate at an off-campus party. The judge referred lesser charges of lying to investigators back to the academy to handle internally. Cmdr. John Schofield, an academy spokesman, said Thursday that the remaining charges were being dropped in exchange for Tate's agreement "to accept the most serious form of punishment a midshipman can receive through the conduct system, a dismissal from the Naval Academy."

Read Complete Press Release

VA Press Release

VA Removes Annual Income Reporting Requirement

Beginning in March 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is eliminating the annual requirement for most veterans enrolled in VA’s health care system to report income information. Instead, VA will automatically match income information obtained from the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.

For more information, visit www.va.gov/healthbenefits/cost
House Veterans Affairs Committee Press Release

HVAC Website Launched To Track How VA Stonewalls the Press

VA Honesty Project

From a March 24 press release by the House Veterans Affairs Committee: HVAC Chair Jeff Miller (R-FL) launched VA Honesty Project, a new web component of Veterans.House.Gov designed to highlight the Department of Veterans Affairs’ lack of transparency with the press, and by extension, the public. Because the Department of Veterans Affairs is a taxpayer-funded organization, it has a responsibility to fully explain itself to the press and the public. Unfortunately, in many cases, VA is failing in this responsibility, as department officials—including 54 full-time public affairs employees—routinely ignore media inquiries. VA Honesty Project documents nearly 70 recent instances in which the VA has failed to respond to reporters’ requests for information or refused to answer specific questions. The department’s apparent disregard for the press has become an object of reporters’ scorn, leading some to openly accuse VA of “thumbing their nose at us” and others to write entire articles focusing on VA’s stonewalling tactics. VA Honesty Project will be continually updated with new examples of VA refusing to respond to the press as they arise.

View the VA Honesty Project page here

As Reported on Military.com

Most VA Websites Still Inaccessible to Blind Vets

In a March 24 article on the Military.com website by Bryant Jordan, veterans' advocates say that more than a year after waivers temporarily exempted the Department of Veterans Affairs from laws mandating its websites be accessible to blind and vision-impaired veterans, the agency is still lagging behind. 

Read complete article here

As Reported on the Food World News Website

Coffee CEO to Donate $30mil for Vets' PTSD Research

Starbucks

In a March 26 article by Dina Excil posted on the Food World News website, the CEO of Starbucks announced plans to donate $30 million to support PTSD research for veterans. 

Read complete article here

As Reported by Air Force Times

Pentagon Leaders Issue Statement on Ethics

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin DempseySecretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey

In a March 25 Air Force Times article by Andrew Tilghman, the Pentagon’s top two leaders issued a rare joint statement aimed at concerns about ethics and misconduct in the force.

Read complete article here

As Reported by Army Times

Army Sec Will Decide Retirement Rank of General in MST Case

Secretary of the Army John McHugh

In a March 25 Army Times article by AP reporter Donna Cassata, Secretary of the Army John McHugh said he will have the final say on whether a disgraced brigadier general at the center of a sexual misconduct case retires at a lower rank with sharply reduced retirement pay. 

Read complete story here

The VVA Veteran

March/April 2014 issue of The VVA Veteran

VVA Veteran

In this issue, all committee chairs report on their committees' progress in implementing their Convention Resolutions. Features include "Key West: Red-Alert Paradise": At HAWK batteries 19-year-olds had their fingers on hot buttons 24 hours a day, ready to shoot down missiles from Cuba. "A Situation on Knife's Edge" describes the situation at the West LA VA since Judge S. James Otero decided in favor of the ACLU and VVA, and struck down commercial leases on the property. "Toxic Hitchhikers" warns of dangerous parasites that veterans may have picked up during their service.

In addition, read about Stuart, Fla., Chapter 1041's recruiting and fund-raising efforts, and how it set up a rapid response fund so the local service officer could respond to the immediate needs of veterans. Philippines Chapter 887 hosted a special day for the children of Holy Trinity Home for the Handicapped. And Manchester, Missouri, Chapter 1028 set up collection boxes for tattered flags; the chapter collects and destroys the flags appropriately.

Members will receive their copies of the March/April issue between March 31 and April 3.

Read the The VVA Veteran at www.vvaveteran.org

Agent Orange Town Hall Meetings

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University Studies

Vets Needed for 2 Research Studies

An education doctoral student at the University of LaVerne (CA), needs veteran participants for his survey study entitled “Changes in Military Leaders’ Transformational Leadership Styles after Trauma.” 

If you wish to learn more and participate, please contact Mr. Charles Kramer at ckramer@laverne.edu
                                                      

NOTE: this study’s I.R.B. documentation has been filed and reviewed by VVA’s I.R.B. research officer and judged to be in compliance with all applicable human subjects research guidelines.


A psychology master’s student at Tennessee State University needs veteran participants for his study entitled "Co-occurring Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the Military."

If you wish to learn more and participate, please contact Mr. Jordan Joyner at jordan_joyner@yahoo.com
                                                      

NOTE: this study’s I.R.B. documentation has been filed and reviewed by VVA’s I.R.B. research officer and judged to be in compliance with all applicable human subjects research guidelines.

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