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In This Issue April 18, 2014
Why Are So Many Older Vets Committing Suicide?

Thomas R. Burke Awarded the Vietnam Veterans of America Commendation Medal

VVA National Leadership & Education Conference

Homeless Vets in Rural Areas Lack Options

I.R.S. to Use Veterans' Tax Returns for Means Test

Wounded Soldiers Stuck in Military's Backlogged Disability System

April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

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Why Are So Many Older Vets Committing Suicide?

Sen. John Walsh and members of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America held an event on the National Mall late last month.

In an April 13 National Journal article by Jordain Carney, the Fort Hood shooting reignited the national debate over the surge of suicides among those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. But older veterans have been largely overlooked in the conversation. Nearly 70 percent of all veterans who commit suicide are age 50 or older, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. This is double the suicide rate for the same age group in the non-veteran community. 

Read complete story here

VVA Commendation Medal

Thomas R. Burke Awarded the Vietnam Veterans of America Commendation Medal

Tom Burke and John Rowan

Vietnam Veterans of America life member Tom Burke, President of the Buckeye State Council and VVA National Public Affairs Chair, was recognized April 11, 2014, at the VVA National Board of Directors Meeting in Silver Spring, Maryland, for his work on behalf of America's veterans. Burke—pictured above wth VVA National President John Rowan—was presented with the VVA Commendation Medal, the organization's highest award, for his outstanding leadership, his selfless commitment to all veterans, and his exemplary service to his community.

Photo by Linda Blankenship

August 5 - 9, 2014 — Wichita, Kansas

VVA National Leadership & Education Conference

VVA National Leadership Conference

Click here to register & for more information

As Reported in MilitaryTimes

Homeless Vets in Rural Areas Lack Options

In an April 11 article in MilitaryTimes by Leo Shane III, housing advocates worry that veterans in rural America may be getting left behind in the national push to end homelessness. A new report released by the Housing Assistance Council this week notes that rural veterans face a different range of challenges from their urban counterparts, and that finding and aiding those at-risk veterans will require new effort from public and private agencies. 

Read complete story here

Benefits Eligibility

I.R.S. to Use Veterans' Tax Returns for Means Test

VA Health Card

In an April 15 article by Charlotte Albright posted on the Vermont Public Radio site, for millions of American taxpayers, the federal tax return due on April 15 serves more than one purpose. In addition to tallying up what they owe—or are owed—IRS income data determine who qualifies for benefits of all kinds. This year, for the first time, the Veterans Administration will use federal tax returns as a means test, to decide whether a veteran is eligible for subsidized health care. 

Read (and listen to) complete story here

As Reported by The Washington Post

Wounded Soldiers Stuck in Military's Backlogged Disability System

Thousands of America’s veterans are stuck in both the VA’s claims and appeals processes. But the story doesn’t just begin once the soldier leaves active duty. According to an April 13 story in the Tacoma News Tribune, reporter Adam Ashton writes that DoD and the VA have serious backlog problems with their program known as the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES).  

Read more here

MST Webinar

April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Military sexual violence and trauma is often referred to as the unspoken epidemic among service members and veterans. Sexual violence can look very different in a military setting, and it's important for behavioral health providers and the public-at-large to understand the context of the assault and unique treatment considerations.

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Swords to Plowshares is taking action by educating behavioral health providers who work with veterans about unique circumstances in the trauma they have experienced. In an upcoming webinar, "Useful Strategies and Restorative Practices in the Treatment of Trauma among Veterans," Elizabeth Stinson of the Trauma Assessment Project will present useful strategies and restorative practices in the treatment of trauma, including circumstances unique to MST, co-morbidity symptom awareness and clinical diagnosis, impact on survivors, as well as family systems and how to establish a system of care for survivors. 

This webinar is open to the public; click here to register  

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